I’ve read a lot of essays about the loneliness of motherhood. Hell, I’ve written about it myself! When I first became a mother, I had very few friends with kids. My husband worked (and still works) long hours, and my pre-kid life-long friends lived (and still live) far away. All these years later, I’ve made many great connections and have started new and cherished friendships, but the truth remains that the daily act of mothering, particularly as stay-at-home-mom, is often a lonely and isolating experience.
Now that my kids are seven and five years old, I feel something shifting. Whereas I once did absolutely anything to escape my kids, I now find myself asking, “Who wants to come with me to the grocery store?” A few weeks ago, Mike and I took the kids bowling on a Saturday night, and, believe it or not, we had fun. A few months back, we took the kids to Disney World for a weekend. For 36 hours straight, we spent every waking and sleeping hour together, and when we returned home, I was sad that we couldn’t stay longer.
Recently, in the bathroom at a local frozen yogurt shop, Dylan and I laughed until our stomachs hurt after Riley scared the crap out of us (pun intended) with a startlingly loud and explosive fart. Just a few days ago, we all giggled when Riley let Gertie give him “mouth kisses” over and over again and Dylan announced, “Riley and Gertie are married!”
More and more, I want to be with my kids. I don’t crave a Saturday night babysitter as much as I once did, and if I do, it’s because I want time to connect with my husband as opposed to time away from the kids. Each weekday, I appreciate my alone time, but I also can’t wait to get the boys in the car at the end of the day and hear all about their adventures at camp.
It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed raising them until now or that this parenting gig has gotten any easier. Hardly! Rather, it’s that my little boys are developing into charming, funny, curious, and smart little people, and I truly enjoy their company. (That, and they finally wipe their own butts.) I’m not so much surprised by this new feeling as much as I’m totally and completely delighted.
I’ve never been the kind of person to have a gaggle of girlfriends. I’m more the type to count my dearest ones – near and far – on the fingers of one hand. Now, it looks like I need to start counting the fingers on my other hand, too.