Loneliness is something I have struggled with a lot since my first son was born, and not something I have spoken about a lot on my blog. I never really see anyone talking about it, and I know it affects so many of us.
Once my partners paternity leave was over, I just remember the dread I felt. The days were so quiet. People say “just enjoy the time with your baby” but when they’re so small and don’t do anything, you may aswell be alone.
So you spend all day clock watching.
Following their routine, and tidying the house, and keeping yourself occupied. It drags between bottles, and bum changes, and it feels like three hours have passed when it has only been 30 minutes. I would wait for my partner to ring me on his break or dinner just to hear a different voice to my own, or the television. I’d get excited for him to come home and would take it personal if he was too tired and didn’t want to talk much or wanted to do his own thing, because I longed for the company that he’d had all day at work.
and then my baby had suddenly grown into a toddler who talked endlessly, who would shout and cry and would make me shout and cry too. I’d deal with tantrum after tantrum and would wish I had support or some kind of help to get through most days. How is it fair that we are expected to stay at home, alone, putting up with this day in and day out. Why is it just automatically our job? But then we feel too guilty to leave it to the other person, and so we carry on.
and the sad part is that I know so many of us feel this way and it’s just, well, ‘normal’.
I had children young and most of my friends didn’t. The few friends I have I may see once every now and again but most are off doing their own thing with other friends, or with their own families. Although I do have a close relationship with my family, they all work and are unable to help in that kind of way, and of course i’d never expect them to either as they have their own lives.
But it does get hard. I am struggling more and more now that I have two children, and now that it is harder to do things to please everyone. Most places that suit George are too young for Oscar and vice versa.
And sometimes we just want a bit of recognition that we are doing a good job. We don’t need a certificate, but maybe if you’re stranger, try passing up on the sniggering comments like “you’ve got your hands full there“. Maybe, if you’re childless (although I am not sure why you’d be reading this), you will look at your friends with children and you will think “I should go round and see this person, because they might need a friend today“.
And I really do long for that. I wish I had made more friends with people at parenting groups, or that I could download MUSH without the fear of being murdered by a psychopath who is pretending to be as lonely as me.
and of course, it is really important to keep yourself busy and to try and fill your days with seeing and talking to people who make you happy and who won’t treat you like you’re bothering them in any way, otherwise you end up in a downward spiral that feels hard to break free from. That is the current situation I am in, and it just isn’t a nice place to be.
Parenthood is a privilege of course, and I know a lot of people will think I am silly for complaining about something like this, but I swear it isn’t just me who feels this way and this is a thing. Although parenting does have its ups, it also has it’s downs, and if I can achieve anything with my blog, it’s to absolutely assure any of you out there who may be feeling like this, that you, ironically, aren’t alone in how you feel.
My inbox is always open to anyone who wants to talk: