Blue Barn Farm

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On blogging and loneliness

So I’ve been absent from this space for a while. I think I miss the early days of blogging when there wasn’t all this “blogosphere” pressure. I just used to write…and then send it out into the great expanse. Sometimes my friends would comment. Sometimes strangers would comment. Every now and then I’d put up a picture, but mostly it was just words. I love words. I miss those simple blogging days. Now I feel like it’s such a circus. You have to network with your blog and other blogs and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. It’s a serious business people! And then there are all the photos…too many photos really. I can’t keep up. Honestly, I don’t even want to. The whole thing makes me tired, and I’m already tired just with daily life living. So, I probably won’t post here much. If I do, I think I’ll keep it mostly words only. How would that be? I actually think I’ll write a book. There’s a book inside of me. I know it. Maybe I’ll do the odd sewing tutorial. Hehehe.

All that aside, I do want to write here today about a subject I’ve been thinking about for quite a while. Loneliness. And I don’t have any photos of lonely butterflies on stalks. Please understand, this isn’t going to be one of those blogs where I talk about how hard it is to do what I do. I chose this life. I’d choose it again and again. I’m so thankful for my children and I don’t want to be doing anything other than raise them. Just like every choice brings with it things that are challenging, I think loneliness is a unique challenge of having young children. Here’s why: I can’t physically get out very much. I mean, I CAN…but the consequences are often rough for us all. The kids miss naps because I want to meet a friend and the entire time I’m with my friend is a pointless mishap with unhappy, tired kids. I COULD go out at night and get a sitter but I’m honestly so exhausted that once again it’s an exercise in futility. I don’t want to get daily childcare. I don’t want to sacrifice their childhood for my dreams. I don’t want those things MORE than I don’t want to be lonely. However, sometimes I don’t know what to do with my loneliness…on a practical level. Here are some of the things I have tried, and failed, to cure my loneliness:

1. Filling up my time with lots of kid friendly events and activities. Long story short, this is not a solution for my loneliness and doesn’t create happy kids. We end up running ragged and griping at each other. I think I honestly imagine that they will be so grateful to me for giving them all these fun opportunities when really they are just exhausted, overstimulated, and would have been happier playing in the dirt in our back yard.

2. Filling up my time with my hobbies. I’ve tried just soothing myself with an overabundance of time spent doing things I like, namely, creating things. This isn’t a solution either. The house falls to pieces, the husband is worried, the kids get cavities…you know, general mayhem.

3. Filling up my time with social media. Even if I don’t post often on Facebook or Instagram I can scroll through to see what’s new. What else should I do when I’m nursing the baby for the millionth time in a day? I find myself chuckling at my friend of a friend’s witty musing. I waste the hours reading informative blogs about everything and watching the occasional youtube video. I love that I know who’s wearing what today and what you are all eating for lunch. I love that even though I’m lonely, it feels like I’m not for about the fifteen seconds it takes before I realize how ridiculous that is. Basically, I wouldn’t care about all this social media if I wasn’t lonely. It’s like I’m subsisting on shavings from a chocolate bar while I’m actually starving. Because, I don’t want that sugary substitute to real relationships…I want authenticity.

4. Finally, playgroups with other moms. I’m not even sure I want to go into this one. Mostly, because I don’t want to be judgmental of other moms. I know we are all trying our best here. And, chances are good that I’ve been where most of you have been before, or close by there anyway. I’m just tired of the pretending that things are wonderful all because _______. Insert here any of the following: my whole foods diet is awesome; my discipline program for my kids is awesome; I’m awesome; we work out all the time; I breastfeed exclusively; I sleep train; we do family devotions every morning; we co sleep; we homeschool; I knit. I don’t know!! You name it. I’m just tired of them all. Don’t get me wrong, none of those things are bad in themselves. I even do some of them. But, aren’t we more than what we DO or don’t do? Aren’t we more than all of these choices? I’m tired because I want MORE than these conversations. I want to break into that space where we are honest and give each other grace for being broken. Sometimes all I have is a few, as in two, hours in the week where I can carry on a conversation with any meaning or sustenance for my weary soul. So, when those two hours are wasted in conversations that are so trivial, I just want to scream! And then take a nap. I pretty much always want to take a nap. I truly believe that beyond all of the pretending, we are all struggling somehow. And I know it takes time and vulnerability can’t be forced. I know all of those things. Playgroups probably aren’t the forum for authenticity. I know. I know.

Basically, I don’t want to use these four areas any more to try to cure myself, or at least make myself feel more seen. Because, that’s really what its about isn’t it? Being seen. When I spend my hours and days cleaning up messes, folding laundry, wiping tears, wiping bottoms, cooking meals, driving the car, soothing tantrums, rocking babies, giving medicine, etc, I start to feel like I’m disappearing a little at a time. I want to be seen, really seen. I want someone to know that I’m real, that the little things whispered to my heart from the Father in Heaven, as I am awake again in the middle of the night, matter.

I’m starting to think this loneliness is a needed thing. I think it’s part of the plan for us Moms. Maybe it’s a way God can work in us the necessary things, the character things, the deep things that I actually want. And that takes pain. Anything that matters in life takes pain. Still, I try to avoid it typically. Maybe that makes me human. Jesus was probably the loneliest person ever. Seriously, ever. So, He’s good company for my weary heart.

I’ve spent too much time diverting myself from the pain of this character changing loneliness. So, I’m making some changes…not out of rule making legalism, but with grace for myself and hope for growth. First, I’m going to tighten down the hatches and limit extra activities for me and the kids. Second, I’m going to resist the pull for homemade Christmas EVERYTHING and just enjoy a few, reasonable, projects. Third, I’m taking the Facebook app off my phone until after New Year. Fourth, I’m not going to participate in the humble brag nonsense of the mom groups. Here’s quiet me, in the corner with my crochet! Come say hi! Finally, I’m going to embrace the loneliness. I’d like to journal more and read more Scripture, without the legalistic drive to do so, but because I’m lonely and I want to. Mostly, I no longer want to clamor to be seen, or to matter. I want to rest and be content with my largely unseen life, little inner triumphs, and heart joys. I want to look for other moms, worn thin, and tell them that He sees them, He knows, He soothes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

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5 comments on “On blogging and loneliness

  1. Callie lynch
    November 2, 2014

    I love your words.

    • bluebarnfarm
      November 3, 2014

      Callie…I think we could be kindred spirits 🙂

  2. samsdove
    November 3, 2014

    Thank you! Yes, “we [ARE] more than what we DO or don’t do[!] I can so relate to that frustration! It separate us to have the agenda of proving or pigeon-holing ourselves. This is why I love you Susanna. You want to be authentic in your walk with Christ and I appreciate you, and who you uniquely are in the different seasons of life. I can relate to the loneliness and the thirst of soul that drives me to the only One who quenches.

  3. Laura
    November 3, 2014

    Oh, friend. Hit it right on the head, there. I am lonely in a way that only pulling back, and giving Him time, will fix. I find peace in mere moments when I finally come to him, just the coming relieves. Love u, love your journey.

    Laura

  4. jennifer Tan
    November 3, 2014

    excellently written, and SPOT ON. Thank you for a lovely read, and a concrete description of what MANY of us go through.

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This entry was posted on November 2, 2014 by .
Sanae Ishida

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Wiksten

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Made By Rae

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

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suō ergo sum :: i sew, therefore i am

Night Knitter

another knitting and sewing blog

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where i talk about the stuff i make

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