Woah, way to disappear for several months huh?
Yep, that is what happens when you are a first time parent and have to return to your second full time job.
But I’m here.
I’ve thought of this space often over the past few months. Missing it. Wanting to share, connect, and then feeling inadequate for not finding the time to “do it all”.
I have thoughts a plenty about motherhood, and trust me that many of them are wonderful, but tonight my thoughts bring me back to how isolating this whole thing has been.
It started during my pregnancy, friends seeming to disappear. Perhaps I was bad at keeping up with people. What I know I was bad at for sure was speaking the truth, saying “hey I need you stick around” or “I’m feeling scared and lonely so please stick around”. Many of my friends just drifted away. Some I just did not see at all. Others I saw at church but suddenly it was simply pleasantries because I was too damn prideful to admit that I missed them and that they were hurting my feelings by being so busy with their lives.
And then Samuel actually arrived. It was all so new and I was completely overwhelmed, in love, and exhausted, not to mention in pain because I tore my girl parts to bits and pieces (birth story coming…I know, I know), when the friends disappeared even further.
Note to self, and the rest of you, don’t have a baby two weeks before Christmas because most people will be too busy with their lives to come visit you or bring you a meal.
A good friend did call and when she realized that our church had not set up a meal plan she acted quick. It blessed my heart, but the truth was she almost should not have bothered because three people brought us meals. Three! One was from a couple that I had never even talked to, another was from a friend who lived out of state for goodness sake but still worked with her mom to get us a meal, and another was from another older family in the church who we love and appreciate but don’t typically consider to be our closest friends.
So yes, the friend disappearance was in full force…an we were spending a small fortune on take out.
We are six months in and I’m still reeling and trying to gain balance. Trying to find my village that is going to help Phillip and I raise this child.
Maybe before Samuel I would not have been as bothered by not having as many close friends but not now. Now I feel like I need them like I need oxygen.
But I have a new kid and it is just plain hard to get places and do things, and I am starting to understand how other friends with kids have disappeared for long periods of time.
They were surviving having very little sleep, having to leave their precious baby to go to their other jobs, trying to find time to shop for groceries, or actually have sex again (and then the super reality that sex makes babies, ummm lets not have sex okay?)… and perhaps they were buying a house…
Ohh yeah, we so we have also been busy moving into our new place and trying to get settled. Trying to feel some normalcy.
But nothing is normal anymore, or at least normal like things used to be normal.
I go to church and spend half the time feeding my kid somewhere other than the sanctuary and other half thinking “ohhh God are we talking about gender roles and/or gay marraige again??!!” Which then leads to me thinking about whether we should find a new church. A church where you actually have friends who call, drink wine, and visit you after you a baby. I see other new mothers at church more (because I now possess mom radar… and the constant smell of breast milk) but don’t go up and introduce myself because I am a hypocritical peice of shit…who really just wants to be their friend, while secretly hoping that they are not too super Republican.
So what the hell am I actually trying to say here?
While I am not entirely sure of all of it I can say that motherhood has changed me for the better in some regards (even though those of you who did not know that I curse on the regular would probably argue the point after reading this post).
While I may still be a hypocritical piece of shit friend, I now feel free to declare it to the world. I no longer feel that not being honest about myself is worth it. Why try to keep up appearances when there are so few friends ot keep up appearance for? If this is what keeping up appearances gives you then I have decided to take the first exit offered.
Last week when on a morning walk with Samuel I was praying. While walking on the dirt sides of Jeff Davis highway I felt God tell me I needed to forgive my friends and forgive my church. I knew God was right and so I asked God for help doing it because it is always easier said than done.
So if you were a sucky friend or church person who let me down with your actions or words know that you are forgiven. Also know that I am sorry for holding a grudge, and for not coming to you personally about this, aka being a better friend myself (side note I did talk with my pastor about the struggles I was having regarding teachings on gender roles and gay marriage, and while we may not agree on these things we hear each other, love and accept each other and that is enough for me right now).
Last month I reached out to two other moms and asked if we could get together. Because I need a tribe, and they may or may not be it, but you have to try right?
We met at the farmer’s market, wore our babies, swapped birth stories, and ate bagels like the bad-ass, bone-dead tired, awesome women and mothers that we are. It was good and hopefully it will happen again. I need it to happen again, because I’m being honest now remember?
The next day we went to church and I half-listened to the sermon and half watched Samuel bounding around on mine and Phillip’s lap.
I considered Samuel as he stared up in amazement at all of the chandeliers and looked up myself to stare in amazement at God who brings us through rough patches, deals with all our shit, helps us feel at home in our churches again, and gives us babies to make us tell the truth about how much we humans need each other.
Thanks be to God.