Well, folks, it’s been thirteen months, 1 week and 6 days of living up to (and trying not to collapse from) the weight of Mommyhood.
And what have I taken away from this experience?
Being a Mom is lonely.
Sure, OK, fine. It’s also equal parts fun, frustrating, rewarding (he actually learned something we taught him!), exhausting (haven’t set my alarm in over a year unless it’s in the middle of the afternoon and we’re sharing nap time), heartbreaking (see previous post from the last time I had a moment to write), warm, fuzzy, magical and full of lovelovelove. It’s all you need.
Obviously I’m never physically alone, but emotionally I’m flailing in the wind. Every minute of every. single. day my brain is like Grand Central at rush hour. (Melancholy sigh, I miss Grand Central.) My head is constantly aswarm with questions: Is he happy? Is he hungry? Is he hurt? Is he mad at me? Is he sleepy? Is he constipated? Should I feed him? Should I wake him? Should I change him? Should I carry him in the grocery store? Should I leave him in the carseat? Should I take the stroller? Does he need a hat? Are his socks too small? Why are his cheeks red? Why is he frowning? When will he walk? When will he talk? What will he say first? Who what why when where HOW does one prepare for this?
And all the while I’m doubting, thinking and rethinking every single answer I manage to come up with. (And I won’t even get into how judgmental everyone is of those answers.)
So who is there to share in all my jackhammering thoughts? Who is riding shotgun in my head? Who will help me formulate the best answer? No one. And honestly, let’s face it, no one would really *want* to co-pilot this. And, as his Mommy, I can guarantee no one else is thinking or caring about him quite as much, in quite the same way, as me. But no one really needs to, right? Because I am. And even if someone tried they wouldn’t do it right. They’re not me.
All Mommys have this nagging neurosis, right? All Mommys become certifiably nutso at childbirth. So maybe I’m not so alone… or maybe we’re just all together in our loneliness. Which is actually kind of like living in NYC, feeling a little lonely surrounded by 8 million people.
I think what happens is you actually learn to latch on to your baby (fitting, since they spend so much time latching onto you). You kinda team up with them to combat the loneliness, you become “in it” together. We shop together, go out to lunch, travel, bike around town, tailgate, visit the farmer’s market, have little conversations. It’s fun and best-friendy; I should buy us necklaces. And it’s all beautifully symbiotic until they start to sing a song of independence, which happens shockingly early. Especially with my kid. Surprise, surprise.
For now, though, it’s a pretty great ride. My seatbelt is securely fastened, the barf bag is nearby and the while the destination may be unknown, I’m pretty happy to be flying between two boys. It’s hard to feel lonely when you’re snuggled in the middle seat.