There is Loneliness in Motherhood

Flashback: It’s the early days of the newborn stage. You are still on maternity leave. Family members fill your house. You’ve only slept in 2.5 hour blocks for the last week. Your newborn is quietly asleep in the bassinet. You are reclining on the couch. Somehow, despite being surrounded by people, you feel a bit lonely.

Flashback: It’s 3 a.m. Your spouse just finished a diaper change and hands off the baby for a middle of the night feeding. You struggle to get baby to latch, but he finally does. You scroll your phone for the latest posts to find nobody awake at 3 a.m. You look over at your spouse fast asleep. And you feel lonely.

Flashback: You just walked in the door from work. Your toddler is screaming and running through the house demanding dinner. You shuffle around the kitchen to prep food while your kid clings to you. Your spouse and other family members try to get your child to let go, but he just screams and cries harder. You look around and feel alone.

Flashback: You’re on family vacation, waiting in a long line for the next table at your favorite restaurant. Your child is overstimulated and hot and tired. He poops his pants. And you have to be the parent to take him for a diaper change because the men’s restroom doesn’t have a changing table. You feel alone.

We’ve all felt lonely on this motherhood journey.

I love being a mom to my boy. I’ve been surprised by how moments of loneliness sneak in to steal my joy. It’s overwhelming, at times, to feel happy, grateful and lonely all at once.

Why do I feel lonely when I’m surrounded by people who love us and want to help us? Why do I feel lonely in this season?

Sometimes, it’s because I am the only person who can meet my son’s needs. Sometimes, it’s because I haven’t taken the time to take care of myself. Sometimes, it’s because I haven’t slept well. Sometimes, it’s because I’m working a full-time job. Sometimes, it’s just the enormity of the responsibility I’ve been given to be a parent.

Being a parent is hard.

If you feel lonely in your season of motherhood, I see you.

I’m trying to navigate it, too. Having “momma magic” is tough work. Give yourself some much needed grace.

Let this be your free pass to talk about it without feeling guilt or shame. The lonely moments I feel are just a snapshot in time. Loneliness is not the major feeling of the my journey. But it is part of my story.

Have you ever felt lonely in your motherhood journey?

A Season of Therapy

There’s a lot of things about motherhood we never talk about. I was surprised by the amount of “hard things” nobody told me before becoming a mom. We tend to wear these things like badges of honor. Like the newborn stage and toddlerhood defines us.

And for a while, it does.

We are Mom. We solve problems, wipe faces, clean up dishes and toys and cups and dirty clothes. We give hugs and kisses and rub backs and rock babies to sleep. We become everything to our littles.

But we don’t talk about how the season of littles is hard. It’s exhausting. It’s draining. It’s all-consuming. And as much as I love my boy, sometimes I just want to be alone in a quiet room where nobody needs anything from me for several hours.

Enter therapy.

While my circumstances are unique, I decided I needed to speak to someone about all the things swirling around in my head. I had a nine month old at the time, and I was transitioning from breastfeeding to formula. I had no idea I was going to have my biggest hormone shifts since birth when I quit breastfeeding, but there I was in the thick of it. I was working full-time, mostly from home, but planning my transition back to the office.

And I simply couldn’t “hang in there” without help. My postpartum anxiety was at an all-time high. COVID was raging in our community. I just couldn’t get myself under control. I was miserable, and I knew I needed something to give me a push out of the funk I was in. To help me think through who I was and what I wanted.

So I made an appointment, filled out an informational form and went to meet my fate in therapy.

Why do we struggle so much to take steps to help ourselves? I kept thinking I would get over it or bounce back. But I just didn’t.

I sat down across from this stranger, my therapist, and told her things I had never told anyone. I told her my fears, my dreams, my insecurities, my hopes for the future, my past experiences. I told her everything.

It was liberating.

She helped me find freedom and acceptance in myself. She gave me language to help me understand what I was feeling. She helped me work through scenarios. She talked me through one of the toughest seasons of my life.

What if you gave yourself permission let go of your preconceived notions and tried therapy?

It could really help you figure some stuff out. If you go and you don’t have a great vibe with the first therapist you try, ask them for a referral. They won’t be offended. Good therapists want you to get help, even if it’s not from them.

If you are struggling or something feels off or you don’t feel quite like yourself as you settle into motherhood (or anytime), get yourself a therapist. I have a great one, and I gladly give out her information to anyone who asks or who I think would be open to hearing my story.

I still see mine twice a month. I look forward to going, even when it’s emotionally difficult to talk through hard things. It’s become a lifeline in my current season of motherhood, working full-time and trying to “do it all.”

