Having just moved with husband and 16 month-old across three time zones, I'm thinking a lot these days about what elements I want to build into our new life and particularly into my new life as a stay-at-home mom in a new city. Since I lived here as a teenager and my parents are still here, we have family and good friends in town, which will be wonderful. However, most of those people work during the week, so I will have Monday to Friday to fill up. I suppose I had to do that in Montreal, too, but it happened more gradually as I moved out of the fog of the newborn phase and was more easily able to get out of the house, so it (that aspect of it, anyway) didn't feel as daunting at the time. This time, I have a very active little person on my hands who needs stimulation and interaction with other toddlers/children, and quite frankly I often find myself frazzled and frustrated at the end of a full day spent at home by myself with little A.
I've started a little list of activities that little A and I can partake in here. And I have a friend who's home with her 2.5 year old daughter; I hope that the four of us will see each other regularly. I was feeling pretty good about those leads when the above-mentioned friend asked me how I deal with the isolation of being a SAHM. Wow.... thud. That brought me down to earth fast! It can be terribly isolating staying at home with a little person all week... but I didn't experienced it that way, not much anyway, because of the strong support network I wove for myself in our old neighbourhood. Because of my fellow yoga zen moms!
Then today I read a post on a blog I have loved for a long time, in which the writer, a new mom to her second son, describes how vital to her mental health it can be reach out when she's feeling vulnerable. About how it can be so hard to do, but it can do so much good. I wanted to share the post here, because it rings true to me and I feel it's important for us to remember to reach out and lean on each other when the going gets rough, whether you're a mom who works at home or outside the home.
In building this new life of ours, I will need to think of activities, yes. But additionally and arguably more importantly, I will need to seek out connections with people to whom I can turn in my more challenging moments, to whom I can show my vulnerability. I write this and I think, "of course," because it's those kinds of connections that kept me afloat through those difficult early months and beyond.
Thank goodness for the Internet and all the ways I can stay in touch with the people I left behind when we left Montreal. Thank goodness for this new forum for sharing with each other. I feel lucky to be able to do a little leaning on your virtual shoulders, and to be here for you, even as I start to weave a new network for myself way out West.
Has motherhood changed the way you connect with friends, or your need to reach out?