Seasons. Phases. Whatever you want to call the ups and downs of raising children (or just life in general), we can all agree things change. It may be sleep patterns, favorite activities, favorite foods, temper tantrums, so on and so forth. It might be changes within your friendships or even your marriage. You get it. We are currently in an interesting season. As a wife and mother, I am in a very challenging season. I’m lonely.
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. – Henry Ford
In the last sixteen months, I have learned a few things. One of the most important things I’ve learned is…. I was wrong. In my mind, I envisioned being a stay-at-home mom as lots of fun play dates, trips to the park, meeting friends for lunch, and teaching my kids all of the basics they will need to know to begin preschool. This dream is not completely incorrect, but I would like to address a few of my misconceptions:
Fun Play Dates: I always imagined sitting on the floor, sipping coffee and chatting with fellow mommies about our kiddos as the kids played nicely with some blocks. I assume these would take place if I actually KNEW anyone who (a) is also a stay-at-home mommy or even a part-time working mommy and (b) isn’t afraid of hanging out with a mom of twins. I get it. My kids can be a little overwhelming. Contrary to how it may seem sometimes, I am actually dying to leave my house WITH my kids. We just need somewhere to go!
Trips to the Park: These do take place at least once or twice a week, weather permitting. Most of the time we are alone at the park, so I basically end up chatting with my tiny humans about the trees or grass. Considering we have a spacious yard, a fancy swing set, and all of the balls Ryker could ever dream to play with… We might as well stay home and play! We go to the park so I can run, and the babies can ride in the stroller. It gets us out of the house, so it isn’t a complete bust.
Meeting Friends for Lunch: This goes back to the whole “my kids can be a little overwhelming”. The last time we were invited to lunch, it was with my mom, aunt, and grandmother. It wasn’t awful, but I’m not holding my breath they will invite us to lunch again anytime soon. I have dining out with toddlers down to a science. I am completely ok with going out to eat, its just the other folks who get a little antsy. I also tend to shy away from invitations that do not include my kids. Contrary to what some may believe, my kiddos are actually pretty well behaved in restaurants as long as it is not nap time. Truth be told, if you want to hang out with me, my kids will probably be with me!
Teaching my kids all of the preschool basics: If “don’t hit your sister” or “don’t throw that” are things Ryker will be tested on to get into preschool, I doubt he will be accepted. Truth. I have tried so hard to teach them body parts, introduce them to shapes and colors, and even sharing. Have you ever tried to hold the attention of two toddlers for longer than .25 seconds? I have. I wasn’t successful, but I did try. I’ve resorted to showing them books and hoping they will soak something in between their fights, Ryker’s tantrums, and snacks. There’s a glimmer of hope in there somewhere.
The truth is, we are just in this season where I’m plain lonely. Period. I crave adult conversation almost as much as I crave chocolate. Any type of social interaction is amazing. I’ve considered trying to join a Mommy Play Date Group, but the closest one I’ve found is 45 minutes away. If I reach that level of desperation, I’ll probably load up the kids and crash that one. We do have frequent play dates with a friend of mine and her precious little daughter. I literally count down the minutes between their visits! In the meantime, I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping eventually the twins and I will be able to crawl out of our cave and make friends. Until then, I’ll continue telling them everything I wish I could tell an adult as we build towers with blocks or blow bubbles in the yard. I know one day I’ll no longer crave being around other Mommies. I know one day I’ll wish I could have the twins at home with me so we could play, giggle, blow bubbles, and share snacks. I’m trying to soak it all in so please do not take this a desperate cry or a complaint. I’m just being real.
I’m sure family will read this and immediately offer to “keep the babies” so I can go do something or go somewhere. I want to make it extra crystal clear that’s not what I’m needing. Where would I go anyway?! To the grocery store? Eh. We have that under control. No thanks. I’m needing friends, play dates, someone to talk to, somewhere to go with my kids so we can be around other human beings. I need to see with my own two eyes that I am not the only mom who struggles. I need social interaction just as much as the twins do.
In a few short weeks, Big Brother Gavin will be out of school. I have high hopes once school is out and the weather is nicer, we will have more opportunities to get out in the world and explore. Where do Mommies go? What fun places and things are out there for a mom and two 16 month olds? Share your secrets!