Lonely and Isolated

I remember, quite vividly, wondering aloud to my friend (while I was pregnant) if a new mother could write about anything besides the normal new-mother topics (feeding challenges, sleep woes, digestive issues, picture posts, birth stories, implementing routines, etc) in the weeks and months after having a baby. I wasn’t saying this to be a bitch, I honestly wanted to know. It seems that most new mothers end up writing about these topics because in the weeks and months after having a baby they are all-encompassing issues. Looking back at my own blog in the six months after Osita’s birth there are very few posts of any kind of substance. Almost every day was a diatribe about whatever new baby issue we were tackling. I really wanted to avoid that this time around and I thought maybe, since it all wouldn’t be so new, I might manage to write about some other things besides the common new mom topics. And yet, in the past two weeks, I’ve fallen into that exact same rut. And I want to get out of it.

The problem is, I can’t think of what else to write. Right now I’m totally immersed in those new mom topics. Obviously breastfeeding is using up a huge portion of my brain power, as I spend 90% of my day combatting this fucking thrush. It’s all I can do not to write a post about all I’m doing to get rid of this fucking yeast, but I don’t want to because that shit is BORING and a million sites already have all that information on them already, I mean, I got the tips from someone else, why do I have to repeat them myself? And yet I keep writing that post in my head because that is what I’m spending all my time doing right now.

So I’m going to try really hard not to fall into those obvious topics every time I write. And this post is going to be my first attempt.

I’m only two weeks into life with a newborn and a toddler. On the one hand, I can’t believe it’s only been that long. On the other hand, when I think of how few weeks I have at home, two weeks feels like a huge portion of that. I realize I need to not take this time for granted, that I need to cherish it, because before I know it, it will be over.

I keep reminding myself how quickly this first year goes by, how much he will change. Recently, after much deliberation, we renewed our membership to the Discovery Museum. I wasn’t really all that interested in renewing it, mostly because we can’t really afford it, until I realized that by the end of the year’s membership Monito will be crawling around, probably even walking! In six months we won’t just be going for Osita, but for her baby brother as well. That is insane to think! Right now we’re marveling at how much he can hold his head up and in a year he’ll probably be walking! How can that be?! I know I need to cherish this time with my little man because it will be over before I know it.

So it’s with all that in mind that I write what’s coming next. Right now the hardest part about having a newborn is the fact that I can’t get away from him. It’s not actually that I want to get away from him. I love him desperately, and actually start to miss him if other people are around and hold and snuggle so that I can get things done. It’s not him I want to get away from, it’s the responsibilities of being a breastfeeding mom to a newborn who eats every 2-3 hours. THAT is what feels so hard right now.

The truth is, I feel trapped at home, tethered by this incredibly short leash. Mi.Vida has all these interesting events going on this week and when he leaves each morning I feel such overwhelming envy that he gets to go out into the world and DO THINGS while I’m stuck at home with a newborn or a newborn and a sick toddler. Right now I get excited for a quick trip to Target, while Mi.Vida gets to have dinner and drinks with a friend after he attends a music event. Sitting across from a friend and talking about anything that doesn’t involve my boobs or baby poop? That sounds heavenly to me. I feel like I would do ANYTHING to be able to have that right now.

Except I can’t. And it’s not for lack of support from my partner. It’s just too hard. And it’s not like I have anywhere to go anyway. I don’t really have friends close by, at least not close enough to see easily. And the friends I do have are all working, with professional and family commitments that supersede everything else. It’s just too hard for people to get together, especially when I’m tied to my newborn and his needs (which admittedly are still quite easy to manage away from home) while they are tied to their 9-to-5’s.

I realize writing this how lucky I am that this is the hardest part for me right now (well after thrush, but I’m not writing about that right now, I REFUSE to indulge that awful beast!!!) I’m so lucky that I’m not stressing out about breastfeeding issues (Small Fry is gaining weight like a champ) or PPD (so far my emotional breakdowns have been well within the realm of normal 😉 ) or bonding problems or colic or reflux or any of the other really difficult issues that so many new moms face. None of the things I was worried about have come to pass (except for the difficulties with Osita) and I recognize how FORTUNATE I am that things have progressed mostly without issue. If my biggest issues right now is feeling lonely and isolated then I am doing pretty fucking well. Feeling lonely and isolated are privileged mom-of-new-baby problems to have. I know this. I really do. But it’s the thing I’m dealing with right now so I thought I’d put it out there. It’s hard to be isolated at home with no one to talk to. It’s hard to manage to kids without a place to release that stress, to vent to someone who understands, to drink some wine across from a friend who is also drinking some wine. 😉

I think, probably, I feel this way BECAUSE this is my second baby. I’ve done all this before so it doesn’t hold me as captive as it did the first time. I’m not so obsessed with any of it as I was before. I don’t track how often I’m breastfeeding or for how long. I don’t take notes on how many wet/soiled diapers my baby makes. I’m not reading about what routines to start implementing and when to start implementing them. I’m not stressed out about how much he’s sleeping or where he’s getting that sleep. And without all those issues to overtake my brain, I have the time and space to retain some of my identity, except that my life doesn’t have the time or space for me to honor that identity. And that is a little hard for me right now.

I know it will get easier. I know it will get better. I know that one day I’ll have a chance to see a friend and it will be AWESOME and so worth the wait. In the meantime I’ll just have to get my adult interaction on Facebook and in my reader. Maybe I’ll even start commenting regularly again! (I’m so sorry I’ve been so bad about that! I’m reading posts while I breastfeed and I can’t comment then, and then later when I can I usually take a nap instead, but I’m going to try really hard to start commenting again. I promise!).

So there is my attempt at a meaningful post. How did I do?

6 responses

  1. Lonely and isolated is the name of the game, unfortunately, when you’re home with babies. I make a point to go out every single day, even if to just get drive thru, so that I don’t lose my sanity. Matthew is a bit “over programmed” so that I can escape and talk to people – real people. We may reduce his activities which frightens me a bit.

    it is depressing how fast the time goes. And it’s infuriating how much adult time our partners get, even when the babies aren’t tiny babies anymore. B just said the other say how hard his days are, and I couldn’t help but comment that at least he gets to talk to people! He dismissed my comment and moped off, feeling sorry for himself that tomorrow would be a day of meetings, client lunch, and holiday party planning. Cry me a river!

  2. •Oral Diflucan for the thrush is the quickest most effective way to get rid of it permanently:))
    I went through the same thing this was the only thing that worked!

  3. I don’t know why you consider posts about mothering a newborn to be lacking in substance. Tedious, isolating, exhausting, yes, but these are moments that make up our days and one is no less important than the other. I like it when bloggers write about what’s actually happening in their lives at a given time. We may not all be in the same place, but that doesn’t make your experience any less valid or boring to others.

  4. I agree with Sarah- I think you should write about the every day, no matter how mundane you think it might be. I say this and yet, a lot of times I don’t write about things because I think they are going to bore others. I’m sorry you feel so isolated- I do know how you feel being tethered to home, and it is maddening sometimes. I hope MiVida will be home this weekend to help you out and hopefully you can get a few hours to yourself.

  5. I guess I don’t know why you feel like you shouldn’t write about those new mom days… I mean, this is your space to talk about what’s on your mind, and just like the last couple of months were filled with thoughts about pregnancy and birth, now your life is filled with thoughts about your newborn and new family dynamic. That’s real… and at least for me, that’s why I read!

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