Friday, June 20, 2014

It Takes A Village

I have just been in a mood lately. I don't even know what kind.

I've been feeling the pull of wanting to be too many different people. Wife, mom, friend, teacher. I've been having big, hurt feelings from people I used to work with, as if choosing the life of a stay at home mom has cost me their friendship.
Right now I'm finding motherhood to be lonely. I am Ben's playmate. It's just me and him. He's awesome and hilarious, but it can also be terribly boring and isolating on days when the clock ticks slowly.



We just moved into a new area, and I'm having a tough time adjusting to the change. (Change, ahhh scary and uncomfortable!).  The thought of putting away our things is overwhelming, and maybe I'm subconsciously not doing it because then it won't be real. I miss our old neighbors, our view, my comfort zone. The library play date we had, the parks I liked, our grocery shopping routine.

I need to find our groove here but I'm grasping for it and keep missing.

This leads me back around to this idea that it really does 'take a village' to raise children. Traditionally, the community takes an active role in contributing to bringing a child up in the world. One person cannot do it alone. It's no wonder women are lonely. We are programmed to be doing this job with other people. Maybe that's grandmothers, mothers, aunts, friends, cousins. Humans might still live in 'communities' but emotionally we've moved farther and farther away from one another where it really counts.

And maybe I'm more fortunate than most. My mom lives close by and is always willing to take our son for a night, or a day, or whenever we need a break or have an appointment. It's a huge blessing we never take for granted. The smallest of tasks become infinetly more difficult when a toddler needs to be cared for, and while the parents ARE solely responsible for this small person, it takes a village for none of us to lose our minds. We all need a person to help us, to care for us. Our husbands can help, but chances are good they fight a similar struggle as us.

My Dad told me a story a while back about women during the Great Depression who lived in farm houses far apart from one another in the middle of nowhere. They would light candles in their windows so that other mothers might see the glow from far away and know they aren't alone.

I like to think that's kind of what blogging is for me. I'm lighting my candle. I want you to know you aren't alone, and I need to know I'm not either.

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30 comments:

  1. Like you do with all things-- you will adjust gracefully. Acclimating to big change is hard. You have so much going on right now. Time will make the new and scary begin to feel exciting and comfortable. Time, mama. Love you. My candle is lit.

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  2. Oh you are not alone! I am in the same boat just a few hours north! I love living in the county but at the same time I can't justify driving to town all the time just to be around people or the 35 minutes to my mom's house. It is lonely I think I have blogged once this year I rely on Instagram to make me not feel so alone. Haha

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  3. I struggle with isolation too. It is funny that I get hurt feeling from my stay at home mom friends who all seem to have a clique that always hangs out together. They get together a lot during the week, and their kids are all the same age. I can't participate because work keeps me so busy, and I am busy after work taking care of home things. I love being home alone (working from home) most days, but it can be really socially isolating. All that to say I light my candle too!

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  4. I know that lonely feeling all too well. When my husband was working days I felt lonely a lot. Everyone was busy during the day and free to do things when my husband was home. You are not alone in this at all. I love that last line and your comparison to blogging, oh so,so true!! If only we lived close, I'd love to hang out.

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  5. You aren't alone, Andrea! I see your light, all the way over here in Japan. Change is hard and it takes time to find your place. But you will, I'm sure. Just take it day by day.

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  6. The moving change is totally isolating. Far or short moving changes things up and that alone is hard and can be totally isolating. I really feel you on that - even though we moved 3 months ago where we are is temporary. while I need to "settle" I am having a hard time doing it because why create a routine to just change it again. I keep trying and it gets a little better but its totally hard! Hang in there - you'll find your routine!

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  7. We've been here for a few months and I'm still feeling this way. It's gotten easier, but I still find myself, like you, missing our routine, our library, our grocery stores, the beautiful weather. Change is hard. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone.

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  8. Oh girl, I'm so sorry you're going through this. It will get better! It just takes time to get into a new routine. When we moved last year, I was also kinda sad. There's nothing really in walking distance besides this nice little sushi place. I miss our Saturday morning walks to Starbucks. I feel like this new place has made me less active. And I know my situation is TOTALLY different than yours, but I tried to keep a little bit of consistency and go to the same grocery store. Might sound silly but I know it. I know where things are, I see the familiar faces, I like it. Maybe there's something that's still close-ish enough that you could kinda bridge the gap with? Also, I feel you on the alone thing... I mean, my friends don't have kids either. Well one does, but the majority don't and don't understand that I can't still always do things that I used to. I have a kid now. He takes priority. And to be honest, as a working mom, I feel kinda isolated too. Maybe it's just me dreaming, but I feel like SAHM's have mom groups they belong to and have so many more "mom friends" than me.

