Being a mom can be lonely sometimes.
- Jennifer Lubell, BettyConfidential.comMy son is at that wonderful age where he can't get enough of Mom. He spends a lot of time on my lap, playing with my hair, my earrings and the zipper on my sweatshirt. Every so often he tries to kiss me on the mouth...and ends up burping in my face instead. He thinks this is uproariously funny. I end up getting a whiff of what I just served him for dinner.
As a mom who works outside the home, I don't get to see that much of Alex during the week. It's not surprising that when the weekend comes, he makes a beeline for Mommy the moment he wakes up and his footie pajamas hit the floor.
From dawn 'til dusk on Saturday and Sunday, we are an inseparable team. We go downstairs to his playroom and write letters, numbers and words on the paper on his giant easel. At lunchtime, my hands get wet and runny with orange pulp as I section the tiny clementines he loves, looking for pits and then putting them on his favorite Thomas the Train plate, along with a square of American cheese and flax seed chips. Sometimes we all rake leaves in the yard, my son and husband and me. Alex picks up fistfuls of dry, crackling leaves with his teeny electric blue gardening gloves, then throws them into the air, showering us both with the scent of autumn. And then we all sneeze and laugh. There are birthday parties, which I secretly call the "cake circuit." Sometimes there's a play date or a walk to the park, where Alex flings his Matchbox cars down the slide.
Many times in the past year my son has looked at me at the breakfast table and said, "Mommy, you're my best friend." And then goes back to chewing his cereal. Those words carry a great deal of weight, more than my four-year-old could ever imagine.
As a child who's already showing signs of popularity among his peers, how would he react if he knew that he and his dad are quite possibly my only friends? I have a wonderful life with my husband and my son. But as the years creep forward, I'm beginning to realize just how small my world has become. It consists mostly of work and family and taking Alex to social activities on the weekends. And that's about it, really.
As a pregnant woman, I had this lovely fantasy about keeping the single friends I had before my married days while making new friends with other moms. Fantasies, as we all know, have a way of mocking reality, and once Alex was born, I found myself struggling to connect with other mothers, while my single friends slowly dropped off the map.
Dates with girlfriends have become a rarity. The friends I had pre-marriage are all dating and having dinner at 9 p.m. instead of the kid-friendly 5 o'clock hour my husband and I have adapted to. The married folks are all busy, busy, busy and despite my best efforts to make friends, nothing ever sticks.
The one playgroup I belonged to basically fell apart about a year after we all had our children. I'm not sure why. After a while it just became too difficult to get everyone together. I thought of finding another group, but most seem to be geared toward stay-at-home moms.
Which is why I'm alone again with Alex on a Saturday at the park. Trying to appreciate the fact that even though he's a four-year-old, and I can't talk to him about hair color or my thighs, he's not going to judge me on how big my thighs are, or whether or not I look fat in the jeans I just bought. Like some grown-ups are bound to do.
With Alex as my best friend, I know that his love is unconditional, stinky breath and all.
Jennifer Lubell is mom to four-year-old Alex, who's waiting for the day when someone asks her to come on a play date-for grownups.To read more from BettyConfidential:
How to Keep Your Marriage Strong
Get Your Family Life Back!
- Taylor Momsen Blames Her Parents? Time To Grow Up, Girl!