Friday, May 13, 2005

Seeking fun SAHM for long walks in the park

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!


Kelly said...

I can't say I understand completely, as I'm not a SAHM, but in a city that size, I'm sure you could try out a few playgroups until you find one you and Noah like...or I could be totally off-base, as I have no real clue about playgroups or Philly...but if you want to know about mother's day out or daycare, I'm your gal!

patrice said...

that's the one big thing I remember from staying home for 9 months with trent before I went back to school. and because of the budget, it's not like you can just run out and go to the zoo or like gymboree or something like that, because that costs money. I give you alot of credit for staying at home, because honestly, I don't know if I could do it at all. I think it's one of the hardest things to do for women like you and I and the way we live our lives. (that's my nice way of saying people who are on budgets and can't hop in their lexus and let the housekeeper clean up the breakfast dishes, people unlike the wives of the men I work with.)

sean sometimes feels the same way. even though it's only 3 days a week and it's his "weekend", I think he feels like since it's during the week, there aren't many opportunities for socializing since everyone else is at work. I wonder if it would be weird if he took the train down to see you sometime...

M.Thom said...

I really admire you for staying home. And as a single woman who doesn't have kids, I would NEVER say that a SAHM is lazy or isn't leading a worhtwhile life. I have done a lot of baby-sitting in my time, and kids are WORK! If anything, I am a little jealous that you can do it and also really impressed with the fact that you guys decided to stick to a strict budget so that you could be home with Noah.

Trikc said...

Would it kill you to post one lousy picture a day?

NME said...

Kelly is right - it's a big city and I'm sure I can find somebody to hang out with if I look.
Sean is ALWAYS welcome to visit - and if he ever feels lonely we would jump on the chance to visit him during the day. And maybe stay later if you come home from work and cook us dinner.
MMT - your comment was very sweet and I appreciate it. And I'll put on my pictures for Tracey since I know she doesn't like to read my drivel.
Thanks guys!