Mama, think back to your early days of motherhood. If they were anything like mine, they were hectic, overwhelming, and filled with lots of well-meaning visitors. Everyone wanted to help. Everyone wanted to hold the baby. You had a long list of loved ones just waiting to babysit. Every time you made plans with your girlfriends, they’d ask excitedly “is the baby coming?!”
But some time after you give birth to that brand-new, oh-so-exciting baby, the novelty wears off.
You see, nobody warns you about how lonely this stage of parenthood is. This stage when you feel left out, almost forgotten. This stage when the excitement fades.
There comes a point when you stop getting invited to places. And when you are, the invitation starts with “can you get a sitter?” There comes a point where your once eager-to-babysit friends and family suddenly seem annoyed by your child. They don’t mean anything by it, but instead of helping, they now sit back while you struggle to wrangle everything, sometimes not even taking their eyes off of their phones.
The majority of your days are now spent at home. When you do leave, you find yourself narrating your way through Target, referring to yourself in the third person… “Mama forgot to grab laundry soap – where is the laundry soap, baby?” Crickets.
In the beginning of this stage, you’ll make attempts to solicit companions with you on these trips. “Hey, wanna go to the mall with us today?” “Wanna go for a walk to the park?” “Wanna check out that new farmer’s market?” Bueller, Bueller…
Now I’m not saying motherhood should be treated as a charity case. I’m just a little confused by this phenomenon. Where does the shift happen? When does the novelty of a baby wear off?
When does motherhood get so lonely?