Often times I feel like people don’t really understand when I say that motherhood can make you feel lonely and isolated. I’m sure other moms can relate to what I am going to share now. Even as a father it is hard to really understand how a mother feels sometimes. He may be able to show love, compassion and empathy for it and of course he also went through the sleepless nights, but he isn’t home all day, he isn’t nursing, he isn’t taking care of the household and he isn’t responsible 24/7 – being a stay-at-home mom is a demanding full-time job. And I don’t want to say that fathers don’t have responsibilities, quite the contrary, they do have other responsibilities, to provide for the family (if the mother is staying at home with the kids)! Mark helps, he helps a lot, however often times I feel like my day “as a mother” never ends. It’s not always easy to find a good balance of rocking the household, doing groceries, spending some active time with your child, socializing with other moms and kids AND taking care of yourself and your marriage.
A very good mom-friend from PA (Thanks, Kat!) sent something that I would love to share with you because I feel like it’s really true:
The most difficult part of birth is the first year afterwards. It is the year of travail – when the soul of a woman must birth the mother inside her.
The emotional labour pains of becoming a mother are far greater than the physical pangs of birth; these are growing surges of your heart as it pushes out selfishness and fear and makes room for sacrifice and love.
It is a private and silent birth of the soul, but it is no less holy than event of childbirth, perhaps it is even more sacred
I miss Raphael the minute I leave the house and I am so happy to spend as much time as I possibly could with him. Seeing him grow and develop is such a special gift and it’s getting better and better with every day!
So – How is it possible that motherhood makes you feel lonely and isolated even though you are not alone? And even though it is the most beautiful stage of life.
Why it is so damn hard sometimes?
- Nothing about the day is “mine” anymore. My whole day is planned around Raphael’s schedule. Most of the time around his sleep schedule. Since he is napping a lot better at home I’d always let him nap in his crib — Sleeping has been A LOT better after we did some sleep training with him (CLICK HERE to read my post about how we sleep trained Raphael) When he was napping twice a day, I used to let him sleep 1 x at home and for the second nap I was running errands and he was sleeping in the car seat — 1 hour before his nap time I usually avoid driving around because he would eventually fall asleep in the carseat and transitioning him to his bed is not an option anymore! IF I have to drive I would try to keep him awake by singing and talking to him. Even though we do have a good routine right now it is changing constantly. Just when you think you have figured it out SOMETHING will change – teething, developmental leap, sleep regression, learning new skills and so on and so forth…
Because of the crazy schedules of the babies it is also so hard to meet up with other moms! They all have their own schedules and also their own struggles with napping and it’s really hard to find THE perfect time to get together, especially when they are not the same age (thus: some are napping twice, some are napping once and depends on when they are waking up their sleep time is also different!) And I have to admit that I sometimes miss the closeness of childhood friendships! It’s not that easy anymore to make real friends and connect – and bond. We all need friendships. Now even more than ever. We need to be with people who build us up so that we can build up our family.
- But it actually starts even before he wakes up. In order to have more time for myself I usually try to wake up 1 hour before he does. Now that he is on a really good sleep schedule (most of the time) I started to actively take that time for me. When he used to wake up every 2 hours I’d rather sleep until the last possible second until he wakes up screaming and then spend the rest of the morning rushing and catching up.
- Never have I eaten so fast and unhealthy in my entire life than in this first year of being a mother. I don’t just eat when I am hungry. The most relaxing time for me to eat is when he is asleep! When he is up — I need to feed him first and find a way to keep him entertained and then try to find something for myself and shove in the food while standing at the kitchen counter, sometimes even hiding behind it – so that he doesn’t see me and doesn’t want me to pick him up.
- Getting things done was never so challenging. I have to admit that I have seriously underestimated the “job” of being a mother which is a full-time-job! I have to create a plan for getting any type of work done. There are so many things I want to do but sometimes I just wanna take a good nap or hang out and watch Netflix instead of cleaning, cooking or doing other obligations. You have to really think about “when to do what” to make the most out of Raphael’s nap time. Cleaning and organizing your home VS relax and watch Netflix – Cooking something healthy and eating unhurriedly but then not having time for anything else VS doing some self-care such as practicing yoga or a meditation VS working on new blogposts and the list goes on and on and on.
And when you are a breastfeeding-mom you will share your body for a little while and sometimes you have to change your diet for the well being of your child (because of allergies for example) Being able to provide your child with breastmilk is beautiful but can also be exhausting!
That may sound selfish and it is hard to understand, especially if you are not a mom. But it was so liberating to have my body back all to myself (not being pregnant, not nursing) even though I was a little sad that it happened so unexpectedly fast! Yes, we are moms and yes, we love to take care of our kids. BUT we are also human beings with our own needs, our own interests, our own life. So I think that it is totally normal to feel frustrated sometimes.
So actually the answer to “why motherhood feels lonely sometimes” is pretty simple: We love our kids more than anything else in the world, we want them to be healthy and to grow & development, we want them to socialize with other kids and have enough playtime, we want them to have their good naps and to feel well rested, we just want the best for our kids, so basically, we just want to be the best mom for them! No doubt, I love being a stay-at-home mom and to cherish the time with Raphael. But it’s hard to realize that my entire day – from the moment I get up until I go to sleep – is revolve around my baby and having your day planned around someone else all the time can also be frustrating sometimes.
But when I look at these pictures, sharing those happy moments with my family – I feel empowered and happy! AND I can’t imagine our lives without our little baby boy anymore. So no matter how hard or exhausting times can be. When Raphael smiles at me, and hugs me, I am the happiest mom on earth!