The Lonesomeness of Motherhood

12 Feb

Brace yourselves, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic. Maybe I’ve had a bit more wine than usual. Maybe I haven’t had enough sleep (no question there). I’m part of a variety of ‘Mommy Communities’, I have a loving, supportive husband who adores our girl with every breath in his body, I even have good in-laws, and yet. When I was holding my baby against my chest tonight, rocking her to sleep with her sound machine roaring in my ear I couldn’t help thinking: Motherhood is lonely.

This is not the lonesomeness of a teenager without friends, nor is it the solitude of an adult who has no worthwhile family. I have friends, and I am blessed with good family. This loneliness has to do with a uniqueness of feeling. Every mother loves their child (every good mother that is, we won’t get into the mother’s unfit to have children). Every mother follows after their toddler with hands outstretched, both encouraging and hoping to hold back, just a little. Don’t grow up just yet. But no mother, no person on this earth, will ever love this child the way I do.

And you must admit she is lovable:


There’s a loneliness in that. No one on this earth will ever understand or feel the same heart aching, breath-stealing love that I have for this small, occasionally stinky little human who depends on me for everything. It’s a little terrifying to realize that no matter what, I will always be her mother. If she ran away to the arctic, if she married a biker named Nails, if she decided she was a ‘he’ instead. I am her mother. There is nothing that can end that bond. Nothing that she can do can break that or steal that label from my heart. Nothing I will do will end that between us.

Her father adores her every move. He watches her with a zealous appreciation. But he does not know about the tiny freckle on her left shoulder blade—he’s never seen it. He does not know that when she yawns, she leads with the left corner of her mouth, as if stretching out her sweet face. No one but me (and presumably, she) knows that when she is tired but not ready to sleep her favorite pillow in all the world is my right bicep, with my arm curved around her leg and her foot resting on my hip. I am hers and she is mine. We are alone in this, but we are together.

Told you it was melodramatic.


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