For the past ten months I’ve been spoiled having my husband at home. Now that he’s looking for a job I’ve had to face the prospect that he’ll most likely get a job which will require him to leave the house every day. And I’ll be home alone with Bella.
Thanks be to God for the gift of the past ten months. I suppose you could call it an extended honeymoon. But having him here during hte worst of the morning sickness, as a companion during those long months of idle pregnancy. I should have known it was too good to last.
But that is all a prelude to my main point. Now I’m having to change my expectations about what the coming years hold, instead of having Dom here during hte day to help with Isabella, I’ll soon be facing what so many women of my generation have faced, the prospect of long days in a house with only a babby for company.
I’m a introvert by nature and will frequently let days pass without my leaving the house. Weeks have passed without Dom and I seeing anyone except each other (with the exception, of course, of Sunday mass). And now with Isabell leaving the house is such a production. Everything takes twice as long. I can well see how moms begin to feel trapped and starved for mental stimulation. Many of the home schooling books warn against burnout and urge mothers to carve out some time for themselves for adult conversation and intellectual pursuits. Advice I’ve previously glided over.
At the end of the day when Dom and I sit down for dinner we have no need to ask each other how the day went. Our days are an ongoing conversation. Often we spend hours each at our respective desks reading each other tidbits. Or if I’m in the other room he wanders in to share a thought or tell a story. It’s going to be hard to lose all that.
So now I’ve been thinking more and more about stay at home moms and realizing that I know quite a few of them from the books and blogs I’ve been reading. Among the homeschooling bloggers there is a great sense of community.
My mom pointed that out to me the other day when we were on the phone. In this day of the internet there is no need for a stay at home mom to feel isolated or intellectually starved. Even if there are no moms with similar outlooks in her neighborhood, a few clicks of the mouse can link her to other mothers with similar tastes, with mothers who address the concerns she has about her child. It’s a support group and a book club and mentoring program rolled into one. And its free. And it doesn’t depend on getting the baby bundled up and into the carseat. You can access it in little nips between diaper changes and catnaps and you can easily breastfeed as you visit with your virtual friends.
Of course I still need physical contact and fortunately I have sisters in law and church friends and walks in the park. But I know I won’t get out of the house frequently enough to really form friendships that will satisfactorally nourish my intellectual life. Not to the extent that I need and want. But I can supplement the isolation created by my shyness and lack of nearby friends and community ties with books from interlibrary loan and with the wonderful world of the web.