Updated: Nov 18, 2020
The silence is deafening. For the last 10 years I’ve been a stay at home mom. Someone always needed me. The noise a constant companion. Some days it felt overwhelming and I would think, if I could just get a couple quiet moments everything would be ok. Other times I welcomed the chaos that surrounded me. There were also days where I was sure I would lose my shit. There were days that I did, and those nights laying in bed, feeling like the worst parent, were hard. I would have to remind myself that , because I even cared that I messed up, made me a good mom. That not every day would be like the last, and one day I would look up and the house would be quiet. I didn’t plan on that day coming so quickly.
Sitting alone in an empty house, something I sometimes would long for, is lonely. Nothing prepares you for the quiet, the emptiness that surrounds you when your kids are gone. The house seems to be holding its breath. Most weeks I have to shut the kids bedroom doors because the stillness from inside is too much to bear.
All the times I had wished for just a moment to myself, seem like a slap in the face. I have the free time now , how do I fill it? Raising kids took up every moment of my time, I lost interest in hobbies from when I was younger, and I don’t even know where to begin. I’m not the same person I was, so I can’t just pick up right where I left off. I also still have adult responsibilities like work, household chores, finding a balance with my ex, healing myself, going back to school, building new relationships, and even when they are not here physically, taking care of my kids.
Sitting in the quiet, alone, gets hard. It’s different than before when I thrived. I was my best self just being ‘by myself’. Now I’m finding that I don’t know what to do. I know that the best thing for me is to learn to appreciate these moments. Maybe it isn’t just time lost, away from my kids. Maybe it’s time gained to build myself back up. To grow into the version of me that I want to be. Someone, that my kids can be proud of, and look up to. Not the shell of myself that I had become. It’s a time to nurture me. But some days it sucks and feels like I can’t take the weight. The silence is excruciating. In those times, I hear my best friend say “it’s ok to feel what you’re feeling”. Sometimes those words bring me calm and comfort, other times I break down.
I don’t have a way to wrap this up with words of inspiration. This isn’t that type of space. You’re going to find raw stories of real lives here. They won’t all come with links and recommendations. Hopefully, the one thing you can always take away is that you may feel alone, especially if you’re like me and divorce left you with a big void in the “I’m here for you friend” department, but you are not the only one who struggles. Even if most aspects of our journey look different, we’re the same where it counts.