Saturday, 21 January 2017

Parenting is Lonely

Something you don't often get told before you become a parent, is how lonely it is. And how isolating it can be. It definitely wasn't something I was prepared for; and it's a very real thing I struggle with now.

Before I had children, I was a bit of a social butterfly. I knew a lot of people and counted most of them as good friends. They lived all over Ireland, and some in other countries, and I had the freedom to come and go and visit whoever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was able to randomly decide to get a train to Dublin, not tell anyone I was coming, yet when I walked into a particular pub (Fibbers, FYI) I'd know most of the people there. I loved it. My life revolved around my friends and it was great.

But then I met Geth. We fell pregnant very early on in the relationship and almost immediately, everything changed. While I was head over heels in love and so happy and excited to become a Mum, life suddenly shifted on its axis and I had to learn some responsibility. And with that, spontaneity was replaced with structure, and partying gave way to parenting. My life moved on.

Sure, it's to be expected. My friends weren't facing this huge life change. It wasn't their problem that I wasn't able to come visit at the drop of a hat anymore. It wasn't their fault that I couldn't get a babysitter all the time. And I have to give it to them, they did try. For the first year or so, they came to see me, some travelling half way across the country to do so. They still invited me to things, on the off chance I could go. But you know, if you keep on getting the same no answer, you're eventually going to stop inviting. So I do understand. The paths of their lives hadn't taken this turn yet, so they stayed behind while I sprinted ahead.

The thing is, we need friends. Humans need to be with other humans. And cooing at your baby all day definitely doesn't count. Yelling at your obnoxious 4 year old definitely doesn't count. For me at least, I need a conversation about something other than poo or the importance of washing your hands. I crave some adult interaction.

There is a group of amazing women here in the town where I live. I go for coffee with them, I care about them and I adore their children. I enjoy the time I spend with them, and wish we could do it more often, yet I feel like an outsider. They are my sister's friends. I didn't get to know them and have a relationship develop organically. Rather, our friendships came about through association. I do love these women, and quite regularly I'm in awe of them for their strength and grace in the face of their own struggles. However, I do feel our friendships lack the depth of understanding that comes from developing naturally. They have that with my sister, not with me.

I'm looking for a 'tribe'. Even if that's just one person. Someone who 'gets' me. Someone who understands the complexity of being mum, wife, friend. sister, aunt and ME. I miss having 'in-jokes'. I miss having someone I can really be myself around. I'm waiting and waiting for that person to come along to just 'click' with. Because I am lonely. It is hard. I miss having friends. I just miss having someone to call. I can easily go days without seeing any adult other than Joshua's teacher and the girls in Arya's creche. As spoilt as it sounds, I really just want a friend who is mine.

Applications taken below!

Love, N.x

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