Coming Back to Write

A whole lot has changed since I went quiet in this space. Since I last wrote, which I’m not even sure when that was, I’ve undergone a significant amount of life change. The most profound being motherhood. But I can also throw in an engagement and marriage before motherhood. Lots of change in two years.

I didn’t mention the craziness of the pandemic. Don’t we all wish that was behind us?

My motherhood journey the past 13 months has been crazy. Add in the 9 months of pregnancy during early pandemic life, and you could say we were insane. I could even argue that we are more insane today than back then. I digress.

Over the course of the coming months, I am going to unpack some unpopular opinions here. Women talking about hard topics related to motherhood is taboo. There are a lot of things nobody tells you until your baby is earth-side, and then you are just lost in a sea of new and ever-changing factors trying to recover from childbirth and keep your newborn alive and thriving.

The vulnerability of sharing all this is scary, but the pros outweigh the cons. If I can help one other person see that their experience is normal and valid, then sharing my story is worth it. It’s super messy, sometimes ugly. It wasn’t the sunshine and rainbows I had pictured in my head. It wasn’t the quintessential family photo hanging over mantels across American living rooms. But it’s real and raw and full of hope for being a better person, a better wife and a better mother.

If I can help one other person see that their experience is normal and valid, then sharing my story is worth it.

My son is 13 months old today. He’s the light of my life. The littlest love I never knew I needed until I felt his first kicks and held him in my arms for the first time. There is no better snuggle partner than my sweet boy.

But the journey to get to this place, this perspective was the road of unknown travel. The one you walk alone, yet with many.

The expectation could be this space becomes the typical mommy blog. But I am not the typical mommy because my introduction to motherhood was during a pandemic. This will not be a how-to guide for moms. I plan to unpack the hard things, the beautiful things, the ever-changing things to give perspective to the rollercoaster that is parenthood. Stay along for the ride, if that’s your thing. Exit when you wish. Rude comments about my perspective and experiences will 100 percent not be tolerated.

This is a space to help people. To help women normalize the things that happen to them in motherhood. To help find someone “like you.”

Let’s go. Together.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

This is one Paleo dinner that doesn’t taste “granola” at all. It was so good we ate until our stomachs hurt.

The glorious part is I browned the hamburger meat several hours before I was ready to eat, and I threw all the ingredients for the sauce into the crockpot to cook for awhile so the flavors could get right. Plus, slow cooking the meat makes it extra tender.

I’ll admit it’s not the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, but it makes up for it in warm, hearty flavors. Perfect for fall.

What you need:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half
  • 1 jar of Whole30 compliant spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian Seasoning to taste

Sauté the ground beef with the onion in a hot skillet until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Move to slow cooker. Add in the sauce. (I used Thrive Market’s Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce.) Add a little Italian Seasoning, and more salt and pepper if you like. I cooked ours on low for about 4 hours, but you could also make this on the stovetop.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrap out the pulp and seeds. Season the inside of the squash halves with salt, pepper and a little avocado oil. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet cut side down, and roast for 40-45 minutes. When it is done, remove from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes. Flip the halves over and scrap the squash with a fork to make “noodles.”

Put the squash noodles in a bowl. Top with the spaghetti sauce. And enjoy.

It was warm and comforting. And like I said, we ate all of it. The good thing is the “noodles” didn’t make us sick. It’s the little things in life.

What are your favorite comfort dishes that just happen to be Paleo?

Show Me Your Friday Face

We made it to Freedom Day…also known as Friday. Woo whoo!

This week has been hard on me. Like crazy hard. My day job has been crazy. I’m working hard on my side hustle with Beautycounter after I get home. I feel like I need a mental break. But this too shall pass .

I’ve been switching my my eyeshadow every few days since I got the gorgeous Winter Jewels Palette from Beautycounter. But I’m gravitating to certain ones over and over again.

In the Winter Jewels Palette, I’m completely in love with the Rose Gold eyeshadow. I’m wearing only that and the Volumizing Mascara in the photo above.

But I recently got the Nude Eye Trio from the Holiday Collection. The nude cream eye shadow is to die for. It’s the color of my dreams. Neutral with a hint of gray. I hope they keep those two shades after the holidays are over.

If you haven’t checked out the Holiday Collection, I highly recommend that you do. Everything is so gorgeous. Perfect for stockings. I can make recommendations for the special people in your life. So let’s give the gift of clean beauty.

Anyway, I didn’t intend for this to be a Beautycounter post, but I’m just really loving everything they’ve got going right now.

Happiest of Fridays, friends!