When I first became a mother, I signed up for every baby class available. Before my son was even out of newborn diapers he was enrolled in salsa, massage, yoga, music, swimming, and baby ballet class. Why so many? Because I was lonely AF and needed an opportunity to meet other moms so I could enjoy real conversations. I cant tell you how many nonsense silent conversations I've had with my newborn because, you know, motherhood is nothing if not slightly isolating.
For me, one of the loneliest parts of motherhood was how damn polite everyone was. People tend to assume you don't want visitors, or the baby will be sleeping, so they don't drop by and say hello. When you do get together, they only ask you about the baby; like you're not even a person anymore, just some sort of mom blob. It can be a little disheartening, to say the least. In those moments I could completely and totally understand why it's so easy to lose yourself to motherhood. people tend to act like that's all you're capable of relating to, talking about, or caring about anymore. Ugh.
This is one of the many reasons why I looked for various mommy groups to be a part of. I mean, babies are great listeners and all, but I could only handle one-sided conversations with my newborn for so long. Conversations, for example, like the following:
Over-Analyzing What Adults Have Said
Over-analyzing seemingly innocent comments from my husband, usually while he left the house in a hurry, became something of a conversation started with my newborn. My son ended up becoming a pretty great relationship counselor, actually; listening quietly while snuggling and letting me get all my hormonal angst out.
Revising My Labor And Delivery Story
I loved telling my son his birth story and, now that he is a toddler, it's one of his favorite tales. In fact, he asks me to tell it and re-tell it over and over again. I don't blame him, really. It's got everything a good story needs: drama, suspense, and a happy ending.
Brushing Up On Current Affairs
Once normal mommy/baby conversations are all used up, I found myself longing for some intellectual conversations about current affairs of all kinds. I wanted to debate the day's politics and get embroiled in some serious banter.
I would channel Bridget Jones and try to sound ever so smart, while my baby drooled on in reply.
Discussing My Postpartum Body
Your body does some seriously strange things after you give birth, so I would often turn to my constant companion and ask, "Do you think this is OK?"
Whether it was leaky breasts, sore bits, or breastfeeding woes, it helped to ask the questions even if I didn't receive any reply.
Those first few months of motherhood had me awash with self pity and conflicting emotions. To be honest, I felt a little abandoned by my child-free friends. I would take to bitching about my pals to my little one and then, as soon as they called, I would forgive everything as if it never happened. I'm pretty damn thankful I was able to chat to another adult when my friends did come around. They not only gave me some necessary perspective, but they reminded me of the real me.
Discussed My Favorite Shows
In those early day I watched a lot of garbage TV shows, so I would often chat about the plots with my baby.
Once my baby was a bit older I started to get out a bit more, make new mommy friends and reignite my old friendships. Plus, and especially since my son is a toddler and I feel more comfortable than I did when he was a newborn, I make a concerted effort to not become isolated and lonely. Motherhood can be lonely, but it doesn't have to be.