I've been stewing over this post for quite a while. I hesitate to write it because, first, it's one of those things that is probably going to come out all wrong, and second, I don't always feel this way...
But I will just go ahead and say it. This life,,,this stay-at-home mom of little kids, homeschooling life that I love...this is a lonely life. I don't always feel lonely. Most of the time I would say I am too busy to really even think about it, and that I really would feel hard-pressed to find the time to nurture a close friendship right now anyway, that that kind of relationship with other adults was for a time in my past life, and probably will be for another time in the future, but it's not for now. I don't have time for long phone chats and lunches out. I don't even have time to shave. But still. Sometimes I miss it. Sometimes the loneliness of it all is crushing. Do I sound like a total dip?
John is my best friend. We talk, often. But, I am an extrovert married to an introvert. He just doesn't have the same need to connect as I do, not in the same way anyway. When life is stressful, I need to talk more and he needs to talk less. It's a less than ideal situation at times.
I belong to homeschool groups. When I go to activities, I spend all my time chasing my kids while they chase theirs. I have never been able to regularly attend mom's nights out and planning meetings and those sorts of things because I always have nursing babies and toddlers and a husband that works weird hours. I have a babysitting teenager who already babysits too much to depend on for such trifling things. I am blessed to be close to my mom and I talk to her daily...a link to the world outside my living room and very often the only adult conversation I have for days at a time. But I miss having regular contact with friends, I miss laughing over drinks and appetizers, I miss drinking too much coffee over a long heart to heart, I miss having lunch with people that I don't have to feed. I've filled the gap with online groups and forums, but now I barely have time to keep my inbox empty. I wake up with children in my bed, and go to sleep with children in my bed. I nurse babies in my sleep. I take showers with little heads peeping around the curtain and voices calling up the stairs. I'm never, ever alone. I'm so busy and I'm so surrounded by other people that I feel like crawling into a cave at times, and so who can be lonely in the middle of all of this crazy, people-filled chaos?
Oh, I'm not always lonely, not even close. Most days I'm just fine, really and truly. I'm happy, and I don't regret my choices, and I truly love spending every day with my children. I was a working mom, and it sucked. I know I'm blessed, enormously blessed, to be here surrounded by these sweet faces.
But some days...some days are different, you know? Some days I'm overwhelmed and stressed out and in tears much of the day over this and that, and my husband is absorbed in his own stuff and just doesn't get it, and I'm wishing then that I had someone to call, someone to say, "hey, I need to vent, let's meet for coffee", and then I regret all those almost-friendships I didn't take the time to nurture.