I'm participating in Five Minute Friday again this week. Today's prompt: Lonely.
Mothering, it can be lonely work.
In the first year especially--that's all that I know from personal experience--so much of it is solitary. The nursing, the diaper changing, the rocking to sleep, the middle-of-the-night crying or feeding or seemingly endless soothing, the three-hour "please-go-to-sleep-tonight" marathons. The unseen hours of preparation for what used to be a mindless outing--grocery shopping, for example. The tummy time and the board books and the days at home stretching on endless because a little one needs her naps, but won't sleep unless she's in her own crib.
It's lonely. It's easy to fall into the trap of "it's easier to just stay at home, so I will." It's easy to think that you are the only one who feels like she's walking through waist-deep molasses as you mother a helpless little person.
I feel like I'm finally emerging from this phase, which was compounded by the fact that I'm quite the homebody and prefer quiet days at home anyway. But little girl no longer relies on her naps quite so much, and getting out isn't as draining a production as it was the first few months. I feel like I am tentatively venturing out into the realm of regular society again, only to realize that in a few short months I'll be starting the cycle all over again.
Only this time, I have the benefit of experience. Of knowing it doesn't have to be solitary. I think this time around, I'll choose a few more of those draining, exhausting, "why on earth did I ever leave home in the first place?!!" excursions. Because mamas don't need to be lonely.