We are so fortunate to have two incredible guest posts this month for our Real Moms Talk series. If you missed Rachel’s post, make sure you check it out! Today, we are going to hear from Mrs. Z from The Mrs. Z Files on the topic of loneliness which fits right in with the conversation we’ve been having on relationships.
I can totally relate to not being fully prepared for the loneliness that can come along with motherhood, especially in those first few weeks. I hope you enjoy reading Mrs. Z’s story. This is such an important topic, so please share with someone that might need to hear it. Also, don’t forget to join the conversation in the comments!
When you find out you are pregnant there are a million emotions that you need to figure out. Excitement is obviously at the forefront. Fear and doubt are mixed in as well. As your due date approaches, fear and doubt seem to take the lead. It is completely understandable. This is new territory you are approaching and your life will never be the same.
My first pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I did have gestational diabetes but I was able to control it through diet. I exercised. I ate well. I worked. I went out. Life was the same as usual, besides the growing belly and the mountain of baby items growing in the would-be baby’s nursery.
I read plenty of books on bringing the baby home, how to care for the baby, how to breastfeed ( I look back and laugh at that last one now. If you’d like to read my journey of breastfeeding, read this). I felt 100% ready for this new part of my life. I told my boss that I would not be returning after my three months. I was choosing to be a stay at home mom for awhile. I wanted to do this for my baby. Life was great.
I remember the day I started having contractions. I remember all of the emotions hit me at once. Happiness. Excitement. Nervous. Scared. My son was born via C-section 15 hours after I started feeling contractions. His heart rate kept dropping every time I contracted. Finally, my little guy was here.
The time in the hospital was a whirlwind. You know how it is. Nurses, doctors, people delivering your food, visitors are constantly coming in and out. I was attempting breastfeeding. Those four days flew by. Then, before we knew it, we left the hospital as a family of three. Those first few weeks are definitely a blur now. But one thing I was not prepared for was this feeling of loneliness.
Loneliness was the last thing I expected.
I was never truly alone. I had my little baby boy with me. My mom or my mother in law were there to help if I asked. People came to visit. However, I had gone from being on 100% overdrive to jamming on the brakes with my life. When I was working, I put my everything into it. From the time I woke up until the time I went to bed I was constantly thinking of new lessons to do with my students. I was planning reading units. When I wasn’t working, I was used to just picking up and leaving if I had to go somewhere. I didn’t have to plan. I just did. After my oldest was born, I felt like I was stuck in this one place and I couldn’t move my feet.
The beginning of motherhood can be very lonely. Especially when it is your first child. Everything is new. You need to figure this all out on your own (and, hopefully, with a little help from your partner and family). I craved conversations with adults. I missed just walking around Barnes and Noble and not having a care in the world. I actually loved having to bring my oldest to the pediatrician for his newborn visits just so I could talk to somebody. I felt so guilty about feeling lonely that I was totally lost in my thoughts about feeling lonely. I put my everything into taking care of my little guy but a piece of me was still missing.
One thing I remember were the walks my son and I would go on. As long as the weather was warm enough to take a newborn out in, we walked. We would walk for hours. I walked until I knew it was his next feeding time. Sometimes we would never talk to anyone. But it was being outside and seeing a glimpse of my “old” self that slowly made me feel better again.
If I could give new mommas some advice, it would be this: reach out to other mommas! A few weeks after my son was born, two former coworkers reached out to me via email to see how everything was going. We started having playdates here and there. And those little windows of opportunity to have adult conversation meant the world to me. It made me feel like myself. Believe it or not, the email chain we started when my oldest was born still exists. Between the three of us there are now seven kids. And those few moments of adult conversation during those emails means the world to me. Trust me, the loneliness goes away. Know that you are not alone momma! You can do this :).
Meet the Author:
Mrs. Z is a stay at home mommy to two wonderful boys and wife to an amazing husband. Spending time with her family, writing, and enjoying life are some of Mrs. Z’s favorite pastimes. You can check her out here. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
Did you experience loneliness when you became a mother?