The Scintilla Project | Day 7 | Tribes

March 22nd, 2012 Posted by Connection, Uncategorized 13 thoughts on “The Scintilla Project | Day 7 | Tribes”

I’m participating in The Scintilla Project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt: List the tribes you belong to: cultural, personal, literary, you get the drift. Talk about the experience of being in your element with your tribes.

Motherhood is lonely.

I don’t get out much. Unless you count the local Harris Teeter where I’ve trained Kate to expect a balloon and sugar cookie (or four). Or the park where I spend the entire time on my toes and lifting Kate in and out of the swing at least a dozen times. And if I’m not at the grocery or the park, I’m dodging Kate’s cozy coupe car while cleaning up goldfish cracker crumbs off the floor.

Most days I’m wearing the same yoga pants for the fourth day in a row. Haven’t bothered with makeup. Start talking to myself just to break up the monotony of the dog barking and Kate repeating water, snack, water, snack, PARK!

It’s just about enough to have me praying for a lobotomy.

Then I start to sink into the lonely pit.

I want to e-mail a friend. Post a note on a pal’s Facebook wall. Send a tweet. But I’ve let motherhood ground me into couch.

I’m tired. Feel gross with toddler snot on my shirt and dog hair covering my four-day-old yoga pants. Energy-less. Inertia sets in.

There’s this saying about it taking a village to raise a child. After having a child, I understand this to be true. Kate is part of a community of toddlers and their parents, family friends who watched her grow first inside my ever-expanding stomach to the tall toddler she is today. They sent over onesies and casseroles and hugs and kisses and shared her first birthday with us.

But if it takes a villiage to raise a child, it takes that same village to support that mother.

While there are some days – weeks, even – when my brain’s numb from too many Sesame Street episodes or laundry piles, when I see an e-mail from a friend – a member of my support tribe – just checking in to see how I’m doing, I feel ever so slightly not alone. Or when a friend writes me a sweet blog comment or sends me a Tweet, I realize I am recognized for more than my toilet-cleaning abilities (which, by the way, aren’t that good). When I am trying to hide but a group of friends coax me out for a lunch or coffee date, I manage to find some clean jeans and feel human again.

Motherhood is lonely. But I don’t have to do lonely alone.

  • Kim

    I’m not a parent, and from the outside I would have thought quite the opposite, that motherhood was full of people and social connection with other mothers. This was illuminating to read–and I’m grateful for your tribe!

    • Before I was a parent, I thought the same thing. But now, as a parent, I see how lonely motherhood can be. True, I am part of a mom’s group, so I have the opportunity to hang out with a playgroup, meet at the park, etc… But kids get sick, so we are quarentined, everything revolves around their napping and eating schedules, etc…, so often it’s hard to meet up. I find I spend a lot of my days alone with Kate, and it’s rough! Getting out of the house can feel like an ordeal, but it is worth it to catch up with friends and feel human again.

  • Christina Leaman

    Not a mom, but I can appreciate the 4 day old yoga pants thing – as I sit here in my own pair; hair undone, no make up. Housewifing is lonely too. There aren’t many non-parent housewives these days.

    • Glad I’m not the only one, re: yoga pants 😉 I didn’t know how lonely I’d be until, well, I was. It helps to keep myself busy and get out of the house. Since home is part of my job, I sometimes feel I need to be here, caring for my home 24/7. But, really, I don’t. My family would rather a happy mama than a sparkling house.

  • Tameka Allen Haha, I know exactly where you are, and it is a lonely, lonely place, it gets better, so good in fact that you’ll miss it someday or you may even do it all over again.

    • I had no idea motherhood would be so isolating! Everyday I do a little better and a little better. But it’s tough. It definitely takes effort to make sure I’m getting out and doing things – but I always feel better when I do.

  • Kat

    “It takes that same village to support that mother.”

    I think there needs to be a book written about the above statement. *COUGHs LOUDLY AND LOOKS*

    Sarah, this is YOUR story to chase and tell. But it’s not just your story, it’s the story of so many women. The way you write about this topic is so poignant, touching, raw and honest. It comes from a place of truth. I think that you have a very valuable voice to contribute/guide/lead/shape this conversation.

    For the record, if you are EVER having one of those days (or even one of those hours!), do not hesitate to DM. I am more than happy to provide words of truth, sagery, and general ridiculousness (such is the gloriousness of being chained to a desk). Also, if your phone number is still the same we can also text. Yes, I seriously saved the number in my phone from when I came out to visit.


    • Ha ha, I know, right? I am thinking about it!

      Thank you for being such a great friend. Your tweets and posts always make me smile. I’m fortunate to have connected with you – it makes me feel less alone 🙂

  • Here here. So very true. It can be so lonely and boring. I remember well. Through motherhood though, I met a great group of friends. It took a while, but I got my village of mothers. You’ll find yours.

    • Yes, you are right, my mom friends have been a huge source of support for me. They definitely “get it!”

  • I’m not a mother, but I’m the daughter of one. There are four of us kids and, because my two youngest brothers are twins, at one point Mum was looking after four children under the age of four. Apparently she used to go to the shops just so that she could get some adult conversation. And by conversation she meant ‘That’s £3.99, thanks.’ ‘OK, here you go.’ Her salvation was when she got to know the old lady next door, who used to love having us for a morning. It sounds like you’ve got a good support network there. Don’t let the couch win – get out there and let them support you.

    • God. Reading that back I sound well snotty. Sorry – that wasn’t the way it was meant.
      *waves pompoms supportively*

      • Oh, no, I appreciate your comment. Absolutely, a lot of being a mom is admitting you need support and then going and getting it!

Hi! I’m Sarah, I am passionate about creating community, building deep connections, and the power of creativity. I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, our three kids, and our golden-lab mix.

I believe in leggings as pants, and I drink my coffee black. I love shopping at Costco, teaching group exercise classes, and, athleisure.


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