Gone are the days when my week revolved around playdates. Those breaks in the isolation of new motherhood. The isolation of being at home all the time instead of in an office surrounded by work, coworkers, and deadlines.
There are too many schedules. Too many sibling naps. Too many other things pulling at our time to allow us to get together with any regularity.
That leaves each of us struggling to find our own way. We are rarely alone. But we are rarely conversing with other people our own age. We rarely have free time, and we are trying to figure out who we are now that our kids are a little bit bigger and just ever-so-slightly less needy. They have their own activities, their own schedules. Yet, they are not independent enough to offer more free time and less stress to the parents caring for their needs.
So here I am feeling ever so alone in this strange world as a housewife and mother. It's sometimes gratifying. And sometimes it's not gratifying. I find it all-consuming, yet those feelings are snuggly wrapped with feelings of emptiness. Then there's the guilt, the anxiety, the never-ending chores and to-do lists.
I'm not stagnating. In addition to the lonely parenting, I've been writing and pushing myself towards my self-imposed deadlines. But those things are also solitary, isolating.
Mostly, I miss my friends. I miss our simple gatherings at the park when the kids would roll around on blankets while the moms talked shop--breastfeeding, diapers, sleep, sex (or lack thereof), and what aspirations we had for ourselves beyond motherhood. Talking about our aspirations is much easier than actually trying to sort it all out.
Attempting to sort it all out amplifies just how much I have no idea what I'm doing, where I'm going, or how I'm going to get through the week, or the next hour for that matter.