To the Woman Who Feels Alone in Her Vocation
(Click to enlarge photos)
Let’s cut to the chase: I’ve found, in recent years, that being a wife and mother can be extremely lonely.
Okay, wait. Let me back track.
First things first: I was born and raised in Southern California, met the man whose rib I have in college, married him at 25, and had our daughter at 26. I love cold brewed coffee, old books, hanging out with friends, really good craft beer...hanging out with friends WHILE drinking really good craft beer…and I love being surrounded by others. I thrive on social interaction, can strike up a conversation with almost anyone, and can go from zero to one hundred on the emotional scale faster than anyone I know…and I’ll tell you all about it too.
Transitioning from “single” to “married” and “childless” to “mother” wasn’t hard. People were always around for those moments, whether it was helping to prepare for the wedding, assisting us in moving to our first apartment, or perusing the internet with me to figure out what to put on our registries. It was while I was on maternity leave recovering from an unplanned C-section, watching my husband leave for work one morning, not having spoken to anyone aside from my daughter or my own reflection in a few days that I felt so alone.
Among my immediate circle of best friends, I am the first to be married, I am the first to have a child, and I know that through all the milestones and transitions, I am loved and cared for in more ways that I can even count. That said…I am still isolated. I’m the only one who plans her day around a daughter and husband, hangouts based on childcare availability, and if we all attended the same mass, I’d be the only one in the church’s cry room chasing a toddler, trying keep her from throwing her Goldfish crackers all over the carpeted floor.
The biggest consolation I’ve found rests in contemplating the humanity of our Blessed Mother. Who better to emulate? Who better to ask for guidance and strength? I expect that through her journey of Motherhood, she experienced many of the same struggles and challenges as most mothers do, and in that, also experiencing many of the same joys and receiving many of the same graces. I don’t doubt that she sought counsel from other mothers and friends, and looked to the Heavenly Father to provide her with the courage and strength to face each day. I think of her, and I feel peace in what it is that He has called me to do and what to be.
Now, you’re probably wondering… "that’s all great Sabrina, but…uh…. what about your loneliness?” Here’s where my friends come in:
I can say, with conviction, that I’ve been blessed with the most amazing best friends. Not only are they forgiving and understanding of what my vocation demands of me, but they also lift me up when I feel like I’ve fallen short. They will be the first to challenge me when I’m convinced I’m “right” and call me out when I refuse to concede, and at the end of the day, despite my flaws, they manage to choose to love me over, and over again. They encourage my marriage, adore my daughter, and more a part of my “extended family” than I can ever explain. While life (and God!) has put us all on different paths, I know that at the end of the day, they will always be there.
Sisters in Christ, I pray that you open your heart to a few things: embrace your vocation. Know that there is a beauty in the struggle to live out what it is that He has planned. Also, look for the positives in negative situations. Perhaps my loneliness isn’t rooted in always being by myself, but rather in that I have so many people who I love to be around. Lastly, be forgiving to yourself when you don’t meet your own expectations. Allow yourself to be lifted, especially when you falter. Those who love you will gladly step in and help. I mean…not all of us can be Super Mom.
Mary already has that covered.