This morning, I travelled to the Dunkin’ Donuts (DD) drive thru, as I do every morning, on my way to work. I get my “usual”, which Shahnaz at the window already knows. So today was just a normal day, but then I pull around the corner to the window to pay, and Shahnaz says to me, “When your baby comes (surprise! Baby Goldwater #2: debuting January 2017) I want to get it a present because you’re my friend and the best customer.” I laugh out loud and think to myself, “I’m on top of the world! Life goals right here! I’m besties with the DD drive thru lady.” I told her she didn’t need to buy anything for my baby, but she was so sweet. Then I said, “You ladies are my best friends. That is really sad.” I meant no disrespect by it, but sometimes you have out-of-body moments when you come to a realization. This morning, mine was that I was only half-kidding when I told Shahnaz that she was my best friend. I mean, come on Alyssa! You can’t be serious, right? Well, unfortunately, it seems as though what used to be a very outgoing and extroverted Alyssa has turned into somewhat of a homebody and hermit. I prefer to sit at home, on my couch and try to clean up Cheerios ALL DAY LONG than make the effort to get dressed and go socialize with other human beings who are not a 10 month old and my husband.
Over the past 10 months, I’ve come to treasure the time I get with my “girlfriends” because it certainly doesn’t happen as often as it used to. I’ve also realized how important the friendships you have with girlfriends truly are. Not that I don’t love having my husband as my best friend and only form of adult, social interaction most days, but even he knows how important it is for me to have other adult relationships besides the one I have with him. To all my un-married, without children friends, I say, “Know how important your friendships are to me and the other mommies in this world. Sometimes we live vicariously through you, sometimes we like to talk to someone who can talk back, and we do our best to be good friends to you in return. It is SO IMPORTANT for our mental well-being that you are our friends.” For that, I thank everyone who has stuck by me these past 10 months. Having a really cute baby probably helps also :). I also now know how imperative it is to have a mommy support system, even if it’s only in a Facebook group online. G-d bless the COMmies.
When you are a new mommy and completely socially isolate yourself due to the curveballs, vomit and realities of life that your little monster (I mean angel 😉 ) throws at you 24/7, it is only your yetzer hara (evil inclination) telling you to stay at home and not pick up the phone. Speaking from experience, the more you sit alone, the harder it becomes to make and nourish those woman to woman relationships that are so very imperative. I truly believe, that it is vital for a woman’s mental and mommy health to have outlets where we can gain support from other women, in person, in order to be the best mommies/wives we can be. I won’t say I’m not part of the problem — aka the entire idea behind this post — but I will say, that being aware that you need support is the first step to becoming someone who puts on makeup and fresh clothes at least once a week and who has other interactions with adult women aside from Shahnaz, the checkout woman at Target **edited: and the babysitter.
Some reading this may call me a hypocrite as of late. To them I say, I can only hope to practice what I preach. As babies become toddlers and more babies come along, I can only foresee this venture that is called socializing becoming more difficult. Going forward, I hope to be a better friend and a more active participant in my “circle of trust” and the community. No matter what role you play in the social circles of others, you should know how important your friendship is, even if it is not mentioned often enough. I feel like a lot of new moms fall prey to this anti-socialization, and I don’t think it’s spoken about enough. So here’s to getting out a little more often and sticking together as one MamaTribe in order to be the best we can be for ourselves and our families.