I am feeling really lonely these days. Jose is away half the week and most of my closest friends don’t live nearby. Often the only adult contact I experience is chatting with the barista on my infrequent coffee runs, making small talk with the other gym-goers at my bi-weekly circuit training class, an often brief catch up with my mother-in-law when she comes to watch L while I go to said class and then Jose comes home on Wednesday evenings from Montreal or Dallas and we watch tv in bed (as we do most evenings together–yay parenthood! But really I actually don’t mind it at all if I’m being honest). I seriously just listed all of my main interactions. Sad, right?
And of course we FaceTime when Jose’s away and I talk to one or both of my sister’s daily, I chat with Hilary who lives in Vancouver or Kelly who recently moved to Peterborough (and just became a mama herself), and I talk with my mum. So yes I have people who I am in regular contact with, for sure. And when I occasionally take Leni to Sprouts (a play area nearby), I see other adults and often have brief discussions about our kids and whatnot. And Skye and I are starting to get our kids together a bit more too. I am not denying I have things that I do where I am exposed to the outside world, but I still feel isolated and I miss regular adult interaction of the sort that involves someone who I know or am getting to know, not just these brief moments or sporadic visits. And the babe needs it too. She needs her mama to be living in the world and she needs to be around more kids I think. It has been a cold and lonesome winter.
And the worst thing is that when I actually do get the opportunity to see other adults, I’ve forgotten how to interact in some ways. I am probably trying too hard or talking too much or just being too something. Insecure maybe? You think! Sigh.
So that is what I wrote last week and never posted. I am feeling somewhat better this week and almost thought I just wouldn’t put this up, but hey maybe there’s someone out there who can relate. Parenting can often be lonely business. And the guilt! It seems there is always something I am berating myself for not doing enough of or too much or not quite right. And I can really lose some perspective (especially during those weeks I am particularly isolated for one reason or another). And the other day I wondered, what would I tell my best friend if she was beating herself up the same way?
And here’s what I’d be saying: you are an awesome mama. Your baby is thriving and happy and healthy. If you’re feeling lonely, reach out. There are a lot of people who love you and want to be there for you, but sometimes you have to let them know because everyone has their own stuff going on too. You are never going to be perfect so try and let that idea go. Prioritize what is important to you and when you can fit other things in, great, but if you can’t, you need to forgive yourself. If somethings not working, try something new. Bottom line, your babe is going to be fine and so are you.
And you know what? That’s all straight up truth and I think I mostly know that. So why is it so hard to be loving with myself when I’m in the dumps, but so easy when I’m comforting a friend? What’s that all about? Time to be a better friend to myself.
2 thoughts on “befriending myself”
You have more social interactions than I do! We had to move away from family and friends 3 years ago. I have three kids under 5. I have many time told my husband all I talk to is kids! I call my mom here and there, and drive the ten hours to visit when I can. I hope summer will be better and I’ll be able to travel more to see family and old friends! Hang in there mama!! You are definitely not alone!
Thanks for the encouragement Bethany! I know you’re totally right and I’m sure it will improve as it gets warmer out. For you as well! That must be really challenging to be so far away. I don’t have the same excuse!