I knew motherhood would not be easy but I never imagined it could be so lonely. I moved to Calgary when I was 8 months pregnant with Olivia and the next month passed in a hectic blur of preparing for the impending arrival of a baby. Normally, moving to a new city means new friends from a new workplace or activities, but life was crazy and Olivia was born exactly 1 month after we moved.
The first few months passed much like the month before her birth - quickly and filled with stress. I struggled with anxiety, sleepless nights, and nonstop breastfeeding; I was lucky if I was able to get dressed before Boneto got home from work, let alone get out of the house to meet people. I was home alone the majority of the day with someone who couldn't speak ... and I was indescribably lonely.
I joined some mom's groups on Facebook for our city and I have enjoyed the play dates; however, there is something strange that happens when you become a mother. Suddenly. friendships are no longer formed by the things you have in common or the connection you feel but how close your children's birthdays are. I mean, I get it; we are going through similar things and our kids can play together but... I am so caught up in being a mother in my day-to-day life that sometimes I feel like I am seeking friendship as an escape, a chance to be me outside of the mom title.
The other dilemma of friendships (or lack thereof) within motherhood is, of course, time. I struggle constantly with finding balance in my life between being a good wife and a good mother and a good friend, while building a business and taking care of myself. I have not found the answer and usually the search for friends falls to the bottom of my list.
I love my daughter and I love my life, even when this loneliness creeps in. I do not have the solution but I also know I'm not alone in these struggles. I hope you know you're not alone, either.
I had heard this quote a number of times but I didn't truly understand it until I read The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman.
The concept is this: everyone has a primary love language - this is way we understand and express love for those in our lives. Of the 5 identified by Chapman, 1 of them speaks more deeply to us emotionally than the other 4. Whatever makes us feel loved is what we do for our spouse; however, our language is usually not the same as our partner and so our actions will not mean to them what it means to us.
The Five Love Languages are:
Sometimes, I get so caught up in my own love language that I forget that Boneto and I express our affection in very different ways. For me, I love to find the perfect present for people; it does not need to be expensive, but it does need to be thoughtful.
However, receiving gifts is the last on the list for Boneto; for him, acts of service are how he feels loved. For the past few weeks, I have attempted to change my outlook on these acts of service; instead of dreading washing the mountain of dishes that pile up in our kitchen, I look forward to getting something done that will make his life easier.
I will never love washing dishes but I do love him.
Understanding what love languages are at play in your relationship allows for greater communication and, ultimately, happiness. If you want to discover your love language, take the test here.