I was fortunate enough to have my mum come and visit me recently. It was bliss. My Mum is my best friend and there’s no one else I confide in or trust as much as I do her, plus she makes a mean cup of tea. But all good things come to and end and she left to go back to her life, leaving me sitting on the couch with Little Miss on my own. Isolation is a funny thing. You have things to do, a baby to look after and your life to live. But then it hits you like a ton of bricks. You might be just sitting on the couch watching tv. Maybe you’re feeding your baby. Maybe it’s 3am and they just will not stop crying. Oh. My. God. I am alone. Alone, not in the demographic sense, although some of you may be experiencing that, but I mean alone in your mind.
Having a baby can be pretty isolating indeed. For me, since I left school, I’ve been slowly building myself a career. I’ve always worked and worked bloody hard to be the best I can possibly be in every single position I’ve held. My life had structure and I was always well organized. I also had a wide and supportive friends network and my mum a 40 minute drive from me. When I moved away to be with my Sailor, I wasn’t worried. I approached my new life change with the same enthusiasm as I had everything else, landed a fantastic job and we burnt through our disposable income on partying and anything else we wanted.
When I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t worried. I’d be organized about Little Miss and wrote lists of things I needed to buy and do so that I was well prepared. Then she was born and the isolation consumed me like a bottle of wine on a Friday evening! There was no amount of lists or to do’s that made me feel even half way organized when it came to looking after Little Miss. I felt like the people I had around me didn’t understand what I was going through and I was
Caught in this limbo of what I thought was the right thing to do and what other people were telling me what to do.
It took me a while but I’ve come to this realization. You may not have people immediately around you that understand what you’re going through, but I do. Because I do, there are tens of thousands of other women out there that also understand how isolating it is. The trick is to start reaching out. There’s a whole world of women out there willing to share their stories via numerous multimedia platforms. There’s also plenty of women in your town or city in the same boat so join a local meet up group. Take advantage of any new mothers groups your hospital organizes for you and if they don’t, organize one yourself. Nothing makes you feel better than reconnecting and sharing your stories. Yes, having a baby can make you feel alone, but you don’t have to struggle alone.
My next VBlog is going to be on how important Mums groups are, so stay tuned!