After a walk, two glasses of French Syrah and a night of reality TV, I'm feeling a bit better. Yesterday I was feeling a little lonely. Though I phone, email and blog with friends and family every day, it isn't exactly the same as sharing your day with other tangible people. When I mentioned it to Mark he said "We knew that would happen, I'm surprised it took you this long." And he's right - I had anticipated some loneliness when I decided to stay home. I had also anticipated moments of feeling intellectually unchallenged, under-appreciated and judged by others. But when we decided to have a child we also decided that if we could swing it financially that it would be best for me to stay home for at least the first year. And since we didn't have any debt other than our (pretty low) mortgage and Mark was able to sketch out a budget that we could live on, I decided that I was willing to make some sacrifices - budgetary, careerwise, and emotional - so that I could be at home. And amazingly I was cruising along for most of the first six months. Just so in love with Noah that I didn't even glance at the downside of being home. But now that Noah and I are in routine and just cranking along, all of a sudden I'm remembering some of the things I miss about work. Other people being first and foremost. It's not regret, because I'd rather be with Noah than anywhere else, just acknowledgement of the other side of the coin.
So the bottom line is I need company. Mark is fantastic when he's home, but I could really use some mom & baby companionship when he's at work. My friends with babies and expecting babies live far away, and no one who lives nearby is available during the day. I think I need to make some SAHM friends. I'm sure there are some neighborhood mothers groups, but the Northern Liberties moms seem so perfect and untouchable that I fear I'll feel like a total outsider. They're all about cotton diapers, composting, home schooling and organic everything. And while to a degree I agree with all that stuff in theory - I can't get it together enough to execute any of it. It might be tough for me to find someone I can really connect and identify with - a mother who is staying home that seems just as unsure as me - still looking to figure it all out. But maybe I'll meet a mommy mentor or something. The bottom line is I need to get out there.
One thing I hadn't anticipated about motherhood is how I'm physically falling apart. From all the baby toting my neck, shoulders, back and arms hurt. But the worse is my left wrist. I have had a horrible throbbing pain in my left thumb and wrist. I figured it was probably carpal tunnel or arthritis since my mother has arthritis in her thumbs. Mark said it was probably tendinitis from overuse. Luckily the new issue of Parents magazine precisely diagnoses a pain in the wrist near the base of the thumb that intensifies when you twist your hands as De Quervain's disease - a form of tendinitis common to new mothers caused by keeping wrists locked in the same position for too long. The solution - pop pain killers. Brilliant, right? Here's two Ibruprofen to your health - cheers!