I met a new single mom today. Her baby is only a week and a half old. She is hanging in there, though anyone who has been there knows those can be some tough days. It brought back a LOT of memories for me. The first week of barely leaving my bed. The first three weeks of never putting clothes on me or my baby. The feeling of how absolutely absurd the idea of anyone else holding my baby seemed…for a month. All the theories and ideas I came up with about everything in life. It was a very rich creative time for me. But I also remember the shock of the long and lonely nights, one after another after another. The silence of my phone which previously was solid years of beeps and rings.
It was a shock at first, it seemed unreal like time was standing still. Like I was Evie from Out of This World and I had accidentally stopped time but couldn’t figure out how to make it go again. The shock grew into a deep ache and then a crawl-out-of-your-skin withdrawal kind of anxiety. One of those feelings like if you could die of an emotion that one just might kill you. Eventually, I got over it and the long evenings alone became my new normal. I found different ways to interact and to fill that void: meetup groups, comment sections of blogs, new friends, a major resurgence of reading, consuming more television series online than I could ever have imagined and being productive by getting more work done. Now, though I sometimes miss my old life, I mostly enjoy my quiet nights.
Meeting this new mom today brought back all those memories and feelings, but also made me feel like I’m distinctly on the other side of a really rough patch of new parenthood. That I could turn around and be of help to her felt so good. And yet, here I am having one of those lonely nights, just wanting to talk to someone, and writing here instead. Good enough for me.
How about you? Can you relate? What do you do on your lonely nights?