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HEALTHY MIND, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Children can be the loneliest number

Last weekend Goodman went out of town. He had the best reason in the world to be gone, but since he had been gone the previous weekend, and since starting school I had been pretty preoccupied in the evenings with schoolwork, we didn’t have much time to connect as a family, and even more so Goodman and I didn’t get the time that we usually have. The time that I need.

Last weekend Faye and I did a little bit of everything. We spent one day just playing at home. No place to be, no errands to be done. We spent the afternoon looking for birds and sifting through the rocks. We met up for pizza with some family, and then watched a movie in the park. We went to the lake, picked flowers, read books, ate ice-cream, went shopping, and even went out for a girls brunch.

Having the whole weekend just the two of us, especially after a busy week, was so sweet. I loved having time to completely and wholeheartedly focus on her. Be intentional with just her. We did things that she enjoyed. Not just things that I wanted to or had to do.

Despite all of the fun that Faye and I had throughout the weekend, there were moments when I found myself feeling quite lonely. Obviously not lonely in the sense of feeling physically alone, because I had my best little friend with me. No, but lonely in the sense of feeling alone emotionally. I have given this a lot of thought, just trying to process through how I can feel so lonely when I have someone with me all the time, and I’ve begun to realize that sometimes children can be the loneliest number.

Now give me a second to try to explain this.

When I am by myself, I know I am alone. I know I don’t have anyone to talk to, but I have time to be me. I have time to do what I want to do and only what I want to do. I have time to think about just myself. I have time to recharge and rest in the silence.

When you add another person to the mix, I love it. I love people, and I love having conversations. Give me a cup of coffee and a friend and we will talk all day.

Now, when you add a baby, that’s when it gets weird. Faye and I are together all the time. I love to spend time with her, and I love to talk to her, but we can’t have conversations yet. We can’t share experiences and talk about how they have affected us, or how much fun something was. She can’t even walk yet.

Being with someone all the time, but not able to connect relationally on a deeper level can be very lonely. 

There have been seasons since Faye has been born that I have struggled with this more than others. Thoroughly enjoying my time with her, while aching to feel wanted and in community with others. At one point I even began to feel guilty when I would feel lonely, and almost scold myself for not enjoying my time at home with her all the time.

There are so many emotions that go with raising a child. So much love. So much joy. So much fear. So much sadness. So much passion. So much guilt. I go back and forth between these emotions constantly throughout the day with Faye. Wanting to enjoy our time together, but knowing I have to get stuff done. Wanting her to be happy and have fun, but knowing I have to be the one to educate and correct her when she needs it. Sometimes a mom just wants someone to confide in throughout the day. Someone to let her know that what she is feeling is okay. She isn’t alone in this. Now please understand that this isn’t a cry for help from me. I am beginning to realize these things and process through them. I think there are some feelings that are inevitable in motherhood, and I am trying to figure out how I am going to deal with that. How I am going to embrace that.

Children can be the loneliest number. It can feel so lonely. But here’s the thing. It’s okay. It’s okay to feel lonely sometimes. I’ve begun to realize that it doesn’t make me a bad mother, and it doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying my time with her. The loneliness that I feel on those days isn’t because I am not enjoying my time with Faye, no, the loneliness is because I ache for completely different relationships than she can give me.

That is why balance is so important. We can’t be all mom and nothing else. I think one reason this past weekend was harder for me than other times was because I hadn’t had much time with Goodman and other people I love lately, because of our crazy schedules. I haven’t had time to have long deep conversations about nothing. I haven’t been able to catch up with all my girls. We need people. This has validated so much to me the need for relationships, especially in motherhood.

I need people that understand me. People that know me. People that keep me sane. People that ground me.

Wednesday night was date night, and tonight is girls night. What what!

Let’s not be alone in this, friends.

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