I have found motherhood to be a lot lonelier than I anticipated. I get that my life is different now, and I can’t expect to go to happy hour after work with my friends, go to the gym when I feel like it or afford to take cool vacations. I don’t have much family in NY and neither does my boyfriend so our son won’t have the experience I had growing up surrounded by lots of 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins.
I've used social media as a way to keep up to date with what everyone was doing from my single, childless friends to my acquaintances with children and found myself feeling as if my life sucked. Between feeling left out when I see the fun my friends have without me to seeing the dates and budding social lives my acquaintances with children seemed to be able to maintain, I started to feel like I was doing something wrong. After working all week which results in my son being in daycare for 50 hours, laundry, cleaning, groceries and cooking I really didn't have the time, energy, money to go out on dates with my boyfriend or spend an entire Saturday at brunch. And even if I did? Who would watch our son?
I felt as if being connected to what everyone was doing was making me feel worse. The last thing I want to see on a Sunday afternoon when I’m tired from laundry and grocery shopping is people with and without kids at some social event, dressed up and having fun. OK, I get it, I don’t have family that is really willing to babysit and I’m broke but do I need to be constantly reminded of that? I decided it was best to delete my Facebook and to be honest, I feel great.
I think its easy to look at other people's lives with envy at times when I feel down. When I'm feeling cranky because I didn't get much sleep because he was up all night with a cough, when I just paid my rent and utilities and feel broke or when I haven't had much time with my boyfriend because he worked overtime during the week and I'm lonely.
I also understand that everyone’s life is different. Would I really want to go out every weekend? Would I really want to spend so much time away from my son so I could have a social life even though he’s already in daycare 50 hours a week? The answer is a simple NO. I actually feel terrible I spend as much time away from him as I do and during the rare occasions I do go out I think about him constantly.
I love being a mom and understand there are sacrifices that come along with it. I take pride in keeping a clean, orderly home and preparing healthy meals for my family. I enjoy the time I spend with my son on the weekend because we don’t have much time during the week. So why the frustration when I see what everyone else is doing? I think its easy to look at other people’s lives and see fault in our own. While I would love to have a date night with my hubby every once in a while and have the chance to catch up with friends over brunch or drinks after work I wouldn't want that to be what I spend all my time doing outside of the home.
I’m not looking to judge how other people spend their time and how they raise their children. Some people may not have their children in daycare as many days or hours that I do and get that quality time with their kids. Some may have more help from family with preparing meals and housework. I don’t know and I honestly don’t care. Sitting around thinking about what everyone else is doing is taking away more of the precious time I have with my son doing the things that are most important to me and my family.