Thursday, August 14, 2014
motherhood : loneliness
I recently read an article published by the huffington post titled "The Bittersweet Loneliness of Motherhood". It was one of those reads in which I didn't totally connect to at the time, yet words from it keep resonating in my mind frequently.
Motherhood is lonely.
Kate Rope describes it like this: "It is great, and wonderful, and fulfilling, but it is also lonely.
I feel alone because by deciding to have a child I took on ultimate responsibility for another human being, and that means I no longer have the luxury (or was it the illusion?) of letting somebody else be in charge -- my parents, my husband, a group of good friends on a girls' weekend away."
Personally, I have experienced those twinges of jealousy as my friends, most of which haven't had children yet, post pictures of Thursday night happy hours or Friday night get togethers. There is a second, or 15, where I think 'man I wish I could go' or 'no one invited me'. But then she beckons my attention and all is forgotten, and ultimately I am reminded that my place is here, with her.
Kate goes on to write: "At the end of every day, when I crawl into bed next to my husband, there is a part of me that stays alert, a little part I save just for my daughters in case they need it -- a tiny, stoic sentry who never sleeps and guards her post alone." And how true her words. I am a single mother, who does not crawl in bed next to a husband every night, and feels every bit, if not more, of that responsibility and loneliness. I often feel like I need to explain to others how hard this job is. I catch myself holding back from attempting to verbalize the rollercoaster of emotions, and stress, and concern, and joy, and relief I feel every single day. And I do so because, quite frankly, no one would understand, and my words would not do any of it justice.
There is the loneliness.
Strangely, I know other (or all other) moms understand what I go through, but I don't hear them talk about it so my mouth says shut too. I even catch myself wondering if I have become a different sort of un-relatable breed, as crazy as that may sound.
And, there is an element of single motherhood in my loneliness as well. I feel guilty even saying that, as I have an amazing family and caring boyfriend that help me more than I can say, but I do believe that there is a separate loneliness to not crawling in bed next to a husband every night. And although I do have a partner, and a great one; she is two. There must be some comfort in knowing that one other adult human being's main concern is supporting you and your child in some way, everyday. In my opinion, there is another layer to it all when you are the one who goes to bed with the days events and worry, alone. That being said, I can't not acknowledge how great my two year old partner is, and how I couldn't, nor wouldn't want to, imagine my life without her.
Kate sums up her article saying:
"Already I have failed in some ways and excelled in others. And doing both has taught me that I can learn, get better, and survive the trials. I now know that what seems like a crisis today may be something I laugh at next week, that being perfect is impossible and that even my parents, who made my world feel so safe growing up, were winging it themselves much of the time.
And I have discovered that feeling alone at times is a small price to pay for the experience of bringing another person into your life and growing up together.
I wouldn't trade it. It feels like a transition my mind and body were meant to make, a threshold we were evolutionarily destined to cross. I wouldn't step back across it to the carefree, cared-for times before. OK, maybe I would for a day or a week. But I wouldn't stay."
And with that she said exactly what motherhood is to me.