This New Year’s Eve, I had my first party ever since my daughter’s arrival. I have always been a very confident and bold person. Working as a journalist before baby meant meeting and interacting with people from all walks of life—the biggest attraction of that job. Needless to say, I was a very sociable person; the one with “chutzpah” as my friends and hubby often says. But at that moment, as I scanned the room quietly, approaching my friends rather cautiously hoping that they will not notice the dribble on my dress, I felt an emotion completely foreign to me—I felt lost. I still cannot fathom why I felt the way I felt. But at that moment something hit me rather hard.
The reality is that motherhood, especially if you are a first time mom, can be a very lonely journey. I must say that I have my hubby’s unflinching support. I was also lucky to have my parents and in-laws over during the initial months but despite that I have and feel so lonely. It is a loneliness that I never contemplated about before the little one. I was so naïve to think that babies are so easy. I did not really know that I would be responsible for every single thing for my daughter. The enormousness of this responsibility sometimes leaves me utterly clueless and slightly terrified.
As my friends sat there, regaling stories about developments in their career and life, I saw myself nodding with a meaningless grin plastered on my face. What do I tell them, when they talk of career and their busy work that there are days when I have not done anything except nursing and cleaning my darling little one? I wanted to say something witty and important just to make sure they do no disregard me as brain dead or worse assume that I am invisible because I am a mom.
Invisible—that’s what I feel I am most days. I make a point to go out every day not just because the little lady loves it but because I can at least hope to bump into someone and have a conversation. I smile and nod at almost everyone hoping just for an adult conversation; a conversation without the mention of poop, diapers and dribble.
There are days when I argue with the hubby for no reason. His crime—he goes out to work. As ungrateful and petulant it sounds, I feel jealous that he gets to go out. I know he is not partying but earning the all important bread, butter and our tasty omelet but at times this loneliness manifests and turns you into a completely thankless person.
I also wonder what happens to friendships when you become a Mom? It is surprising how your social life takes a back seat as some friends are too willing to drop you because they do not want the unwelcoming drama of someone’s baby. Even those with babies do not have time to meet because perhaps they are going through their cycle of emotions.
It is strange and paradoxical that motherhood makes you stronger and vulnerable. Yes, I do cherish from the bottom of my heart to see my baby thriving but I would not deny that this loss of identity perplexes me. I am also thankful that in this wonderfully challenging journey, I at least have my hubby’s support who not only gives me time out but actually encourages it. I guess, at the end of the day what matters is just that.
I don’t know how my days will pan out from now on but I sure do not need anyone’s pity or sympathy just an adult conversation and perhaps a glass of Chardonnay.