There are things I never expected to feel once I had James. One of those emotions was loneliness. Being a new mom and a SAHM can be very isolating. For one, you have NO IDEA what the hell you’re doing. Add (for me at least) postpartum depression, or PPD, on top of that and you have the perfect storm of negative emotions and thoughts. Even though it’s supposed to be the happiest time of your life. For me these negative feelings didn’t start until after my husband went back to work. Suddenly I was all alone on this motherhood journey.
The old me was gone. I didn’t even know this new “mom me”. No one understood how I felt and I couldn’t really explain all the emotional chaos going on in my head. Honestly I didn’t really know what was going on inside of me. With my husband gone all day at work I was alone with just the baby and my thoughts.
The topic of working mom vs SAHM came up as casually and as frequently as questions like bottle vs breastfeeding. One of the common phrases repeated to me was said “you’ll be so bored with nothing to do”. Well I’m 21 months into the game and let me tell you, there is always something to clean. No one told me how lonely it would be. It would have been nice to hear how sometimes you’ll feel alone or like you’re a million miles from your old life. A heads up would have been a little more appreciated.
The loneliness often shifted without warning. First it was from feeling like a different person missing who I used to be, feeling like I was missing out with my friends. I got caught into this vicious cycle of hating my friends for not inviting me or James to things then closing myself up in the house, further isolating myself.
Eventually I started to feeling more confident in myself as a mom and person. I began reconnecting with old friends, trying to put myself out there more. The next time I started feeling that way was when we started sleep training. I’ve heard the funny stories of amazon prime and late night breastfeeding. For me it was nights laying awake at night wishing it was the weekend–so my husband would be awake with me. I started spending more time in my sons room than my own bed. Which sleep training is a WHOLE other thing that I won’t get into.
I believe being a first time mom factors into how intense the loneliness is felt. I had no idea what to expect or how hard it would hit me. It would have been nice to have known that the hardest part of being a stay at home mom is the HOME part. It’s so easy to fall into a bad habit of shutting yourself in, often using your baby as an excuse. Thinking back at all the things I was not told (or not wise enough to ask about) this one is the most puzzling. If someone were to be honest with me and share their story would I still have chosen the SAHM path?
What help keep me sane is knowing that slowly but surely I will find myself and stop being so lost. Believing that life comes in seasons and not everything is going to go smoothly. What’s the saying? This too shall pass.
Being a mom has brought me so much purpose in life. On the other hand it has also been one of the hardest times of my life.
Without my support system I don’t know how my fights with the loneliness would have went. I have an amazing husband who tries his hardest to understand. I am lucky enough to have a few strong women as friends and family. My online friends help a lot as well. Mom groups catch a lot of heat but if you find your tribe it can be a useful tool in your MOM tool bag. My online mom friends understand me so much. I believe they can be just as important as real life connections. It really does take a village to raise a child, even when you feel like a one man island.