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Lonely Planet

Sometimes, I feel that becoming a mother launched me into outer space and I landed on a new planet, surrounded by people I don’t know and governed by a whole new set of rules, and feel disconnected from the people I held dear and counted on.

My transition from infertile to mother after infertility has been made so much harder by my own short sightedness and my own doing. As a form of self-preservation, I immersed myself in the infertility community, I turned my back on my fertile, having-baby friends and surrounded myself with people on the same path as me. Little realizing that at some point, either these new friends would become having-baby friends or *shock* I’d have a baby.

Well the latter happened, rather suddenly in fact, I *shock* had a baby and in record time and it gave neither myself or my friends a chance to adjust to my new role and my new life and to the new norms of a life with a small baby. The last 6 months have been hard for all of us, feelings have been hurt, its only now, slowly slowly starting to settle and come right but there are times when it’s really hard.

Life for Walter and I is very different to what it was 6 months ago, late night parties are a thing of the past, frankly, entertaining a small baby the day after a big night it just too bluddy awful that I avoid it at all costs, evenings out, especially in Jo’burgs freezing cold winter night-time temperatures are a thing of the past. Attending concerts and big sporting events are not practical at the moment, in fact anything that doesn’t offer a safe, warm, environment for my baby is simply a no go. If I’m honest, sometimes I feel a little depressed by the state of our social calendar. We’ve gone from being social butterflies to social dead beats.

All of this is made worse by Walters circumstance. He is the Quality Assurance manager for a small Teleco company. It’s a high pressure environment that does not keep office hours, add to that, he’s studying towards doing his Masters Degree in System’s Engineering and all of this adds up to very little time spent together.

Its my 38th birthday (fark, I’ll be 40 in two years, that alone is enough to make me depressed) & a public holiday tomorrow. We’ve been invited to a picnic but won’t be able to attend given that the predicted temperatures for Jo’burg are -3 degrees to 9 degrees, simply not an option with a 6 month old and Walter has an assignment and presentation due for Thursday so he’ll be at varsity on Wednesday afternoon and evening and all of it adds up to what I’m expecting to be a rather lonely birthday, its times like these that I really feel the distance between myself and my family.

A read a fellow mother-after-infertility’s blog this morning, where she described grappling with finding her groove as a mother. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, I guess its highly dependent on how one becomes a mother-after-infertility, for some of us the transition is more extreme than others. I consider mine to be pretty extreme – a 6 day pregnancy followed the by the birth of our daughter – and I can honestly say that finding my groove in motherhood has at times, been harder than the journey to motherhood.

Who would have thought!

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16 Comments

  • Reply niseysmusings

    Ava is still a bit small but in time a good babysitter (one you pay – not one who does you favours) is invaluable. Heine and I felt ourselves drawing further and further from who we were in the first 6 months but now that we have reliable babysitters it is much easier.

    For the most part Jaden is asleep when they get here and doesn’t even know that we were out and about. it makes a huge difference. As for the rest of it, u will start socialising with other moms and babes and find a whole new appreciation for motherhood, as Ava grows and becomes more adaptable it will be easier…

    June 15, 2010 at 9:54 am
  • Reply wheresmybun

    You know even though it feels lonely now, it will change, you will start to be more social again. This is just a little bump in the road and a time for you to spend as much time with Ava as you possibly can, that will change too, but all to soon. Everything will even out eventually. Your closest friends will always be there for you and this really is a time when the chaff will be split from the wheat. You really do start to realise who your friends are and who’s not. Change is always painful and uncomfortable and unfortunately for you it happened so quickly that your head was spinning. Hang in there hon, spring is around the corner, and soon the sun will shine again (literally and figuratively.

    June 15, 2010 at 10:03 am
  • Reply zamom

    Know it’s completely impractical but move to Cape Town or a house with servant’s quarters – that way you’ll always have very eager baby-sitters and a full social life. I can highly reccommend it. When Chris was doing all his studying, he fortunately did it from home, so that also gave me a good excuse to go out at night a lot as he could babysit and study. Hope you do manage to have a happy birthday, even if it’s just to bring Bafana lots of luck. The fact that your birthday is on Youth Day must mean you actually don’t age at all, that just wouldn’t be right!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 10:17 am
    • Reply Sharon

      My birth certificate indicates that I’ll be 38 tomorrow, but it simply can’t be right because I know I’m only TWENTY! 🙂

      June 15, 2010 at 10:21 am
  • Reply coachmarcia

    I get it – totally! My family is in PE and we also have no babysitters unless I get the nanny in and pay her a fortune to babysit.

    Sometimes I get jealous of my sister with TONS of free babysitting.

    Then again, I don’t envy her all the drama 🙂

    Happy birthday for tomorrow – hope your first bday as a mom is better than mine was. This year I’m hoping for much better (best I prep D)

    I’d be interested in your take on the friendship post I wrote about a week or two back on a Tues.

