Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Isolation of Motherhood

As I prepared to become a mother, one aspect no one really talked about was the loneliness and isolation I would feel. I am constantly in the company of two other little human beings who need me to get through their day, and yet some days I just feel alone. I miss the adult interaction I had at work. I miss getting out of the house. My best friend is currently Ellen Degeneres. We hang out for an hour every day! While I love being a mom, I love feeding my boys, seeing them smile, doing new things, it is also very challenging. Each day is almost identical to the next, spent inside my cozy little home, feeding, changing diapers, moving boys to different play areas, cuddles, putting them down for naps and taking care of the domestic duties required to keep a household running smoothly.

I think I feel even more isolated as a mom of twins. I have a great routine going that helps our days go somewhat smoothly. The boys know what to expect and so do I. Overall my boys are very happy and easy to handle. But my routine is a double-edged sword. It also means that getting out of the house is difficult. First of all, we don’t have much time to get out. My boys are awake for two hours between one nap and the next. In that time I have to breast/bottle feed them, change diapers, feed them meals (they now eat solids three times a day), with a little play time and loving interaction before it’s nap time again. If I packed them up to take them somewhere, there wouldn’t be much time before I had to turn around and come home. The only outings we do are at someone’s house where I can put them down for a nap when I get there.

The other hindrance is that, well, there are two of them. Perhaps I need to work up some courage, but being out with two in public with two small babies is a little scary. I realized how different it would be with one a few weeks ago when we were in the hospital. Caleb was hooked up to an IV so was stuck in our room, but we needed some food so I strapped Micah to me and went downstairs. I just freely walked around with him, talked to a lactation consultant I knew for awhile and got us some food. It was easy and my mind went to all the wonderful things I could do. I can’t just go to the mall and find a quiet corner to breast feed my babies in if they are hungry or upset. If you’ve seen me do it, you know it requires a giant pillow and an entire couch to get the job done by myself. I plan to work on this one once the weather gets a little warmer, at least taking them around the block for a walk.

Thankfully I have a few friends who are moms and are willing to come spend the day at our house once or twice a month, but these days are rare. While I am incredibly grateful for the chance to stay home with my boys, some days it’s just hard. I know I’m taking care of two little people but some days I feel like my biggest accomplishment was getting two loads of laundry done or actually making a home-cooked meal. I know this stage won’t last forever, and I’m trying to be more present and enjoy the little moments. They will be gone all too quickly and I’ll wish for them back. I know my feelings aren’t unique but I fight them constantly.


cheryl said...

i read this yesterday and then got pulled away before i could comment. you're an amazing mom and i love that you're being so honest here. it was so great to hang out last week. i think selah and i will have to come for a weekday visit soon!
love ya.

Tish said...

I don't have two the same age, but two none-the-less and I agree it isn't easy. The isolation is difficult. It sounds like you're doing a great job, and we'd love to come and visit. We can watch Ellen together. My morning ritual too. ;-)