The Loneliness of a Mother

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.

Image Via Google Images

Image Via Google Images

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.

13 Comments

  1. January 7, 2015 / 4:29 pm

    Oh dhanya, I can relate to each word you have written. Motherhood indeed feels lonely, I think more so here as we don’t have a lot of people around us. Do you have library rhyme sessions and toddler groups in your area, you might meet a few mothers there. But I also know how I just miss a meaningful adult interaction

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:20 pm

      I do try and go but you know how it is baby and our schedule almost never matches. Try as you might. 🙂

  2. January 7, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    aww I relate to you. I almost think I have depression because I act so crazy sometimes, but I suppose it is part of being a mother. Talking of social life, would you like to come to mine with the baby? or shall I come over for a weekend? I could give you a hand with the baby and even babysit while you and yours go out on a date? How about that?! Friends – just give a shout like this and they will be at your doorsteps! 🙂

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:19 pm

      Sushi, I think we should definitely do something. We’ve been planning of meeting for ages now lets get our acts together and just execute the plan. What say?

  3. January 7, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    Oh, this is so spot on and beautifully articulated. Your journey mirrors my own. I remember thinking…how can I be so busy but so mind-numbingly bored at the same time? How can I be surrounded by people while still painfully lonely? And even though I was lonely and desperately wanted to connect with others, I was too exhausted to make the effort to grow or maintain relationships. Hang in there, dear mama. It does get better and easier, and even more so because you recognize this NOW rather than five years down the road. Thank you for your honesty!

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:18 pm

      Thanks Kristina. I feel so guilty at times to admit that sometimes it does get a tad boring. I also never thought I would be so busy and tired to maintain friendships because you are so wrapped up in baby duties. Thanks for your comment really gave me some perspective.

  4. Leena
    January 7, 2015 / 5:40 pm

    Dhanya, you have expressed beautifully what most of us have gone through. Life will never be the same again. My boy is seven now and from my experience, let me assure you that things will only get better as they grow. Till then, just hang in there.
    There was a point in time when our kids were babies and a friend of mine decided that we won’t do any baby talk whenever we spoke. It worked..give it a try.

    Big hugs xx
    Leena

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:15 pm

      Thanks Leena. I think that’s a great idea to consciously decide and not do just baby talk. I would keep it in mind 🙂

  5. January 7, 2015 / 11:31 pm

    …The sensation of loneliness is something that we all feel at times: Having been an expat for a little bit, I can totally understand how it feels thinking that you’re surrounded by people, but no one really connects/understands you–but don’t worry, this too shall pass!!…

    You should look into some Mommy groups in your area…

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:14 pm

      Hi Betty thanks. The days when I feel I will lose all my marbles I take a deep breath and say this too shall pass. I hope you also get that much needed connection in the new city 🙂

  6. January 8, 2015 / 9:43 am

    I totally get this feeling as well. It’s that enormous weight of wanting to do everything right by your child, esp. as a first time mom and more so in the first year. It does pass…as they grow and entertain you with their chatter, the loneliness does lift. Until then, I agree with others, find a local playgroup and get chatting 🙂

    • January 8, 2015 / 11:12 pm

      Thanks Natasha and Wish you very Happy New Year. Yes, I am sure it will pass till then you just have to do what you have to do. Local playgroups are a good idea if only I can reach there on time 😛

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