Sunday, September 09, 2007

Isolation

Ok I'll be the first to admit that I am not a people person. I prefer to hang around my home and family. That being said, when I want to be social...I need to be social. My husband works on weekends so that is usually when I enjoy seeing friends, attending church, going to get togethers, and attending the infrequent parties that cross my path. However since A has been born I find these forays into the social world aggravating and draining. I am frustrated because I need to isolate myself to calm or feed her. And end up asking myself why the hell I came at all if I can't talk to others in a social setting for more than a few minutes. I am still trying to increase/maintain my milk supply for her so getting a babysitter or supplying a bottle over the weekend would be counter productive.

Today was difficult (and it is not even noon) because I tried to take her to church for the first time. She did not even make it through the Welcome. I have been feeling guilty for not going in 3 months (childcare was limited over the summer, and the nursery is not equipped to deal with immobile infants) and now I am thinking maybe I should just wait for another few months till she can sit up and be in the nursery.

I have my first Tarheel get together in a couple of weeks, and I am really starting to worry if I will be able to enjoy it at all with her along (I can't leave her home, the tarheels would kill me).

A coworker told me the other day that this time of a babys life can be trying with them seemingly attached to you 24/7, but that over all it is a very short time of their life. and while I "know" that to be true, it doesn't make the isolation any easier to bear.

6 comments:

Kendra said...

What helped me a bit when my girls went through that clingy stage was to use a sling or Snugli. They both allow mom to move around and get some things done, but give the baby a sense of closeness and security. And slings are such that you can nurse while baby is in the sling.

Cathy said...

You're right. Well-meaning people will tell you to enjoy that time because it won't last, and while it sounds like good advice to them, you'd probably like to clock them upside the head and tell them to try it for a week!

I'm not going to try to give you any advice. I feel your pain though.

Anna van Schurman said...

Obviously I come at this from a completely different perspective, but you might want to look at Adrienne Rich's Of Woman Born. Part of the problem is that we're socialized to, well, care for children (in isolation) so any discussion of the feelings you're having are sort of taboo. Mother Nature (Sarah Hrdy) is another good one. At least you'll be connecting intellectually with the outside...

BLGH said...

So sorry that you are feeling this way. See you and A on the 22nd.

Brenda

Sharon said...

Can you try and nurse the baby right before church? Or do you have to be there at the very beginning? Why not try to come in after the first 30 minutes. Hopefully, you would have a chance to nurse and she will settle down for you. The sermon is one of the most important parts and you won't have missed that.

You should keep trying-so she will get used to the sounds and sights of church. I hope you can find a way to resolve it. I used a sling-it was good for me.

Lee said...

Boy - I remember those days and that feeling of isolation. It may help to seek out other parents with infants (maybe at your church?). In those social situations, you may not need to excuse yourself to nurse or calm A. They've all "been there/done that". And it helps to share your experiences, whether they are happy or sad or funny or aggravating.

Friendships I made during that time in my life have been the closest and longest lasting that I've ever had.

It's good advice about the sling or snugli, too. My arms would get so, so tired by the end of the day, and it added to my overall tiredness. The baby sling really helped my fatigue and my babies seemed to be more content because of the constant closeness. Yet I felt more free.

Remember that you're going through a big transition and trying to figure out your new roles as a mother, wife, and woman again. Countless things in your life have shifted and changed. So don't be hard on yourself. In fact, I think it's great that you own up to these feelings and air them out. It's the only way to work through them.