Motherhood can be surprisingly lonely especially for stay at home moms. You would think it would be the opposite but the reality is there are days my only adult interaction besides my husband is 5 words at school pickup. It wasn’t always this way. I used to have long chats on the phone several times a week with girlfriends. I usually had at least one thing a week where I saw friends whether it was playgroup at someone’s house, Bible Study or meeting for coffee or dinner. When all my kids were too little for school I remember thinking… when they are in school I will have time to actually do stuff because they won’t need me as much. I remember wondering why the moms who had kids in school never made it to playgroup with the toddler who was at home, I just didn’t get it.
I have had 5 pregnancies and with each pregnancy I encountered different complications and I ended up with more hospital visits than most moms. Each and every time I was hospitalized I had wonderful compassionate and competent nurses caring for me and for that I am eternally grateful. I wish I could tell you the names and that I properly thanked them for the care they gave me, but I didn’t. I truly regret not expressing my gratitude more to the nurses who took care of me and my baby.
Mother’s Day is the day we reflect on what it means to be a mom. Whether it is your first Mother’s Day or your 50th it’s a special day for moms everywhere. The First Mother’s Day is the most monumental as it presents a shift. You are no longer just celebrating your mom but you are being celebrated too. My first Mother’s Day my husband hid a card underneath my daughter in the bassinet so when I lifted her up in the morning the card was waiting for me. Even though it wasn’t exactly from her, it was from her and it was so special.
As moms we are notorious for not taking care of ourselves, oh the irony of dedicated care takers who don’t take care of themselves. Sadly, I am included in this group.
I am diligent about making sure my kids get exercise and eat right yet I make no time for me to do the same.
I make sure they have regular doctor visits and dentist visits, yet I tend to put my own visits on the back burner.
Over the past two years I have neglected my health. It wasn’t a conscious choice, more like an omission. I gave myself a pass on junk food a bit too often, I mean I had a stressful day! I found reasons why I could not workout, I have 5 kids and work from home what time?!?! And then the scale started creeping in the wrong direction and reality hit. All these small harmless choices were adding up. I no longer can eat whatever I want without repercussions. And my years of athletics are so far behind me that my body forgets it ever was in top shape.
When I went away to college it seemed like I was constantly hearing of people who’s parents were getting a divorce. I could not understand how they went from seeming fine to suddenly divorcing at 18 plus years. Now that I have been married for almost 11 years I understand a bit better what happened and I think it boils down to one major point.. they stopped dating.
Now that’s not the only reason and I am not trying to over simplify people’s problems but I realized something. When a married couple starts having kids they naturally shift priorities. The baby needs a lot from them and becomes a priority. Then jobs get more demanding as you move up the ladder and that takes more away. What little “free” time you each have is spent as a family or focused on the kids.
Suddenly 18 years have gone by and you and your husband have co-parented and co-existed as the years flew by and all the while your marriage slowly died. You weren’t unhappy with each other you just no longer had a strong connection. You had stopped feeding your relationship and it hurt you. I can just see it in my head.. a too empty house as your kids are all off to college and you suddenly look at your husband and think… I don’t know you at all, how did that happen?