The word that inevitably comes to mind or up in conversation with moms I’m encountering since leaving the work force is “isolating.” Despite having a kid with me at all times, the lack of adult conversation and interaction after only a few short weeks is a huge adjustment.
Feelings I had while on maternity leave with my son while living in the city have resurfaced, and even then I had only to go into the lobby of my building to talk to a doorman or find someone to chat with in the laundry room. It’s a lot harder in the suburbs where most neighbors are working during the day and the majority of stores are only within driving distance.
When I used to work, I’d just get the kids to sleep and have about 20 minutes of solitude before my husband walked in the door from his day at the office. While I’m a person who needs some quiet time, entire days bereft of adult conversation can be depressing.
Friends think now that I’m home I have ample time to chat on the phone, especially if the kids are napping. That’s just not the case. I find myself always doing something: folding laundry, straightening up the toys, vacuuming and cleaning, prepping lunch or dinner. The list is endless and the tasks are isolating.
I’m hoping that isolation will dissipate as warmer weather enables us to get outside to the park. There, I’m sure I’ll meet many moms who tell me how isolating it is to stay at home with their kids. And while that’s not necessarily stimulating conversation, misery loves company and I will be delighted to hear that I’m not alone.