A few years ago I saw author Rachel Sarah read in an Oakland bookstore, and I laughed outloud at the frank, hilarious story she shared about unsatisfying sex. Her memoir of single motherhood intrigued me because my own mom was single when I was young. Being a hot 20-something with a young daughter, my mom balanced dating and parenting in a way that seemed effortless to me. Of course, I never knew how hard my mom had to work at it, so I am a little obsessed with talking to single moms now and uncovering the details of how they make it work.
When I ended up sitting across from Rachel on a BART train earlier this year, I was pretty excited. We exchanged information, and now she’s let me know that she launched a new site SingleMommyhood.com. She offered to share some inspiration with us in the form of a guest post. She and her blogging partner Leah want to help us remember that we have old friends who don’t know what a Baby Bjorn is and who haven’t ever been forced to whip out their boob in a cafe, and those are still great people who you don’t want to lose.
Friends come to visit, and, of course, they are enchanted by your baby. But really, they’re not quite as fascinated by all burps, drool, and soggy diapers, are they?
Is that really YOU so blissfully focused on the contents of a diaper?
After a while, you’re finally in some kind of routine and getting a bit of sleep. But something feels off kilter. You realize you’re lonely. You miss your friends and want to reconnect.
The problem is: none of them have babies. The socializing at “Mommy and Me” just isn’t going to happen.
How do you make time to reconnect with friends, especially those without kids? Are you even capable of having a conversation without mentioning your sore boobs, the latest from the pediatrician, or the scary recall on strollers?
We say: Of course, you are!
Acknowledge you have been in a “baby fog” and need to break free.
You’ll be a better parent after a refreshed talk with a GF. Breaking free means that you show up and listen intently to what your friend has going on in her life. Remember: try to refrain from the “baby talk”!
Spend an hour outside of your home — alone. Or have a friend over.
Until you can line up a reliable sitter, swap your baby with another mom-friend. Or, ask a family member to help. If your baby is napping, have your friend over. Offer a treat. Change out of those nasty sweatpants you’ve been living in.
Tune into your girlfriend
If you’re tempted to refresh the posse’s memory about your totally fabulous baby, stop to think that behind those cocktail glasses or coffee cups, there might be a friend dealing with some issues of her own made very real by the big change in your life.
Maybe she’s hearing that biological clock tick way more loudly since you got pregnant?
If you’re a single mom, we’d love to hear from you!
Dr. Leah and Rachel are co-founders of Singlemommyhood: “A whole new way to think about single parenthood.”
Leah Klungness, Ph.D., is a psychologist who raised her two children solo while earning her doctorate and license. She co-authored the award-winning book The Complete Single Mother.
Rachel Sarah founded the number one single parenting blog, Single Mom Seeking. She’s the author of Single Mom Seeking.