The loneliness of Motherhood

On my cycle tonight, I started thinking about a feeling that has been present since the birth of my little girl, something that was never spoken about.

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My favourite pregnancy picture after picking blackberries on Woolwich common, on my due date (she was 5 days late) At this point I knew nothing!

People warn you of the sleepless nights, they tell you time goes so fast, they try to fit into words the unending love you will suddenly feel although it’s impossible to articulate, but what is never mentioned  is the sheer isolation and loneliness that comes with being a mum.

Today I thought could it be that the hours in the days feel lengthier as you are awake more when previously you would have been sleeping?

Is it that you suddenly know the feeling of 4am, not the ‘staggering home from a night out’ feeling but being woken again and again to an unsettled baby? In these early hours you get to know the silence and the sound of everyone else sleeping. You see the light of the day unfold and know that you have at most 2 hours sleep left and then the daily tasks start again.

Maybe because you are predominantly communicating with a tiny human who is incapable of answering back and if they do in cries most of the time you haven’t got a clue why.

Could be that as a mum you are home more during the day, alone but with your babe or you’re out walking alone. If meeting friends you have the other mums who are empathetic but you start conversations that are never finished because feeding or nappy changes get in the way. Or there are the childless friends who you still adore listening to telling stories of days/nights out but you feel so exhausted right down to your bones you find it hard to focus on them, never mind that you have a fidgety midget to contend with.

If you’re not at home and are a working mum, there’s the vacuum of worry about your little one’s safety, happiness, stimulation and the guilt, the constant mummy guilt, in a workplace where you should be thrilled to be, that can feel so isolating.

Does it feel this way as ‘it’ falls in your lap? It being EVERYTHING, the mum is the beacon of most households and she’s the one who cuddles, nurses, feeds and knows when their getting too big for their baby grows.

Perhaps because the last time you remember having good, interrupted quality time with your partner was when you conceived (slight exaggeration here but you get the gist)

All of these paint a bleak picture and yet are very much the reality of becoming a new mum. I recently added in a language barrier to the challenge so even if I want to talk to the woman 3 doors down about her newborn babe I’m unable and I miss my mum friends in the UK.

This is the secret code of mothers, they will moan amongst themselves but at the same time be acutely aware that some women are unable to have a baby to complain about and I think…

that’s it.

That’s the real reason why no one tells you it’ll be lonely, because as mums we get up and get on and know daily, hourly and by the second just how lucky we are.

 
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