I went to a barbecue this weekend. Bray was working at the family ranch and I had the kids. I was apprehensive about going out with three speedy toddlers solo, but I was assured by the event organizers that there were plenty of adults who would be there to help me. And because I am SO tired of spending weekends trapped at home when Bray’s out of town, I allowed myself to believe that she was right.
But after 18 months, I should know better. I arrived, got the boys in a double stroller, the diaper bag hooked on the back and little sister on my hip, and headed into the lovely park area. The kids were thrilled. There was lots of new space to explore, kids of all ages running pell-mell, and a fun adventure ahead. Mom, on the other hand, was stressed out. There’s no way to say this without sounding like I’m having a big of a pity-party, but I’ve found we’re a bit of a novelty on our outings. EVERYONE is interested in helping for the first 10 minutes, come see the triplets, aren’t they cute, what fun, but as you know if you’ve ever seen a freak show at a circus, you can only look at the three headed man for so long. Then you go get your cotton candy and head into the big top. Well, that’s what happened. Everyone got their food and drinks, the husbands took their single child down the slide while the wives visited and fixed plates. And I was running three different directions chasing pretty fast and independent toddlers wishing someone would notice I’d kill for a sip of water.
You’re probably reading this thinking, “how self-involved?” There are people with no food and water, people with diseases and heartache, and you’re bothered because you didn’t get enough support while having a fun time at a park with your kids?!?! You would be right. But as this is a blog about the stuff that goes through my head, I write about things sometimes that even I acknowledge are a little selfish.
I love these children with everything in me. And I love my husband and wouldn’t want anyone else. But I felt lonely. Everyone was there with their spouse, relaxing, kicking back, and I was there, well, alone with three kids. I felt it so acutely. I wished in that moment that Bray was there. That things were easier. That my mom wasn’t sick and my friends weren’t far away, or occupied, or overused already. I knew everyone in the crowd but felt like I didn’t know a soul. So I packed up the kids and went home.
I know it gets easier. And I know I’m not always solo. But if you’re a mom that has to take on stuff on your own at times, I thought it might help you to know that you’re not alone in your loneliness. And maybe that helps you feel a little less lonely.
Amy Vogel says
I totally get this. I often feel this way at church – as we are also a freakshow. 🙂 Next time, call me. I’d be happy to wrangle toddlers with you – and Natalie would be happy to help!! And please don’t think we are THAT overused. At least call me!! Although I also know it can be devastating to hear no – in that case text me, its a little easier. :))