Motherhood is incredibly alienating, especially living 1,200 miles from all my family. I don’t have that immediate emotional support from my mom or sisters. Most of my friends are in different stages of life, engagement, newly married, dating, etc. Their support is incredible, but no one can really understand until they start their own family.
The other day I came to Clay with my emotions of feeling alone, using the phrase “Watching from the sideline”. Sometimes as a mother I feel like I am just a spectator, watching other people having fun, living life, while I routinely take care of the house and my son. It’s difficult sometimes in the transition of being a parent, especially being a stay at home, breastfeeding, mother. Clay gets the opportunity during his days off to go hang out with friends, play disc golf or go fishing. I get wildly jealous of his freedom, because even though I have the opportunity each Tuesday and Thursday night to hang out with friends I still have the baby in tow.
It came to a climax roughly a month ago. It was a Monday and Clay’s work Christmas party was that night. Being a late night on a weekday I knew that a babysitter wasn’t in the cards. While I wouldn’t have minded bringing Ezra along he had been in rare form the whole day, fussing and making me miserable. I didn’t want to chance bringing him along and end up having a horrible time, so I elected to stay home with him and let Clay head to the party. Naturally, this put me in a horrible funk and jealousy swept over me like a wave. I felt like I had to constantly be giving up things because I was a mother. I just kept telling myself “this is being a parent” over and over, trying to convince myself that the social sacrifices were a necessary part of being a mom.
After telling Clay how lonely and alienated I felt he helped me to cope with the emotions by saying, “Well B, think of it this way. Right now is your time with him. I can take him along with me and give him a bottle, but it’s not the same experience you get with him when you breastfeed. I’m jealous that you have a bond with him that I can’t. When he is older will be my time with him. And I will take him with me places, and you will have ‘you’ time. This is only temporary.”
His words were a comfort. I would never wish these moments with Ezra away, or trade the tears for anything. These are the years that everyone says they wish they could have back, and I get the privilege to live in these days, every day. Loving my son however does not always mean that I will love every second, or that my love makes every day easy. Being a mother includes the emotions, the loneliness, the tears, and those days. But having the support of my husband does make the hard days easier, the moments of weakness God gives me strength and Clay gives me encouragement. I couldn’t do this without either of them. God gave me the husband I needed, knowing that being a mom is hard and Being Mrs. McIntosh isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.