Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Mum Is The Loneliest Number

Last night, I was in bed, ready for sleep, doing my nightly terrible habit of scrolling through my facebook feed, when it hit me. It grasped my heart & stole my peace. It was just something as simple as a photo of a few Mum's hanging out & their playful comment banter under the photo. But it hit me hard. Jealousy. Bitterness. ANGER. And then when those feelings had faded away, all that was left was loneliness.

I get lonely.

Motherhood is lonely.

It just is.

Even if you're lucky enough to have one or two steady friends, how often do you really get to spend time with them? Life gets busy, babies need to nap, kids get sick, have rehearsals, practices, husband/partners get home late from work, things change, plans get canceled, you forget to reschedule, and who's court is that ball in this time? It's just really, really, hard to have friends in this stage of life.

Sometimes, I go to the shops & walk around just to have interaction with people outside of my house, how sad is that?! When I’m out with the children & I look up from the chaos long enough to see another mama doing the same things I’m doing, I just want to run over to her and say, “Are you lonely too? Do you want the same things I want? Do you struggle with the same things I do? Will you judge me for failing? For being scared? For wanting to run away from my kids? For forgetting to do the eldest hair & a clean nappy on the youngest? Can we be friends? Am I freaking you out? I don’t care. HOLD ME.”

Sometimes I just want to have a long conversation with someone other than MR.B. Someone with female anatomy. Someone in the same life stage as me. Someone that gets me. But I can’t dwell on those thoughts. Loneliness breeds jealousy, & bitterness, & anger, & regret, & then guilt, & sleeplessness, grumpiness, impatience, grudges, depression, & so on ... & on ... and on ...

Mama, I know that you’re lonely too. It's ok. Just remember that this is a season & it is the most sacred season you will ever have the honor of experiencing. This is the time when your babies need you & want you & enjoy having you around. This is the time when they will cling to your legs as you try to leave the house without them & run into your arms when you come home as if you’d been gone a lifetime. You will never be more loved & wanted & needed as you are right now...in this moment.

This is the season of boo-boos & spit up & dirt. It’s the season for 10 minute showers, half shaved legs, & one eyed mascara. You will get lonely. And jealous. And maybe sometimes you’ll begrudge your life & wish you had someone else’s. You’ll get frustrated & angry & you’ll want to escape. This will be the most unglamorous & unappreciated time of your life, & sometimes it just totally sucks. That’s ok. But have peace in knowing that this will be the season you look back on longingly. One day, we’ll gladly give up all the friends in the world to have our babies small again. To be able to fit them on our laps & read them stories & go on adventures & eat pancakes at every meal.

When loneliness creeps up in your heart & you start to feel sorry for yourself & wish for something other than what you have right now, fill that emptiness where your social life used to be with baby belly laughs & movie nights & pillow fights & silly songs. Don’t let temporary loneliness steal this season of your life.

I'm not saying that friendship isn't important. Obviously, it is, or we wouldn't feel its lack so strongly. We were never meant to live in isolation. Women, especially, need friendship. But sometimes, our friendships take the back seat in life & we can let that destroy us & affect our motherhood, or we can embrace it & give ourselves, & our friends, grace.

If you have friends, do whatever you can to spend time with them as often as life allows. But maybe you're in the same place I am right now. Maybe you're in a new county, & you don't know anybody, & then you meet people but they already have their group of friends & circles & you just kind of feel like the oddball out. It's easy to get discouraged & feel defeated. It's easy to cling to the computer & your online friends. Don't. Find a Musm group, a meet up, a park where Mums often hang out. Step out of your comfort zone, ask for phone numbers, & be intentional about forming friendships. Sometimes it will fail. But maybe it won't! Your new best friend could be sitting across from you at the playground feeling just as lonely as you. Don't convince yourself that you're the only one in the world that doesn't have friends. (I really need to practice what I preach...)

The point is, don't let loneliness steal this season from you. It's precious and it's beautiful & it will be over way too soon.


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