Home Alone, Snapshot of a SAHM
Loneliness. It’s ugly. It’s ever present. It’s isolating. Sometimes you get stuck in your own head. You think and think, but without action thinking becomes frustrating. Too much awareness. Too many emotions. Just smile. Hold on. Be.
Breathe. That’s what I remind myself to do.
I think about the few things that are within my control. The simple pleasures in life that don’t require much planning, money or time. I take a hot shower to relax, and clear my head. I talk to a friend on the phone to feel loved and connected. I post a picture on social media for admiration and fun. I go for a walk to energize myself. Cold, crisp air filling my lungs and the gentle touch of the sun warming my face.
Writing, in most cases, is a solo activity. Often times, quiet and solitude are needed to focus.
It takes a lot of mental energy to get all those words from your head and onto paper (or onto the computer screen). A loud noise, your pet’s stroll pass you, your baby’s cry, the buzz of a text message or the door opening as your spouse comes home can all be distractions that lead to lost description, dialogue, or an entire scene. When the momentum is broken… it can mean starting over or stopping for the day.
Being a working stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) is rewarding, tiring, demanding, and mystifying. It’s unfortunate that most people think moms at home are relaxing in front of the tv while their spouse labors away for eight or more hours. Being alone with a newborn, infant or toddler is both amazing and hard work. Naps are not guaranteed. What you can be sure of is… fussiness at some point, toys and blankets everywhere, crumbs and smeared food on everything, and noise. Lots of noise from you, baby, radio, tv or phone, or any combination of the above. For nine to twelve hours, you are your child’s only source of love, laughter, entertainment, supervision, food, and hygiene. They need you and you love them. So the day goes by with you giving your all to your child.
And, then, your spouse comes home. Hurray! Is it break time? Can you finally use the bathroom? Can you finally be alone? Can you finally return that call or email? Maybe not… Because your spouse is tired too from a demanding supervisor, annoying coworker or long commute. So, child is loved and cared for, and parents are exhausted.
Then, there’s the dreaded question, “What did you do all day?” A question to which you will most likely not have a sufficient answer. Because being home alone with your baby, especially as a new mom, is mystifying. You give so much of yourself to your child that it’s all a blur. A warm, fuzzy, cuddly burr.
Personally, I find being a new mom and a first time novelist to be a lonely experience. I love writing, I love my husband and child. I am grateful for my family, and proud of the amount of writing I’ve done. And, yet, it is an amazingly isolating.
What do you think?
Care to share a task or time in your life when you felt a bit lonely?
If so, when did things start to improve?
Welcome to A Book & A Baby.
This is a glimpse of my life as a new mom and writer.