My year of mat leave was full of adjusting – giving myself breaks and naps and room to adjust to this new mom business. It was also full of this amazing community of other new moms, which meant lots of play dates and outings and socializing. It meant I was busy.
The time leading up to the end of my mat leave I felt huge relief that I wasn’t stressing about “going back to work”. True, I had worked my entire mat leave, but I still got to stay home with my child. Lucky me! My friends were stressing and worrying and dreading it. Me, I was sweet.
Fast forward a couple of months. Life after mat leave has been a hard adjustment. All of my friends are back to work, which means my amazing community of my mom friends has substantially shrunk.
Those same friends who were stressing and worried seem to be happy to be out and about in the land of adult conversations again. Me, I’m struggling to establish my new “normal”.
When we got back from the UK I really felt like I needed to establish a routine. No more “just get through the day” or “do what you gotta do”. This was my day to day now. Callum is also at the age where he needs some routine, and some structure, so I make sure I’m home (almost) everyday for nap time for him. This has meant spending a lot of time at home. In my house. Alone. For some people this may sound like bliss. For me, it’s hard. Really, really hard. I like to talk. I like to chat and laugh and be around other people. I love making connections with people and spending time with them.
We’re definitely keeping busy. But even when we go out now, a lot of the time it’s just the two of us. And if you’ve every spent your days chattering with a one year old, you know it can make you feel a little like your brain is turning to mush at times.
I’m forever grateful I can spend this time with my son. Too soon he’s not going to want me around all that much and I’m going to miss this like crazy. But I’m finally realizing it’s okay to say that even though I love spending time with him, this new life can be a little lonely.
Every mom has their own battle. Traditional working moms have so much to juggle and so much to fit into their day. Stay at home moms and work from home moms have a different kind of battle – the battle of keep ahold of ourselves.
Slowly but surely I’m going to find my new rhythm. We’ve joined some new groups and met some new people. Spring is bringing warm days and time to be outside. Just like in my old life, this new life is full of constant adjusting and wiggling and figuring things out.