I am sure the first reaction to the title from many people would be, “That’s crazy!” On the face of it, yes, it would seem like I have gone bonkers, maybe from an overdose of motherhood. Being a mother is anything but loneliness. In fact, there are times when you wish to be left alone, not be constantly pestered by your persistent kid to give him a chocolate or play him a video (over n over n over…) on the laptop where you are trying to work.
You wish he ate his meals without much fuss and blissfully slept off giving you time to do some of your own work. You wish he would play independently without running to you every 5 minutes and learn to take a leak on his own (more importantly) in the bathroom. All these and much more, then how can motherhood be anything in the vicinity of lonely?
Many of the mothers here, who have been through all that I have written above, will agree though. That yes, at some point, motherhood starts to get lonely. Lonely because you do not have a supporting hand (husband is not counted; the poor guy sweats all day at the office and then comes back home with zero energy, ready to crash on the bed. So though the intent is there to support you, it is still not enough to take the burden off your mind). Lonely because you cannot have the company of friends to ease your worries away.
Most of them are out of touch, thanks to their own babies, or thanks to their official stints in foreign lands. At best you see them through that green glowing bulb on Facebook or Google, and the only conversation that you have is exchanging of pleasantries. There’s no one to have a heart to heart talk with. Phones are there, yes, and mom’s just a phone call away, but let’s face it. Phones can never replace a face to face conversation.
A few months ago all these factors got to my head and made me a very insecure, self-doubting, confidence-less hag. All I seemed to be doing in between taking care of my son was crying in self-pity and looking back at my carefree pre-motherhood days with yearning. Looking at my pathetic state, my mother suggested that I join back full-time work. I seriously needed to get out there and meet some people. I too felt that it made perfect sense. S was now going to school and was happy playing with friends in the day care, so I could look for a job again. Thus thinking, I started on a full-time job a couple of months ago. Only, I did not fully comprehend what I was getting into.
Being in a full-time job felt like constantly running from pillar to post, trying to satisfy a lot of people but ending up satisfying none. My employer didn’t take it too well that I would leave sharp at 6.30pm every day when other team members were warming their seats till 8. My husband had to come home early to pick the kiddo up from the day care at 5 pm, and that was taking toll on his work. I was feeling guilty that a lot of work at home remained unattended to, I was not able to make good food for S, and a lot of such things that made me wonder whether a full-time job was really worth it. And I decided it wasn’t.
Thankfully, I am in a situation where I do not have the need to work for money. Even if we are not stinking rich, my family is frugal enough to make a comfortable living out of what my husband earns. And as far as getting out to meet people is concerned, yes, I do need to get out, but why does it have to happen only through a day job? With S being away for a good 7 hours now, I get ample time to concentrate on my writing assignments. I also take time to go and meet some friends and enroll myself in some classes I am interested in. And no, I do not waste time sleeping or watching TV. For all practical purposes, I too am working. Working on my writing, working on myself.
People who saw me go to that day job see me now and ask, “So you are not doing a job anymore, so why are you still sending S to the day care?” I can discern a tone that says, “Oh! What a selfish/lazy mother!” It all comes down to the oft lamented statement by WAHMs around the world – that working from home is not actually considered work.
To those people I say, if S is happy in an environment with his friends, and I am happy to be pursuing what I like best and making time out for myself, why would I go ahead and ruin it by pulling him out of his day care? And who said I am not making money? I am a career woman in my own right, only, I have my own priorities for how much importance and time my career gets and how much my family gets, and withing those set ranges, I am now able to do full justice to both. Now, how’s that for a win-win situation?
P.S – I know there are a lot of mother here who manage their full-time jobs and their families with equal finesse. I respect them a lot, and my post is in no way intended to demean their efforts. These are my personal thoughts from my personal experiences, nothing less, nothing more.
P.P.S – This is a post I will keep returning to read on the days the blues hit me, and I dangerously lean again towards self-pity and unwarranted yearning :).
Yamini is a software professional turned work-at-home-mom. Amidst her domestic responsibilities and a very demanding 2.5 year old son, she snatches time to write academic papers, freelance content, fiction and poetry. Her stories and poetry have been published in various online literary magazines and anthologies by Penguin Books and Cyberwit Publications. Yamini voices her thoughts now and then at http://myexpressionsandme.