I’ve always been a social butterfly. Friends throughout my life have joked about how I can make a friend anywhere under any circumstances. I used to have endless plans on the weekends and my agenda was packed for months and months.
Then I had my first baby.
The isolation of new motherhood hit me really hard the first few weeks and after crying every single day to my already exhausted husband when he came back to work about how bored I was with a tiny newborn all day, I made it a point to leave the house every day. I would go out for lunch dates with my baby, stroll around the park, sit on a bench and feed him while I looked at dogs chase a ball at the dog park.
But I was still lonely.
I was missing adult interaction, so I signed up for classes and events to meet new moms that were in the same stage as I was.
We went to breastfeeding classes, both because we had issues figuring it out but also because I got to complain about how hard feeding newborns is with equally exhausted and hormonal people like me. I looked forward to those classes so I could meet up with my new friends, boobs out, and chat about the latest blowout we had to deal with.
Slowly those strangers started becoming friends. We started going to mommy and me classes, or at least made plans and attempted to go since half of the times our babies had different plans for the days. But there were exciting texts and something to look forward to in between diaper changes.
I’m a new mom again, this time during a global pandemic and it’s starting to hit me now how much I miss all the things I can’t do under the current circumstances.
Yes, I miss my old friends. But I really miss making new ones whom I can commiserate about how hard this is. How especially hard this is because of COVID-19. I need someone (besides my husband) to acknowledge that what we are currently doing seems almost impossible. That every day has blended to the next in a weird and surreal way that goes beyond being a new mom.
I miss being outside with an easy to satisfy tiny baby and also wonder if my new babies will be socially awkward because they haven’t been outside the house much and have only seen us for their entire life (I doubt they remember the doctor’s face who brought them out into the world, to be honest).
At first, knowing that I couldn’t leave the house gave me a sense of relief. I was freshly postpartum after losing a lot of blood and the only thing I wanted to do was sit on the couch and take naps. But as I got better, as the days got warmer, as my babies became more aware of their surroundings I now miss all the things I used to love so much.
I miss dressing the babies in cute outfits. It kind of seems pointless right now. We coordinate clothes for family photos we send to our loved ones via text and then quickly change back to sweatpants and pajamas because its what makes everyone’s lives easier (and I really need easy right now).
I miss passing my brand new creation to a friend and seeing their face transform with love and admiration. Right now all the baby passing we do is between my husband and me when one of us is touched out and needs a break.
I miss walking around aimlessly pushing a stroller and getting smiles from strangers who know exactly where I am at, just trying to keep the baby snoozing for a couple of minutes longer. All the walking I do now is from one end of the house to the other, which makes it feel suddenly so so small.
I know things will go back to normal, eventually, but I feel so cheated out of the postpartum experience I wanted to have. I can’t help but get angry.
I didn’t want this to be this way. It was hard the first time around because I wasn’t prepared for the monumental change becoming a mother entails. This time around I was ready, and it was still all taken away from me.
I’m sure when life goes back to what it used to be, I’ll look back at this time and miss it for its stillness and simpleness. So I’ll try to make the most of it now.