Saturday, August 06, 2011

only the lonely

I started reading blogs when I was trying to get pregnant with Noah. To get a glimpse into the life of a Mom, to find answers to questions about possible infertility since it was taking us so long to conceive. I started this blog when Noah was a few months old – to get advice on mothering, to work through the questions I had, to document his young life and to communicate with the world since I was home alone with him the bulk of the day.

These days I don’t need advice. I have my own thing going and I rarely face a dilemma that I don’t have an idea on how I want to handle it. I’m seasoned in the small children rearing. That isn’t to say that I’m not interested in what others are doing or think that what I am doing is right for anyone else – just that I have a feel for what works best for me, for us. And though I still want to document the lives of the boys I rarely have the time to do that – and when I do it makes for a really boring read. For awhile I wasn’t very lonely – I had a network of neighborhood Moms who I became friendly with – mostly with kids Noah’s age, possibly with a sibling Ray’s age and we hung out as a pack. But as our older kids are now in school we get together less and less.

Lee was a game changer in a lot of respects. None of our friends have three kids. No one in my circle has a kid Lee’s age and oddly that makes a difference. I need to make friends who will be his little friends. In the past I made friends at play group, on the playground – just striking up conversations time and time again with faces that had become familiar. Though I am shy in my own way, I can also be fairly outgoing. But this doesn’t really work anymore. What I’ve learned is that people with one young child don’t want to become friends with a lady with three kids. Maybe it’s too much mayhem for them. Maybe it’s too annoying to have to deal with my “Oh when Noah was that age… And Ray was like this…” and my obvious “You think this is a big deal now but it isn’t.”

So now I’m lonely. I don’t feel like I am connecting with people, with adults. And though the kids bring me great joy every day, what I’m lacking is hurting me, is hurting us. I’m not sure how to resolve it. I know spending some time with my pre-baby friends, the friends I will always have regardless of differences in lifestyles, will help. But since I’m so clingy with my kids when they are under 2 it is hard for me to get away. I have to MAKE myself do it and sometimes that is added stress and not a stress reliever.

A couple of weeks ago I had a pregnancy scare. Though I wouldn’t say I was scared. My heart was excited. I really do want a fourth. I don’t feel done with the whole baby thing and I can’t force my emotional self to believe that it’s over – that Lee is my last. But my head was in a tizzy. I’m still feeling trapped by Lee’s toddlerhood since I can’t let my apron strings out before February so that was part of it. But the biggest part I was panicking about was what would everyone think. I can just imagine everyone shaking their heads over me having a FOURTH. Walking to the park with a tribe. Trying to control them all at the farm stand and the library – and all the “crazy” looks I’d get. And who wants to talk to the Mom of 4 at the park – NO ONE. She’s a roving stressed out circus. I don’t personally know anyone with 4 small children. It’s an anomaly. A freak show. Anyway – I wasn’t pregnant. And I was sad and relieved.

Any way – I’m lonely. And as a result I’m turning more inward, which is so not me. I’ve been described by someone as needing to update my Facebook status every time I “take a dump.” And while this person obviously doesn’t know me well enough because I RARELY discuss bathroom issues, I concede the sentiment. And they don’t even follow me on Twitter. But as of late I can’t summon the urge to update or tweet. I’m just not connecting – in any way.

This may be part of the depression that I’ve been struggling with since my Dad died. I understand that. I’ve been wavering between my depression being situationally appropriate and thinking maybe I could use some counseling. Of course since I can’t even get away to get my tooth filled that’s a moot idea.


lonna said...

Oh, Nicole. I am sorry that you are feeling this way. It sounds like we need to switch neighborhoods. I know of at least 2 families with four kids second grade and under just in our school, and I have a feeling there are more. I am the freak for only having one child. I don't know if Dermot knows of any other singletons besides the kid whose dad died of cancer when he was in kindergarten. I am lonely because the other moms won't/can't talk to me because I can't talk about stay at home issues. I always end up mentioning work and then there's silence.

You do strongly need to do something for yourself, and I don't know what it is. Exercising (and I am a huge hypocrite here) is as good, if not better, than anti-depressants for many people. Maybe going back to the gym might help you. Maybe a monthly girls' night out would help?

We've been trying to make some contacts through to find people with similar interests. I wonder if there's something there for you and your family.

As for your dad and grief, I think that only you can tell if it's a matter of time or if it's gone on too long. I do know that it's a lot harder to deal with because your father was too young and it was a shock. It just might take more time than you want it to take. I think that you need to let yourself lean on Mark more, maybe. You don't talk about that area of your life much (and I appreciate that, I'm not pushing for more information), but he needs to be a part of your next step, even if it's just being a sounding board that doesn't respond back when you just need to be heard.

Take care.

Missuz J said...


Sending you long distance hugs and warm thoughts.

If all else fails, you could move to Utah. 3 kid here is a small family, plus then you and I could hang out.

Anna said...

I am so sorry you are feeling isolated! I'd definitely talk to someone professional - they can help tremendously, especially after the loss of your father. Therapy has helped me a great deal over the years.

Maybe we could meet up sometime, either just us girls or with the boys (the Bee is 5 and starting K at the end of the month). Where does the time go?! I'm not too far away - just in the Lehigh Valley. You're not alone. I'm just sorry you *feel* alone. Hugs to you, Nicole.

NME said...

Thank you Lonna, Becca and Anne for listening to me vent and caring.
I need to go back to the gym, I need to go out with my friends, I need to maybe see a therapist - but all that needs to happen to make it work makes me stressed. Its a hump I have to get over.
I guess socially what I am missing is friends I can hang out with, during the week days with our kids. Once Noah starts first grade in the fall and Ray starts preschool - it will be just me and Lee for 3 six hour days. With Noah I had friends to go places with - museums and parks and whatnot. And now not so much. Lee has no little peers with Moms who will hang with me.
Anyway. Thanks for listening.