This post goes out to all the moms I ever inadvertently
left alone abandoned at a social gathering…
In my pre-motherhood days, my husband and I had our fair share of fabulous social gatherings. Ok, so maybe they weren’t so fabulous considering 99% of them likely took place in our backyard or another friend’s backyard, but to this mommy now, any kid-free night out with adult conversation that doesn’t revolve around potty training or what my kid pulled out of the rubbish (yes, I say rubbish) can that day is indeed, fabulous. We enjoyed entertaining and our house somehow became the place everyone gravitated to.
Now, most of our friends that we regularly
partied kicked up our heels with were kid-less back then. (Pretty much everyone now has at least one kid in that group of friends.) Occasionally we would have couples with elementary school aged kids come out for the evening, but those kids were all big enough to find something to do and didn’t require a chaperone the entire time they were there. Very seldom would we be somewhere (or have someone over) with newborns or toddlers. It’s not that we avoided them, we just didn’t know too many people at stage in their lives.
Well, it never occurred to me that while the adults (and older kids) were outside hanging out, grilling, or sitting by the firepit, that there was probably a mom with that baby or toddler hanging out inside for various reasons (mostly to avoid some of the adult activities that were going on). Alone.
I know it never happens on purpose. No one ever says, “Hey guys, let’s all go outside/upstairs/in the garage and leave So-and-So alone inside.” No, it just kinda happens with all the excitement going on. In my days before being responsible for two other little human beings, I know I didn’t notice that mom that got left alone. And if I did, I’m pretty sure I thought she was probably inside because she wanted to be. On her own accord. Not left and abandoned from any adult interaction. I know I am guilty of hosting people over where a brand new mom is there and has been inadvertently abandoned by everyone. Now in my defense, before I was a mom, I was very anti-stay-away-from-all-the-babies-because-they-freak-me-out-and-don’t-let-me-touch-them-because-I’ll-likely-break-them, so I know for a fact that I wasn’t gushing over their baby or asking to hold it for them. Me and babies just didn’t get along (kinda funny when in return for that, I got pregnant with twins as a first time mom).
Well let me tell you that 98% of the time, that mom doesn’t want to be there by choice. I know. I’ve been that mom. You know, the one that gets left inside alone? With all the kids and the food? That mom has a list of a hundred different places she’d rather be than sitting there alone. More often than not, she probably just wants to be in bed sleeping, but on the rare occasion that she has an ounce of energy leftover to spend on someone other than her offspring, she might like to be with the adults having an actual conversation.
It never occurred to me that maybe she’s lonely, because duh, she has a baby, how could she be lonely? I didn’t know that being a mom is sometimes the loneliest job you’ll ever have.
It never occurred to me that maybe she’d rather be in bed sleeping, because her newborn has been keeping her up all night and literally sucking the life out of her and she’s only had 4 solid hours of sleep in the past 48 hours.
It never occurred to me that while she was hosting us and meddling in the kitchen while I was outside with the rest of the guests, that even though she said she didn’t need help, that she was desperately hoping for someone to sit with her while she finished up so she didn’t feel completely abandoned.
In my selfish (yes, selfish, but I didn’t realize it at the time) pre-babies life, I never really noticed that mom if she wasn’t engaged with the rest of the adults. I have manners and I know I asked if there was anything they needed or wanted me to do to help, but I also know that was probably a formality.
Looking back, I know I had no idea what that mom might have been feeling at the tie. But I do now. I know how she feels. I’m that mom sometimes. Left inside alone while the rest of the adults don’t even realize what’s happening. Left alone because I’m cooking or cleaning up from the festivities and probably watching a few kids that are inside as well. I hate it. I so so hate it. And I’ll never call anyone out on it, but that’s a time when you never feel so used in your life. I know it’s stupid and not done on purpose, but that doesn’t make it suck any less. Maybe it’s the lonely momma thing combined with the desire to have an adult conversation with someone other than your spouse. Who knows. I’m no psychoanalyst. Nonetheless, it blows.
So to all those moms I abandoned once upon a time, I’m sorry. I really truly am. I never meant to do it on purpose or to make you feel shitty. I just…didn’t know.