Yes, it’s wonderful. Yes, it’s a gift. Yes, I’m grateful. Motherhood can also be lonely.
At dinner tonight I watched out the window we were seated in front of as a mom let her toddler run on the porch outside. The rest of her party was inside; drinking wine, connecting. The Mom may have been totally fine with it. Maybe she’s the working parent and this was her time to connect with her kiddo while her partner gets to socialize with grown-ups.
Mostly likely not, though. Most often moms are the ones who forego time with other grown-ups to care for their children. They lose out on the last bites of their meal that’s swept away while they take their child to the bathroom. The last bit of wine is poured out while she changes a diaper. The conversation is left unfinished because her toddler needs a break… outside on the porch.
It’s wonderful. And it’s lonely.
I’ve learned that this is a season, just like all the others. I don’t know how much that helps when in the lonely season, but it’s true. It will pass. Soon, you’ll be sitting at the window during your beautiful impromptu dinner with your children who sit through the whole meal. They’ll chat with you and go to the bathroom alone. It will be wonderful. Precious.
But as you look beyond the profile of your youngest daughter to watch out the window at the Mom chasing her toddler, you will become acutely aware of how quickly the time really does go. And you’ll appreciate this incredible sweet spot of children who love nothing more than spending time with you and can bathroom themselves, and quench their own thirsts.
You’ll realize it’s only a few years until they are driving and won’t be sitting at your table all the time. Maybe you’ll miss being out on the porch while everyone else is inside. Or, maybe you’ll settle with the knowledge that you relished most days and inhaled most moments. Only time will tell.
To the Mom with the toddler: I see you. It’s why I bought your glass of wine.