They say it takes a village, and that’s true. Children are probably healthier and happier growing up among many rather than solitary. Not to mention the healthier and happier parents who don’t have to stress as much about having to make everything work on their own.
But no one talks about the fact that no matter how many people help you raise your kids, no matter how supportive your husband or partner is, motherhood is essentially lonely.
It’s fulfilling, it’s an overflowing of love that you never thought you were capable of feeling, yes, it’s all those wonderful things and more.
But it’s lonely.
I don’t know if I can explain it in a way that doesn’t make me sound neurotic. Your worries that you know are unfounded but fear could be real, your thoughts about the future, your guilt about not being enough, your guilt about making mistakes when you’re trying to discipline your child, your fear that you might be spoiling your child, your frustration during the moments that you find things piling up and you think you can’t possibly make this work, even those moments when you’re observing your child and you catch something incredible and it opens up a new world of love and wonder that you didn’t know could exist on top of how much you love him already… All that is your own. You could explain it to someone, but in the end it’s yours. It’s your treasure to keep and nurture, and it’s your burden to bear.
It’s beautiful, but it’s also lonely.
It’s why I’m grateful that I can pray. Praying helps those panicky seconds go quicker, it helps the frustration and exasperation pass into peace, it helps me forgive myself when the guilt is too much, it helps me pass my worries on to someone else, and it helps me feel I’m sharing my burden with someone who can actually do something about it. And when I’m so tired, somehow, I find I still have energy left to finish that last thing… or sometimes I feel it’s actually OK to nod off and leave it all unfinished.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”