Craving Community

When my oldest daughter was a few months old, I left my job to become a Stay At Home Mama. We moved to my husband’s hometown shortly after so that he could start his business.  I didn’t really know any other stay at home moms my age, or any other age for that matter.  Add to that the exhaustion of no sleep, feeding and nap schedules, and the fact that my husband was traveling a lot, it adds up to loneliness pretty quickly.  My one saving grace was the fact that my husband’s parents and sister lived just minutes away, so I was able to turn to them for adult interaction and an occasional break from constantly entertaining an infant!

This feeling of loneliness and isolation was something I never really experienced before becoming a mom. In high school, my nickname was “social butterfly”…I always had friends around and something to do.  The same went for college, and even my first job out of college. I worked at a company with a lot of young people, and even though the job wasn’t the most exciting, I enjoyed going to work every day because I enjoyed the social aspect.  Then I became a mom.  It was the best thing that has ever happened to me, second to marrying my husband.  But nothing prepared me for the constant demand on my time and energy that an infant brings.  I barely had time to take a shower, let alone get dressed up and ready to go out with friends.  Plus, being in a new town, I didn’t really have many new friends to go out with anyway!

When my daughter was a year old, we moved back to Des Moines and I went back to work full time.  I loved the adult interaction I got at work and the feeling of accomplishment I felt at the end of the day.  But I still didn’t have many mama friends.  And now I was so busy at night and on weekends trying to spend time with my daughter and husband, and catching up on housework and errands, that I didn’t have time to go out and make any, or to spend much time with the ones I did have.

Since then, we have moved several times and have ended up back in Iowa City. I’ve worked full-time, part-time, and am back to primarily being a SAHM with part-time work on the side.  We’ve added another child and are expecting our third in September.  What I’ve learned so far in these 4 ½ years of motherhood is that whether you stay at home, work from home, or work outside the home, you need other mama friends!  I adore my friends who don’t have kids; they often give me a connection to the outside world that I wouldn’t otherwise have.  And I adore my husband. But I need other mamas who understand what I’m going through. Who encourage me.  Who love me, even when my house is a disaster from my tornado ten-month old, my shirt is covered in spit-up, and I don’t have a single bit of makeup on my face! I need them to save my sanity! Becoming a first-time mom is hard.  Becoming a second-time mom is hard. I know becoming a third-time mom is going to be hard.  Moving to a new place is hard.  Trying to reach out and find community in the midst of your exhaustion is hard. That’s why the Iowa City Moms Blog is here! We are just a group of local moms who are trying to navigate this crazy, exciting adventure that is motherhood! We’re not experts, we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, successes and epic fails! Our hope is that by sharing our lives and experiences with you, we might offer you some encouragement that you, in fact, are not alone! And we encourage you to share your lives with us, in the hopes that we can all feel part of this community that is motherhood in the Iowa City area!! Thanks for going on this journey with us…it’s sure to be an adventure!


Kaitlyn Swaim
Kaitlyn is the owner of Cedar Rapids Moms Blog and is an Iowa girl who has been married to her husband, Joshua, since 2007! She’s a busy work-at-home mama to their 5 children: 3 girls and 2 boys! A true Hawkeye, she graduated from the University of Iowa with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, something that comes in handy on a daily basis while trying to raise 5 kids! Her favorite things to do include spending time with her family, cheering on the Hawkeyes, reading a good book, shopping (of course!), and checking out all the activities the Corridor has to offer!


  1. I love your blog, Kaitlyn! This is coming to you from a veteran SAHM, one who did it for two children and just got back into the work force when the oldest hit age 22, which was only 1 1/2 yrs. ago. (He is on the autism spectrum and I could tell he needed the SAHM support.) I went through absolutely everything you mentioned and it brought tears to my eyes… You are right. Family is a huge support to those of us who choose to stay home! I don’t know how I’d have done it without my parents, who were the only ones that truly understood at the time what I could possibly be going through.

    Mothering is in my blood after all these years. My daughter often wanted me to “get a career” to distract me from her (she’s 20), so when she went abroad to study, we did what came naturally to me–we brought another child into our lives, offering a home to an exchange student from China. I can’t say that mothering ever gets easy, but the rewards do keep accumulating!

    When I did return to the work force, I reflected on what my gifts and talents had become, and it was obviously working with children. So with one on the autism spectrum and one in Germany studying International Business, I chose to work as a Substitute Paraprofessional in our school district, specializing in support for the autistic students, and I signed up with International Student Exchange to become an Area Representative, working to find loving homes for high school teens wanting to study in our land. Of course I had many fears of not being able to get back into the work force, but with a degree in teaching and all those years of experience (if only in my own home), I found it easier than expected to return to something I love–as long as I’m not comparing my paycheck to others’.

    This blog is a fantastic link that I didn’t have back in the late 80’s, so keep the good work going!

    Debbie Splean (Still only part-time employed, by choice.)

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Debbie! I think it’s wonderful that you are continuing to offer your home and mothering gifts to exchange students who are in need of a loving home here in the U.S! And I love your work supporting students with autism. What a blessing you are to others and I hope our blog can be useful to you in this stage of your life as a mom as well! Thank you for your support!

  2. This is a post that I’m sure any mom can relate to! I remember going through a time when my second child was still an infant that I just felt so lonely. We were living in a new place with no time or energy to build friendships, and I was struggling with that depressing feeling that I had no one to share life with. Of course I enjoyed being with my children, and of course I had my husband’s company in the evenings; but I needed some girlfriends… even just someone I could talk to on the phone for a while during nap time. I don’t think I really found my way out of that lonely funk until I entered the world of the moms blog. It became my outlet when there was no other way out. While I no longer rely on my “virtual” friendships to the extent I once did, I still treasure those mom bloggers who walked alongside me during what was for me an otherwise lonely period of motherhood. And I still treasure the moms blog world because of the unique sense of community it provides. I’m so excited to be part of a team bringing that community to Des Moines, and I’m just as excited for all of you who are doing the same for Iowa City! I wish you the best of luck on your new adventure!


    • Thank you for sharing, Angela! We are excited to be part of this Moms Blog Network and can’t wait to meet all you girls from Des Moines!! Thanks for all your support!!

  3. a little late to comment…but the intention was there and it gave me the chance to read this amazing post again! we are so excited for you all to embark upon this in IC, but this is exactly what our city moms blog network is all about. we are hearing daily of moms who need this community and are loving having us around. the giveaways are fun, learning about things to do is great, but loving on other mamas is what we all need the most! thanks for saying this so well, and by the way – i think you’re so stinkin’ cute! hope we can meet someday!


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