“I love my kids more than molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. But it’s amazing how lonely motherhood can be”
Read more: http://www.mommyish.com/2011/06/07/mom-is-the-loneliest-number/#ixzz3YKCvCI9F
That was the first sentence I read after typing “Feelings of isolation as a mother” into Google. I maybe could not have put it better myself. One night, 8 months into pregnancy, I begged Shane to find me a molten chocolate cake on his way home from work. You know, the lava cake type of chocolatey goodness, as if that was something he could just swing by Kroger to get. I knew that cake would fix everything. It would ease the ache of tired legs. It would make the finish line feel within reach. It would make the fears of the future melt away. Now… I have an abundance of “molten chocolate cake” in the form of toothless grins, chunky baby thighs, kisses and cuddles, and the deepest most rewarding sense of purpose and fulfillment….and I’ve never felt more alone.
Shane has been on a new fitness kick. He’s been feverishly working out, obsessively watching fitness YouTube videos, and watching his diet. At first I was happy for him. Fitness is so important to him, but I’m jealous. While he’s perfecting his body, I’m surrendering mine…to creating a human, to birth, to breastfeeding. Then, once my sweet baby no longer needs my body, I’ll do it all again. I wanted to see him succeed, but the more he talked about it, the more his enthusiasm infected me. We bought a jogging stroller and I started jogging again. I’ve always been a fairly consistent runner. It felt amazing to hit the pavement again…until I longed for the freedom to actually swing BOTH of my arms. It sounds simple and dumb, but I think running was always just about getting lost for me. Shutting my brain down and just going, but when you’re pushing your baby in a stroller it doesn’t work that way. Motherhood doesn’t work that way… When the little one is in tow, there’s no such thing as absent minded downtime. Praise the Lord that babies take naps, except for in the midst of the 4 month sleep regression when they don’t. In fact… They don’t sleep at all…You don’t sleep at all. You don’t exercise. You don’t veg out. You don’t sit down. You don’t know how to talk to anyone about it…You lose your mind.
I’ve turned to Google as if she were my best friend. We share horror stories about just how freaking hard it is to be a new mom. Except she’s Google. My dark circled eyes cry for support, and she calculates which articles are most relevant to my cries for help. For some reason real women are afraid to admit just how hard it was and IS for them. When we admit our struggles, we are met with our worst fears…reactions that we are somehow not as good at being a mother as we had hoped.
In a moment of weakness and exhaustion, I admitted to Shane how hard of a time I was having. I explained how I felt like I was loosing all of my time to be me, to pursue my passions, and strive for the things I wanted out of life. (Mostly I’m just completely sleep deprived, and that’s not good for morale.) His response was…”This is why I don’t want anymore kids. You can’t even handle the one we have.” It took him only minutes to apologize, but I promise you that’s a sentence I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.
I love my baby and being a mom more than molten chocolate cake, more than pedicures, more than winning free weekly pedicures for the rest of my life, more than relaxing days at the beach, more than relaxing massages ON the beach, more than winning a $10,000 shopping spree. Nothing has ever brought my life more joy. Nothing has ever brought my life more meaning. Nothing has ever challenged me more.
I used to look at mothers and wonder why they weren’t striving and searching for more for their lives…until I became a mother. Dear mothers I previously and unfairly judged… I’m so sorry. Now, I get it. There’s nothing else in the world that could bring you more fulfillment. There’s nothing else in the world that could be a more wild ride. There’s nothing else in the world that could challenge you more. There’s nothing else in the world that could force you into exploring what you are truly made of more than being a mother.
I think it’s high time we admit our struggles, we support one another’s struggles, and we show each other we aren’t alone. Because really… Is there anyone else that understands more than another mother? And honestly Google is a shitty best friend…