I am a mom. I have a wonderfully energetic 3 ½ year old with a big personality named Ella. She is becoming more independent everyday which is both helpful and frightening. And I have Isaac who is about 10 months, recently crawling, teething, still nursing and as cute as can be. I have my hands full.
When Isaac was born I got to quit my job and stay home. It was something I really wanted to do after having Ella but we couldn’t quite make it work. So when I got the chance this time I took it. It was terrifying to quit my job. I’ve always worked and even though being home with the kids is work, it’s different. This was a huge step into the unknown for me. I kept telling people that I was giving myself the first 3 months, which would have been my maternity leave, to get settled into being at home and then I was going to figure out a better routine and get more on top of things like the housework and socializing. (Spoiler alert, I’m 10 months in and haven’t found a housework routine I will stick with!) It was around that 3 month mark when it started to sink in that I was home now and this was my new normal. And that’s when I got hit with some depression. Being home was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I loved being home with my children and felt like I was being a good mom to them but I also felt like I was losing what it meant to be myself as well. I didn’t realize that I was an extrovert. I didn’t realize that going to work and socializing with peers energized me as much as it did. I felt isolated at home. I was so focused on how excited I was to have more time with my kids that I didn’t prepare myself for what losing the daily connection to people (not that my kids aren’t people, but you know what I mean) meant and how that would affect me. This also happened to hit during winter, storms and what was at one point an endless cycle of sickness between me and the kids exacerbated this problem. I remember tearfully texting to cancel plans because I didn’t want to risk getting others sick but knowing it would cost me some sanity.
Thankfully that season of sickness finally passed. I became more intentional about making plans with friends and other moms and making new friends in the process. I stepped out of my comfort zone and approached women simply because I knew they were also moms and started conversations. I set reminders on my phone to schedule regular outings. I was relieved to see that there were other moms looking for the same thing I was and have seen a community form. It’s so nice to talk to other moms and say things like “I actually put myself on time-out the other day” and share ideas for raising kids, managing households and just being ourselves. Moms need community.
This season of life has taught me a lot about how much I value relationships. I like being a friend and spending time with people. It has taught me to be intentional about my relationships and savor the time spent with good friends. I am thankful for the people in my life.
Author: Cassia Hobbs