When I was a new Mom with my first child, I couldn’t wait to introduce my baby to social interaction. We signed up for Little Gym, Gymboree, sports classes, art classes, puppet shows and story time. We had a fairly busy schedule. I thought I was giving my child the best. It did not become apparent to me until much later that all that socializing was actually for me.
There is so much excitement around the birth of a new baby. For the first few weeks, friends and family visit, packages arrive and your life is still a buzz over the miracle you have brought into the world. You are healing. You are tired. And before you know it, you are alone. You spouse goes back to work and you are left feeling a bit of emptiness and faced with huge responsibilities.
I was overwhelmed with the amount of work a newborn brings. My body lacked sleep and my mind missed contact with other people. At first, it was a bit of relief to be alone to allow myself to create a new daily routine. But soon, I found that I was not prepared for the change in my life.
My husband noticed it too. I would call him during the day for no real reason. I craved to hear details of work meetings, daily projects and lunches out. I would drool as he told me about the chopped salads, spinach and artichoke dips and fire-grilled chicken dishes he enjoyed at work lunches. I would stare at my own lunch of yogurt with envy. When I would hear the hum of the garage door opening, I practically ran to greet him at the door. With our baby in my arms, I would follow him and talk, desperate to share my stories of sleeping schedules, successful breastfeeding and anything that I had watched on tv during the day.
I had many supportive friends but that did not prevent me from feeling like I was alone. Many of my friends either worked during the day or had multiple children so they never had time to talk. My wake-up call came the day that I was talking to a telemarketer on the phone and he said, “I really have to get going. I have more calls to make.” I hung up feeling confused.