Being a new mom is a lonely sport. I have described it as feeling imprisoned, especially when your baby is exclusively breastfed. I know for sure, that bottle feeding has it’s challenges as well, but, as a mom (who is incredibly thankful that breastfeeding both of my children was easy), let me assure you—it was/is not actually easy. Here’s why: For nearly 35 years I did what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted, for however long I wanted. At almost 35 years old, I delivered the first of my two most precious treasures into this world. Literally, from that moment on, my life came to an abrupt halt, and the entire life I knew, the life I had built for myself, disappeared. My labor and delivery nursing job, the job that consumed anywhere from 40-60 hours per week of my life for 11 years straight disappeared, the friends that I so much enjoyed had to take a back burner, my husband became a second class citizen at home, and my family back in the US, little did I know at the time, would be cut off from me within months because of the pandemic. My gym membership became a poor financial decision, my love of baking fizzled to, well, nothing. My blow dryer and hair straightener got thrown to the back of the cabinet under the sink, and my makeup, well, that’s probably well expired and in need of a complete overhaul. I don’t even remember how to apply it.
My life became a 24 hour breastfeeding carousel. A carousel that lasted a year—one heck of a carnival ride. Right now, I’m six months into my second carousel ride with my sweet little Elise. I’m feeling not as imprisoned as I did with my son Isaac, probably because I knew what to expect, but the loneliness persists. Going out in the evenings is near impossible with a baby who could wake at any time needing to be fed, not to mention, the will power it would take to leave my house after 8pm after parenting a two year old and six month old all day. The three-nap-a-day schedule leaves me just moments to be able to complete day-to-day tasks. I praise my husband for being the cool, collected man he is, and so calmly dismissing my inner freak when she shows her ugly face. Do I apologize? Not really. My life has undergone such a radical transformation, I feel like I am entitled to my dramatic feelings. Gone is my job, social life, family, body, sleep, and hobbies. If I want to freak, let me freak—and he does. So thanks, Hun.
I know I will have a life again. I am in the midst of a handful of sleepless, selfless, all-consuming years, that somehow I am so honored and humbled to be part of. I am raising, nurturing, and forming an unimaginable relationship with two priceless people that God himself custom built, specifically for my husband and I. My goal each day is to enjoy all the moments with my two babies. I have had days that I wished would just end, but, at 37 years old, I realize how short life really is and how foolish it is to hurry along a gift we’ve been given that is already so short. One day I’ll look back at my “new mom loneliness” and wish I was lonely all over again.