Friday, November 9, 2012

A New Mom's Isolation

Penelope is now 6 months old.  This is unreal to me that half a year just flew by the way that it did.  I keep thinking that I should be feeling more secure as a Mom now, but I have been having overwhelming feelings of isolation lately.  I know that in many ways, this is due to my nature of being a homebody.  It's getting to the point that friends have reached out to me to say that they are worried about me.  I feel like I am really struggling with this and I think there are a few big things that have set me up to feel isolated.

  • My family is far away.  In the early days, my Mom was with us for the first week or so of Penny's life.  This was so helpful for me.  It was nice to have someone to chat with all day.  Then, when Penny was 8 weeks old, my Mom and Step-Dad and all my siblings came to visit for a week, with my youngest sister staying with us for nearly a month.  Since then, one of my sister came to visit a week or so ago and it was so nice to have her company.  I think that for me, family are the people that I feel like I could just go and sit in their house with them and truly not feel like a burden to them.

  • Nick has had a very demanding work schedule since just about the day Penny was born.  He has been working long days with very few days off for months.  When he gets home, he just wants to eat dinner and go to sleep.  I want to talk to him and get some adult interaction.  On our days off together, it feels so nice to have someone to talk to.

  • I am exclusively breastfeeding.  Penny doesn't like to take a bottle.  This means that I can't easily just leave her with someone and say "give her a bottle when she fusses".  This doesn't mean that I can't take her out with me, since it's actually very easy to not have to pack a bag full of bottles and things before we go.  

  • I am not working, so our financial situation is different than it has been.  I have struggled to find things to do that are free or cost very little, although I know they are around.  We have been attending a story-time at the library and just started going to a breastfeeding support group (that I wish I would have gone to months ago!).  Sometimes, I will still just go to the stores to look around!

For me, the hardest part about feeling this way is knowing that it is OK to allow myself to feel like this.  I am going through one of the biggest transitions of my life.  I am responsible for another life.  And, just because I am feeling isolated and not as happy as I should, doesn't mean that I don't love my daughter or that I am not a good Mom.  Penny needs for me to be feeling my best to be the best Mom that I can.  I have been trying to make sure that I do somethings that make me happy lately.  I have started to make other Mom friends, many of who feel the same way as me.I have a great group of online friends that have been a sounding board for one another since we were pregnant.  The biggest thing I have to do now is figure out how to get out of this isolation funk.  Nick has encouraged me to find things that I like to do and do them!  I would like to blog more.  I am going to start to play pick up volleyball again.  I am going to work on picking up the phone and trying to make walking or coffee dates with Mom friends.  I know that I will get through this.I have the sweetest little girl I ever could have asked for, and it is really a joy to be her Mom.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marj! I just saw this link on your instagram page and it instantly made me jealous. I've been dying to start a blog about my adventures as a new mom and raising a toddler and what not, but I haven't had a chance to get around to it yet... Not surprisingly though. But I wanted to tell you that this post literally made me tear up. Not because I feel bad or anything, but because I know exactly how you feel. Raising Jack so far has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and it can be so lonely, even though it's the most rewarding job in the world. I just want you to know you're not alone! I know our babies aren't close in age, but I'd love to get together for a stroll if you ever would like to!!