I've noticed that if you regularly read a blog written by a mother in the throes of motherhood, and that blog goes dark, then that mother has probably had a baby. Or is having one. Childbirth, from conception to the sixth or seventh or eighth month out of the womb, sucks a massive amount of life from the mother. That is, life outside the home.
I currently live in this stage, as evidenced by the lack of activity on this blog. I'm in that phase where I feel like I have nothing left to offer the world, unless anyone wants to discuss nap schedules, potty training or infant milestones. And there are so many blogs about that, that I have nothing to offer this blog.
The problem is I feel like I have nothing to offer my real, physical world either. The world outside my home. I go to church, which is the one place where I might find some socialization, and I feel paralyzed, because I have nothing to offer. I don't even know what questions to ask, which bites because asking questions is how you get into the world of others. Everyone is living their lives, and mine is full of the newborn mundane. I am a Grade-A Introvert, and as such I have a hard time finding and cultivating friendships. And in this phase I'm afraid that all the fragile friendships I've managed to sprout over the past couple of years are going to wither and die or move on without me as I'm wading through this murky time. My husband says real friends will understand why I'm hermited up right now, but even understanding friends need to move on with their lives. So will there be a place for me when I come out, or will I have to start from scratch?
Our church had a women's retreat this past weekend. I didn't go because a) I have an 11-week-old infant and b) I don't really like those kind of things anyway. But of course as I look at their pictures and hear their stories, I feel so left out. I'm not blaming anyone; it's my choice. But it's not just the retreat. It's life that I feel left out of. And I feel paralyzed to know where to jump in.
I love my baby (and girls) with my whole heart. I love being their mommy and some days feel like I'm pretty good at it. But being a mommy doesn't fill me completely, and it shouldn't. I know I need to make connections, but I have no idea how to start.
Thankfully this third time around has brought the perspective that life won't always be like this. But even that is a scary thought, since I don't remember how I came out of it the first two times.
Such is the armpit of motherhood.
I'm not fishing, by the way. Just sharing my thoughts.