    June 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply thebsdiaries

    Being pregnant lessens this state? nope. Nine months of pregnancy probably puts you in more of a shock mode because you spend hours rubbing your belly, envisioning a perfect life, reading up on useless books that offer useless techniques, being the centre of attention only for it all to come crashing down on you – I certainly haven’t recovered and my son is three. Nobody who is a parent – whether the lead up is ten days, ten years or ten months – is ever prepared. My only advice is get a babysitter now! Not sure why the mother guilt has us chained to our kids but three years down the line and I wish I had left him more often when he was small and couldn’t care less who looked after him. Now at 3, any unknown entity or slight change in his routine has it in a flat panic. So you and W go out to dinner now! Pay Loveness to stay while you can and rediscover yourselves – cos there ain’t no medal at the end of it all 😉

    June 15, 2010 at 1:09 pm
  • Reply Yvonne

    Hugs Shaz, it’ll get easier.

    My lifeline has been having friends with children the same age mine. The one I met at antenatal classes, the other I met at a Baby Bookclub that I joined. The 3 of us have really bonded and I cannot tell you how much it helps that our kids are the same ages. Unbelievably all three of us have girls that are 5, and boys that are 3 (well my little boy will be 3 tomorrow – shares his birthday with a wonderful lady like you!!) It’s helped us to socialise all the way through – because we’ve always been in the same place, psychologically speaking. So when our girls were babies we did lots of coffee mornings at home on week-ends, and then when they got a bit bigger we started going to kiddy friendly coffee shops (jungle gyms etc) and animal farms. Now we have braai’s at each others houses with hubby’s and kids and the kids all play and get on well together while we laugh and joke and have fun with other adults. If one of our kids does something embarrassing / awful none of us mind because invariable our own have done something worse at some stage.

    I cannot emphasize enough how important relationships like this are. We have wine together, we laugh together, we cry together, we moan together (lol). It’s really worth actively looking for a friendship like this, whether you join a club or some sort or something….

    Either way you will find your groove.

    xx

    June 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm
  • Reply suestuart

    Oh how I hear you about how life has changed! Craig also works long hours and plays sport, so sometimes I feel like a single mom! Though of course I know being a single mom is way tougher than I have it. My folks are in the UK and Craig’s look after Katy every Wednesday, so I hate to ask them for more babysitting!

    Hope you have a great birthday tomorrow 🙂

    June 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Me

    I hope you have a great birthday regardless of who you do or don’t spend it with. It’s my birthday next week and it’s going to be a lonely one for me too but cest la vie, I’m more bothered about spending the day AFTER my birthday alone tbh.

    Question though, why can’t you take a 6 month out for a picnic in 9 degree weather? Yes I don’t have children of my own but I have looked after many, have family members with children and they’ve taken children out for outins in colder weather than 9 degrees…as long as she’s rugged up she should be fine, you don’t have to stay for long and at least you would be spending your birthday with other people!

    I say wrap up warm and go!!

    June 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply charnetrollip

    i would not take em out either in cold weather! its freezing out and no matter how wel you wrap them getting in and out the car and in and out the house the icy would could make her cold and in winter you dont want to take a chance with a sick baby!

    it sucks that you wont be with people and it sucks that you cant celebrate your bday indoors with freinds

    xxx

    June 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply Mash

    Happy Birthday!

    June 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    Happy birthday for tomorrow S! I can relate – we were planning a trip to the Montecasino bird gardens tomorrow – SO not going to happen. And I think hubby is at least going to sneak out for ward rounds tomorrow.. Our social life is also dead as a doornail – sometimes the nanny babysits but that is few and far between. i must say it did get better for a while (from when D hit 2 until the twins came along) so I *know* it will get better again, right?? Sigh. Anyway, hope you do have a nice day tomorrow, and many happy returns!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm
  • Reply TJ

    Happy Birthday, Sharon! I hope you have a beautiful birthday (on this uber freezing day – hope you are keeping warm) and get spoilt! As for the social life… I guess that’s how we all feel. I also dont have friends with babies and it’s rather difficult to find ‘playgroups’ that get together in our area. Hell, we can’t even go to theatre because they don’t allow babies.

    June 16, 2010 at 10:41 am
  • Reply pandoragelb

    Happy birthday! Hope it was a good day.
    I also sometimes struggle to fit in with the other moms, as I am also so much older than most of them. Before I couldn’t join in as all the talk about baby and kids stuff – I had nothing to contribute. Now I have, but there is still a bit of an age gap. I also find the competitive mommies that think their way is the only way just too time consuming. Not interested. Luckily I am not a terribly social person, and prefer to be at home. Being older also helps in that regard, far too tired to go out! Baby sitting is a problem, we only have my ILs and they are about 60km away. Has to be planned in advance.

    June 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    I get where you are coming from and have to say that it does become easier. I have found that if you have friends who also have kids then it makes a huge difference as well as they have been there and understand. We use a babysitter when we occasionally go out at night. And I am really glad that we made an effort to do this early on after our son was born so it wasn’t another huge adjustment for him.

    Happy, Happy Birthday. I hope that you had an awesome day…xxx

    Julia

    June 16, 2010 at 8:05 pm
  • Reply samcy

    Hope you had a special day after all my friend.

    We missed you at the picnic but understand that you did not want to chance it with Ava. I know I can’t talk as I’m not a mom but I’m sure that as she gets older and it’s easier for you to leave her with a babysitter your social life will pick up again. I’m sure this is just a “phase” and we’ll all still be around when you ARE able to get out and about.

    xxx

    June 17, 2010 at 10:45 am
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