Do you remember those days?
Friday night would finally arrive and the options were limitless. You were young, beautiful, and time was on your side — if a little long. Your difficult choice for the evening was to choose what you were going to do for the night.
- Who would you hang out with?
- Where would you go?
- What to wear?
But now the tables have turned. Life has sped up and, maybe you’re a bit like me, struggling to get out and see the friends and family.
Being a mother does that to you, but I want to ask you one thing.
Lonely But Never Alone
Ukrainians always find something to celebrate and this was one of those times. I don’t remember what the occasion was but it very well could have had something to do with my tiny baby boy. Maybe it was New Years; I was living in a sleepy-mom fog.
But I do remember the feelings.
How I loved to see the smiles on family and friends' faces as they held my little boy. The absolute pride I felt when I showed them the greatest thing in the world, my son. He smiled back at them, showing off his one-sided dimple. You know the feeling, a mother’s pride.
But that all stopped with a cry that meant feeding time.
Many mothers in the world have no problems with feeding their babies in front of people. I don’t blame them, nothing is visible. With my daughter, I was easily able to start feeding her without anyone even noticing. Second-time mother skills.
Skills I hadn’t learned yet. I was shy. I quietly snuck off into our bedroom and breastfed my son. It’s amazing to feed your child, breast or not. The alone time peaceful and bonding.
Yet, this moment was different.
I could hear the party-goers in the next room talking, laughing, drinking and eating. Beautiful. No doubt I wasn’t alone — not many have ever been as close to me as my son was in that moment — but, it was the first time I felt the sting of motherhood loneliness. I was lonely but not alone.
And it was only the start.
Ask and The Door Shall Be Opened — Eventually
I am pretty lucky. Sure, not with certain things. I never became a famous actress tearing up the big screen, never won the lottery (yet!), and did not gain a graceful gene.
But I have amazing friends.
Friends who are also Moms. I don’t live near them, though. Yet, they are always hoping to get out here and see me, my family. One, which honestly doesn’t live far away, has been trying to hang out with me for ages, but being a mother can interfere with our social lives.
Not that it’s the kids’ fault; they are just awesome little people living their lives. But, for example, today I planned to eat breakfast with my daughter and mother-in-law. Simple plan. Not too big of a deal and certainly a needed getaway time for us.
But, my sweet little boy woke me up by telling me he thought he needed to puke. Instead of having pancakes and bacon, I was worried about my pre-schooler getting the sickness my son had. Poor kids. Poor plans.
This doesn’t only happen to plans but when friends ask to do things with them as well. I find myself saying no to my friend's fun activities nearly as much as I tell my kiddos no. This is not something they tell you about motherhood.
And, sometimes, when it’s all said and done you yourself simply don’t have the energy to go out, even for a cup of coffee (hey, that involves clothes and maybe a dash of makeup.) Moms with Mom friends may not see each other for long periods of time.
But, I do want to ask you something, my dear friends and family.
Though you know my answer will probably be no, don’t stop what you’re currently doing. Don’t stop asking me to join you.
Because I am hoping nearly as much as you, that one day I finally say yes. We may have teenagers by that time but I will happily sit and chat, probably about our kids, drink that coffee (finally hot) and miss the good ol’ days when the kids were young.
But keep asking each other to have a drink, see a movie, join a book club meeting, or else we may never have these moments in the future.
Sure not all Moms have these issues with time, or maybe loneliness but you can help out the other Mom friends you have around by simply asking them if they’d care to hang out sometime. Even if it doesn’t happen for months, I bet she’d appreciate it.
And my dear friends, thank you for asking me. I hope to do the same for you.
Let’s hold onto our children, through plans that work or plans that change. But let’s also keep being there for other Moms. Let’s keep making plans with each other and not give up.