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!