Isolation of A New Mom
Staying home with my daughter for the last 2.5 years has been an interesting social experiment. But when I say social that does not really describe what has been happening in any way.
I suppose it really isn’t shocking how it happened to me, or how isolation of a new mom happens to anyone, but for some reason, I just over estimated the social network I had built and grossly miscalculated how it actually worked.
What does that mean?
Well, I have/had a few different circles of friends. Each of them was formed based on a similar activity that we would engage in together. Although there were outside activities with some of these folks, at the heart there was still that particular activity at the center of it. Once I stopped participating in those activities due to pregnancy or the care of the newborn, I was no longer in any actual contact with any of those people outside of Facebook.
Don’t get me wrong- interacting on Facebook has saved me from going insane on those long nights breastfeeding my daughter, zombie like at 3 am etc. I was sleep deprived and really was not in any kind of mindset to go and do anything. I was barely able to keep myself fed and bathed on some frequency because I was so completely overwhelmed with the care of this child that needed to eat every 20 minutes to the most 3 hours for almost a year.
I am not whining. This is the path I chose, and I do not regret it. But, at 2.5 years later, I wonder what happened to my friends?
I went to a children’s museum last week and saw some awesome moms and their friends with their similarly aged kids playing together. They were having fun, the kids were having fun and I pined for this kind of interaction with anyone at all.
I realize that none of my activities related friends have kids under 10. The activities they partake in are generally not going to be suitable for a toddler.
I am not really great at making new friends. I have always been this way so most of my people that I call friends are probably more like – people I keep seeing at the same place so at some point they talk to me because otherwise it is awkward…
I did have one mama that I did these kinds of things with a few times, but she moved away, and it made me realize how I wish I could go back and have more of those fun times together. I was so completely tired and burnt out that it felt exhausting to just take a shower some days, so we stayed home. She also worked and it placed more limits on the time we could really hang out.
Over the past year, I have been really working hard on my blogs, and also doing the freelance work. I still barely went anywhere. The way my work was, if I had any free time from caring for the toddler, I was building the blogs, editing my freelance work. I need to have money after all!
Suddenly, I have no freelance work to do. I still blog, but it does not need to take my entire day to complete the posts and reviews I have on my plate. My deadlines are my own for the most part. So NOW I am missing the ability to interact socially with anyone else besides the close family. But seemingly, all of a sudden, I have no friends.
Of course, we know this wasn’t sudden at all. I have spent 2.5 years not having (many) friends and not noticing it.
Where did I go wrong? Has anyone else experienced this isolation of a new mom, and what did you do about it?