In pondering the question of motherhood loneliness, I have come to realize two things.
1.) If I want to find other mothers with young children, I have to go to them. They won't come to me. Many stay-at-home-mothers are busy running their toddlers to activities such as Kindermusic, swim lessons, story hour, and tumble camp. They have carefully arranged schedules, and plan play-dates with like-minded mothers. I do not. I do pack the bags and head for the library each week for story time, and check out a week's supply of new books to entertain the kiddo, but my life doesn't revolve around him. Not entirely, anyway. Most women today stay home to take care of their kids. I stay home to take care of my home--the bathrooms, the laundry, the dishes, the floors, the dinners, the husband, and the child. I feel just as much obligation to scrub my toilet and wash the windows as I do the change the diapers and put my son down for a nap. Therefore, I need to spend the majority of my time at my home.
2.) Friendships will be difficult for me, because I'm becoming increasingly weird. On top of my uber-conservative Lutheran values, I've been influenced by the Wendell Berry school of thought. I dream of raising chickens and pigs, and canning the vegetables I've grown in our garden. I intend to homeschool my children, and am skeptical of current trends in higher-education and women wearing pants. I've planned to teach my daughters the womanly art of housekeeping, sewing, and cooking, and my sons to be wood-chopping, door-holding gentlemen. Add to that my opposition to feminism and birth control, and you've got yourself a certified weirdo. Well, at least a certified weirdo in the works.
But for right now, and probably for the next couple years, I can fake it. We have no chickens, pigs, or garden. My child is too young to swing an ax or go to school, and I only have one. I attend story hour because I have time to do that and the dishes. The inner weirdo is covered up by what appears to be your run-of-the-mill stay-at-home-mom, gallivanting off to toddler events, chit-chatting with other moms, and desperately wishing for a play date. But soon enough that weirdo will come shining through- either in words or actions or number of children, and I won't be able to contain her. Perhaps by then, she'll really be stuck at home dictating sentences and boiling jars for homemade jam so that she has no time to ponder her loneliness.