shine or set

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I'm Not Alone, But I'm Lonely

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be isolating. You'd think having your kid on top of you all day wouldn't feel lonely, but it does. This is especially true when they aren't talking yet. You basically recite colors and numbers, and talk through everything you're doing from putting on your shoes to going to the bathroom - and no one responds. I would imagine it gets a little easier when they start talking, but then again, conversations about Play-Doh and why the sun is yellow probably doesn't fulfill that need for intellectual stimulation.

Sometimes we leave the house to get McDonalds (hello, strange pregnancy craving) just to go through the drive-thru and talk to the person at the window. More commonly, we go to Target to stroll the aisles while eavesdropping on other's conversations and praying the cashier is chatty. I never used to be the person who liked small talk with strangers, but now I'm internally pleading with Deb at checkout to tell me how her weekend with her cats was.

Setting up play dates or outings break up the day, but they also bring a sense of anxiety. At least for me. What if I forget something? What if he has a meltdown in public? What if he bites another kid? Did I plan around his nap schedule? Sometimes it's easier to just stay home, tucked away safely in his playroom where the only person he can throw things at is me.

Social media helps a little. I enjoy responding to comments and scrolling through other mom's pages, but the connection through a screen isn't very intimate. Plus, we all know (hopefully) that we are looking at others' highlight reels, which can often make us feel more secluded. For me, I'm trying to limit time on my phone so I can focus more on me, my son, and being present. A stranger's 20 minute series of stories shouldn't take precedence over time with my son. Although, sometimes Katy's step-by-step makeup routine of products I'll never afford looks more entertaining than reading the same book over and over...and over.

I know, I know. It seems ungrateful to complain, especially when I know many working moms who would love to be at home with their kids. However, I think it's important to talk about these realities for stay-at-home moms. Many feel this way, but don't share their feelings because they seem trivial - and maybe it is to someone in different shoes. But if you're in my shoes and you feel lonely, you aren't the only one feeling this way.

It doesn't make you a bad mom. It doesn't mean you don't love your kids to the moon and back. It doesn't mean you weren't cut out for this. You are a kick ass mom, your love knows no bounds, and you absolutely can do this. You are just navigating this role of a full-time-mom and that's okay. No one has it all figured out or shows up every day as their best selves. Once I find some realistic solutions to ease this loneliness, I can write another blog post. For now, I hope you take this as reassurance that it's okay to feel lonely.

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