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  9. It's tough for sure. We've been in our house for 2 years and it's like pulling teeth for friends to come visit us and in reality we are maybe 30mins away on a bad traffic day. I don't remember thinking friendships would be this hard when I grew up. You aren't alone and I'm right there will you putting a candle in the window.

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  10. I have a love/hate relationship with time right now! But you're right! :) Love you.

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  11. Instagram is so great, I agree. We have so many ways of being connected to other people these days.

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  12. There are definitely cliques of women who hang out together, and there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that (for them), but for the rest of us it certainly sucks! A lot of people have been friends so long and are established and I get it's hard to throw a new guy in the mix.

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  13. I'm still hoping you will visit the Seattle area sometime! Thanks Illeana. I'm glad I shared my feelings here!

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  14. Thanks Jenny...I know that finding the routine is so important. I can understand not wanting to settle just to re-move again. Hang in there friend.

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  15. Thanks Andrea. Change is hard! You made a HUGE move, too (and made it look easy!) I'm so encouraged to know that other women feel the same way I do).

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  16. I think trying to bridge the gap is an excellent idea! Thanks Liz! I think a lot of stay at home moms probably have groups and I keep trying, I just suck at it. Must try harder! :)

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  17. Thanks Marie! Living out further is definitely hard, especially during the early years.

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  18. My candle is lit anytime you need it, dear. I'm sending good vibes your way as I know we've all been there and will be there again many, many times more. I remember when Madeline was born. We lived in VA and my family was in GA, eight hours away and Michael's mother was living in Chicago. We were all alone as first time parents with a new baby and I remember feeling the most lonely I'd ever felt in my life. I immediately knew in that instant what "It takes a village" truly meant and it is so true. Hugs to you!

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  19. Nope you're not alone, and I definitely sympathize! I wrote a post about it one time... "Motherhood is easily the loneliest job I've ever done." It's weird that something that should be so fulfilling (and is!) can also be so terribly difficult and hard... My candle is lit. :)

    On another note... please look for a Mom's Club in your area (that is actually the name of it) or something similar. (We have the PLAY Network in my town.) It's a great way to meet other Moms and connect and at least get out. You may not end up being fast friends with any of them - but this kind of thing has been a life saver for me.

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  20. Beautiful, I also love the metaphor. I agree about the loneliness, especially now with two children. I feel like I have to focus so much energy to bringing Ruby up to speed, and it's cost me (in a small way) my closeness with Penny. It's only a season, soon the 3 of us (4 when we include daddy) and we'll all be having fun together..but until then... I'll also light my candle :)

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  21. This is how I feel every time we move. Except we're usually moving a loooong way! You adjust!

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  22. Oh how I wish I lived down the road from you and could give you a great big hug from one mama to another. Motherhood can be isolating at times and especially difficult during times of transition. I have been so busy lately and really haven't spent too much time blogging (or reading my favorite blogs) and am enjoying "catching" up with you today :) Know that you are an inspiration and a "candle" to all of us mamas out there who follow you!

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  23. That's a great idea Dakota! I've thought about joining MOPS or something similar, but my son just has major traumatizing meltdowns whenever I try and leave him in any kind of childcare situation. I'm not sure how to handle it actually, and it has definitely limited the kind of activities we can do. :(

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  24. It's definitely hard when friends are in different life places. Even friends (for me) who have older children I have a hard time connecting with because they are at a different phase than me (soccer , etc).

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  25. That's a great way to look at it Bianca. Someday the season will change and we'll look back at this time in our lives differently.

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  26. Yeah you moved a LONG way! Thankfully you seem to have a lot of military mamas around you at all times!

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  27. Michaela I appreciate that! I have been doing a terrible job of blogging or reading blogs lately, too. BIG HUG back to you friend.

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  28. Oooh, my little sister had terrible separation anxiety... I'm really sorry. That is really tough. The kinds of activities that we do in the PLAY Network (which originally was MOPS and broke away) all involve being there with your kiddo, so hopefully that would help get the two of you out.

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  29. Truly, a lovely post. Motherhood can be tough and certainly lonely at times (whether that's caring for a fussy baby at 2 a.m. or even while working away from home but where there are few mothers). Can't imagine moving in the middle of it all (although I will some day) and haven't to reformat my life. But I couldn't agree more that it takes a village and it's so important for all mamas to light their lanterns!

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