Years later, I became a mother. I live alone in a house. I do my laundry alone, I cook, clean and go through my day alone. Yes, I have the children, but a child is not the greatest conversationalist. I am alone. A lot.
I believe we are doing this all wrong. I believe that there is a reason why so many people feel depressed, isolated and lonely. Because we are alone. Because we are not surrounded by our mothers, aunts, cousins, and friends as we go about the tedious tasks that make up almost every minute of our days as a mother.
Somehow, our culture came to this place where most of our social life is about our children. We go to playgroups, storytime, or music class to help our children’s “development”. Not that this isn’t a worthwhile goal. I’m all for it. But when is it about Mama and her needs?
When it comes time to have a playdate, we take a shower, stress about the house being picked up and make snacks. We hang out with our guests trying to feel relaxed while in the back of our mind we are thinking about all of the things that need to get done. Then after our guests leave, we madly rush about trying to make up for lost time. No wonder we rarely make the effort. We just stay lonely.
So what do we do about this? I believe that we change the way it’s done. How about instead of playdates, we make workdates? I would like to feel OK about asking my friends over and folding my laundry, cooking together, working in the garden together while our kids play; without us watching over them the whole time to make sure they are “getting along”. They’ll work it out. We have work to do and talking to be done without interruption, please!
We keep the world running, and I would like it to be more enjoyable. I would like to do it together; not alone. The kids will love being left to their own devices a little bit more. Now that’s a playdate!
I believe that how we are doing things now is not the way it is supposed to be. I don’t want to depend on my email and Facebook to feel a vague sense of cyber-connection to other people. It just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know how we got here. I do know that I want it to change. I believe we can change it if we want to. We just have to figure out how to make it happen—then do it!
Chauntelle is the mama of two young girls, a yoga instructor, scientist, thinker, planner, radical homemaker, and a Mama Says Board Member.