Being a mom is an amazing thing. Truly, it is. I wouldn't change one thing ... except that time we all had the throw-ups. But even then as I was cleaning up my kids' puke, I realized I wasn't concerned about the staining or the smell, I was worried about my kids. That's love. But sometimes, despite all of the love, motherhood is a lonely gig.
My twins are 3. They like to hang out with me, but not really. They want me to play with them, but then want me to leave the room. Sometimes I hear "Go away, Mommy!" I guess I'm not cool enough to vrroomm cars across the map on the floor, too. Mommy! Can you help me click this in? my daughter asks. Her unicorn's hair clip came off. I fix it. Thank you, mommy. No you stay here, she says as she walks away. So I watch them from a distance, but still close, and wonder what my childless friends are doing.
I'm a stay-at-home mom. I work, but extremely part-time is what I say. I write when they nap or late at night when everyone's asleep. I guess I'm a work-at-home mom, but the label thing is confusing and doesn't quite feel right. The label that does feel right is lonely. Such a sad word.
Motherhood alienates you from your friends who don't have kids. Or maybe that's just my reality. Unless you happen to have a friend whose schedule permits coming over to hang out during nap time or one who also thinks 9 p.m. is way too late for dinner and nearly bedtime. I miss those friends.
I have mom friends, too. We do playdates and get in tiny bits of adult conversation, but we get interrupted by adorable hugs and reminders in our sweetest, sternest mom voice that we "don't push our friends." We also talk in the hallway waiting for preschool to get out and it's five minutes of 'wow look at me! I'm talking about adult things!' until the door opens and the kids are in our arms and we go back to our own lives, our own schedules, our own bits of lonely.
Sometimes I just want to have glass of Prosecco in a bar without any sign of a child and talk in my adult voice. I might even want to drop an F-bomb even though I don't really curse but just do it because there is not one little one in earshot who may repeat it when I'm in mommy-mode at the playground. I know, I know. I'm so rebellious.
I don't like it that I'm not exactly sure what's going on in the world, but I can tell you all about how Doc McStuffins made a helicopter feel better. I've read 164 books this week but they all rhymed and none were over 12 pages. My own parents no longer ask how I'm doing -- it's just about the kids. Do I even exist? The one glass of wine I had last night reminds me the next day that I really do exist and I exist with a raging headache and what feels like a hangover from three vodkas back when I was in my 20s.
Maybe I'm experiencing the terrible 3s. It's not my kids. It's me. Maybe after three years, I need more mom nights out. I need to find the energy to have more mom nights out. Maybe I need a day out. More days. If only I could find the time. I'm not complaining. I love my kids -- I love being a mom -- and I have learned to love this kind of lonely I feel. I know it's finite. My kids will be off to school full-time before I know it. I will have more time for me to work or clean or watch the news or read a book or have that glass of Prosecco without fear of the consequences because my 3-year-olds aren't going to stay 3 forever. And I'll miss that. I'll miss the 3-year-old kids I have now just like I miss the 2s and the 1s and the times I counted their age by weeks. Which felt like yesterday. Maybe this lonely I feel is because my kids are no longer fully dependent on me like they were when they were itty bitty infants. They are starting to do everything by themselves and they need me less and less. Less. Less seems lonely. Less is lonely. My mom responsibilities are changing. Evolving. I need to figure out how evolve with it because I have to prepare myself for when the nest is really empty. When the loneliness evolves, too.
Does motherhood ever make you feel lonely?
Image via Jeffrey Turner/Flickr