Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Own Private Island

Blogging is supposed to reflect your given mood. And, no, I'm not always happy and positive (as I usually try to parlay in my posts).

Motherhood had made me... I don't know... lonely?

I describe it as being on an island. I have changed so much in the last 3 1/2 months. My whole world has turned upside down, and I can't even explain it. You'd have to walk in my shoes for a few days to understand. I feel like I'm starting to get a grip on being a mommy. I went from being free to do what I want whenever I want to having this little person dependent on me for EVERYTHING.

At first I was terrified. He was so small. I thought I'd break him. I hadn't been around little ones. I didn't know what to DO with him. Steve had a few weeks off and was able to help me, but I almost had a panic attack when he went back to work. Slowly I got into the mommyhood groove, and learned Brett's patterns and behaviors and did okay.

We braved the great outdoors, slowly taking him on trips to Meijer or Panera... and finally worked up to taking him on vacation. I still haven't taken him to the mall myself yet. I shudder at the thought of getting the stroller together and getting him in it and trying to manuver through all the stores. At least at the big stores you can put his seat in the cart.

But all in all, I'm not the same person that I used to be. And, I know that I disappeared for the first couple of months after I had him into my own world. But now I want to see people and do things. And, it's not always easy. And, when I do get to get together with old friends, do they want to hear me talk about my baby? A lot of my friends don't have kids yet, and they are still enjoying a kid free life. I know what that's all about. Heck, I was THERE last year.

So, I try to appear as normal as possible... not wanting to scare or overwhelm people with stories of my kid. But, my kid is my LIFE. My biggest stories to contribute to conversations anymore aren't great drinking stories - no, they are about how Brett grabbed his toes, or how he laughed at the dogs, or how he smiled at me.

I have my part time job, but I am a FULL TIME mommy. And, when I'm at work, I'm still always thinking about Brett. This, in a way, puts me on an island. I feel like my kid-free friends can't relate to me, and I to them the same way anymore. It can be LONELY.

Being a mom is amazing... I just wish I didn't feel so isolated.


Cathy said...

Having a MOM network is wonderful, and oh so helpful, but you don't have to lose your childless friends. A good friend will want to hear stories of your sweet baby, because they love you and love your joy, and your child is the source of your joy, and they will want to share in that joy. Sometimes though, friends unfamiliar with the situation, just can't get it, and well, then the relationship can change, not necesarily lost, just changed, not as tight perhaps, but then when you are together, it may be like old times.

OK, since you know I toot the horn of MOPS quite loudly, perhaps you ought to see if you can find a MOPS that meets when you aren't working, they have them, I know. Having that support and friendship from folks in the same boat can be so priceless, it has been for me. Where do you take Brett? Maybe there's another mom of one of his friends with whom you can meet for coffee, or go to the mall together. Your "playdate" last week was a great start! Our journey through parenthood hasn't been easy (is anyone's?), and having a support system has helped us get through it. I hope you find a network that makes you less lonely.

Andrea said...

You just need to find some Mommy friends also. You'd be surprised how just having someone who truly understands makes you feel like less of an island. And "mommy" friends (especially if you find some that have a baby around Brett's age) tend to love to talk about things like babies grabbing their toes and cooing. Then, because you have fullfilled your need to talk about all things baby with your Mommy friends, you'll find that you might actually want to talk to your old friends about something else! :)

Heather said...

Oh, yes! Welcome to our world! It's def different wehn you have kids.
Your friends have to respect the fact the your family is your life, and you hav to respect that other things are theirs. MOPS is a GREAT way to meet other moms. I belong to one on our side of town. It's great.
I know you miss your kid-free friends, and it might not be forever, but this may be a time of hiatus. Talk about BRett all you want. They will talk about their lives all they want. If it works, great. If it doesn't, realize it might in a few years when they start to settle down.
I have been very lonely as a mom, but getting into groups, and getting the kids into other activities is a great outlet! While they do their thing, the adults get to talk!

Tina said...

Do you have a Gymboree near your house? They have classes for infants and mommies. I haven't made any "friends" at the one I take Evan too, but while I'm there all the mommies talk while playing with their babies. It's a little pricey though, but it's been a great experience for us!

Farmerspice said...

You can have least you didn't have a child alone and have to do it all by yourself. I had plenty of help from my parents and thank goodness for my mother who to this day spends time each and every day with him to this day nearly 6 years later. The time goes fast you will be fine. Your true friends don't leave you just because you're a mom...they embrace it. Blink twice and you'll be with plenty of other moms and at pee wee football practice for 2 hours a night. I promise - if you want to - those drinking stories can and will's just a little less and a lot different. Being a mom rocks and I'm so glad to be one....even though I do a lot of it alone.

Tina said...

Another little sidenote I forgot to mention earier... Your carseat does fit into the stroller, which makes things very easy if you're feeling adventurous and want to go to the mall or something. Just practice a few times before you go out, and it really isn't bad. I do remember how terrified I was to bring Evan out by myself when he was that young!

amypfan said...

Carrie, I love reading your blog, because it reminds me so clearly what I felt like in the early days of Bryn's life. I, too, was incredibly lonely and didn't know quite where to fit in. I'm going to echo what everyone else has said and encourage you to spend some time with other moms. Shoot, all of us that have left comments here would love to get together! While becoming a mommy does tend to put a new spin on the relationships with childless friends, I have also been incredibly blessed in that mommyhood has helped me to renew friendships with people from my past that I had lost touch with before, people who are now some of my very best friends. It's true, motherhood is kind of an elite club, and I would highly encourage you to get out and bond with some of its other members. :)