Dashboards, Diapers, and Heartache

I recently got back from a cross-country car drive to TX and back for vacation, to see family and relatives and friends. Yes, we did this with a 7 month old. Yes, we are cray cray.

We survived – much harder said than done – yep, you’re reading it right – traveling with a baby by car (going 1500 miles in two days… Twice) is actually pretty easy. Now, in a year? HAH. NOPE. Suddenly singing songs and falling alseep in the car seat will not do for long periods of time.

As I sit here rocking Elswyth in my lap (literally – she lays on my legs now. Refuses to be held, she must be TRICKED into nap time) on the recliner, I’m at a loss for words. Not because I miss my family already (though I do) but because my identity as a mother has brought a new rate of hell into my life that I didn’t think was possible.

Before you get judgmental, hear me out. Or don’t – this isn’t your blog, so I’ll vent as I please and you can run right along!

I knew going into this that there would be trouble, heartache, exhaustion, etc. I knew my lifestyles would need to change to accommodate the new little one I love so much. I didn’t really think I’d be caught in the “lonely stay at home mom” storm, though.

I’ve been going through periods of deep depression. A few friends just stopped talking to me out of the blue – completely ignoring my calls, my texts, emails, my pokes and prods. It was the most painful thing I’ve yet to endure – because I don’t make “new friends” or “circles” – I’ve kept the people I grew up with as a child in my “clique”. To suddenly have lost them, due to being a parent (and a Christian, I’m presuming) has left me lying awake at night with a lump in my throat. I live in PA, so everyone I “depend on” and love and desire to be close to is long distance. Take that away and I am left feeling empty, anxious, manic and heartbroken.

It sounds dramatic but it’s really been quite the trauma for me. I still have three close friends – one is more semi-close, but close nonetheless. That should be enough, right? Well…

It is, and it isn’t. I’m shy, but also very social: I rely on intellectual conversation, friendly banter and people I can share hobbies and interests with. I’m also incredibly sensitive to speech – the slighlest compliment can build my ego and confidence like a rainbow, but a small negative gesture will break me into a thousand pieces.

I love my daughter. I love being a mother. It’s the most rewarding, beautiful journey worth waiting for. It’s also lonely, dry, stagnant and painful… When you’re enduring a bad day.

Losing these friends caused me to start considering employment again. Where I can socialize and hopefully meet people (which terrifies me, but I’m desperate if I can’t have the people in TX nearby, haha) with other children, to connect in this new season of life with. It’s a bad idea in general with my nature, so I’m trying to build a business of my own, in my head, for somewhere down the road… It’s clear to me that I can’t be managed, I have to work on my time, doing what I love. Even basic WAHJ’s don’t have what I need, because I’m not in control. Someday, hopefully, I can peruse my high school dreams related to art/photography/videography. Thankfully it’s not unrealistic… I will never be the breadwinner, only sporadic supplemental income.