I made a face at it.
Then I slowly turned away, looking forward for a few moments, then whipped my head around, willing it to move and let me catch it in the act.
"What, that all you got?" I said aloud to it.
*************Is this what I've come to?
This has got to be a new low.
Maybe it's the changing of the seasons and there aren't as many park play-dates or walk offers. Or maybe it's the fact that my son's been pretty sick, which has kept us cooped up within the four walls of the house, but I'm feeling pretty lonely.
And maybe that's just par for the course as a Stay-At-Home-Mom - or any mom, really.
Of course, I'm never really alone. But there's a big difference in being alone and feeling alone.
My conversations are not really conversations, just one word exchanges, "Dink?" "Food?" "Outside?" "Walk?" I try to use full sentences, but I have to admit, at times toddler-speak can be much more efficient. I even find myself hearing my inner monologue sounding less like me and more like my toddler's high-pitched, sing-songy voice.
Building bridges and zooming trucks through them, while fun the first six times because it makes my toddler laugh, start to drive me batty by the 15th time, and make me want to pull my hair out by the 38th time.
By the end of the day, I think both my toddler and I are bored with each other. Both of us throwing tantrums, mine in my heart, his on the floor.
I've heard moms say that because they're with their children all day, they "are never lonely!" I tell myself they must be lying or clinically insane.
And while I love my son more than anything, I'm amazed at just how lonely I can be at home all day with him and I. It actually started when he was just a newborn, creeping in on me in a way I didn't even notice, until it started affecting my other relationships - mostly, my poor husband.
And what I've learned, even in my very short 19-month-stint thus far as a mother, is that it is a normal feeling and it's okay. It is possible to absolutely LOVE and adore being at home during the day with your children, yet still feel lonely. I used to feel guilty about it, but the truth of the matter is, I love my son with every bone, vein, muscle, organ, FIBER of my body, but he's not capable of being my very best friend.
That's what play dates were born out of. That's what mom's nights out were created for. That's why date nights with your husband are not nice-to-do, they are a need-to-do. Moms need adult relationships. Moms need friendships.
I don't think any of us get these things as often as we need, let alone like. Because the fact of the matter is, in motherhood, kids take the front seat, while friends take the back seat. But we have to soak up our friendships for all they're worth when we do get time to invest in them. As life allows - in between the sniffles and laundry and belly laughs - we can remember that we can in fact speak in full sentences - paragraphs even!
But at the same time, we can't let loneliness steal the joy of this season we're in. Because usually, it just ends up with us feeling sorry for ourselves in some way. Breeding jealousy or anger or regret or guilt. Wishing for something other than what we're currently doing. Feeling emptiness from a lack of social life and choosing to dwell in it, rather than fill it.
But I'm here to remind you that there are plenty of things to fill that emptiness with. For starters, let's try all the tickles and snuggles and kisses and "Momma, you're pretty's" that motherhood is made up of.
This is a season. One I hear we will miss and wish we could give anything to get it back.
So have peace with the pull in your heart. The tug of loneliness pulled tight by the tug of joy on the other end. It is okay to live with both, because we know that joy will always be stronger and will always win the fight.
I think sometimes we moms feel like we must be the only person in the world that feels so lonely - so my hope is, that maybe - just maybe - after reading this, you'll feel a little bit less alone.
Don't let loneliness steal your joy momma. It is good and right for us to have time away, time to refill our tanks and come back to motherhood refreshed and energized. But it will never happen as often as we wish it to be. And so remind yourself, this is a season. A wonderful, weird, amazing, dirty, loving, exasperating, fun, crazy, incredible, marvelous, and yes, lonely, season.
And that is okay. That is normal.
You are not alone.
Like this post? Here are some of the top posts in my "Motherhood" series. I also share a whole lot more on this motherhood gig over on Facebook (Oakland Avenue), and Instagram (@laurawifler) and I'd love it if you followed along!