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.