Kids in the Capital City

Kids in the Capital City: No one tells you about the parenting blues

Kids in the Capital City: No one tells you about the parenting blues

Woman lying on a bed
Motherhood: the struggle is real. Getty Images/Eclipse Images

Are you there, anxiety?  It’s me, Mikela. The postpartum blues are a very real thing, but the parenting blues? That’s something I wasn’t expecting.

I’m not talking about the anxiety that comes with making sure your baby is breathing or treating their first stuffy nose. I’m talking about the fact that no matter what you want, no matter what you try to be or do, nothing ever quite goes to plan.

I’m not a stay-at-home mom, nor am I a full-time working mother. I’m a hybrid of modern motherhood and it’s an exhausting line to blur. Mornings are spent trying to keep a toddler busy, while the afternoon, evening, and late nights are spent clacking away on the computer.

But the struggle is real. Like every mom, I try to enrich my child’s day-to-day life with experiences. Music class, gymnastics, swim lessons, playdates at Thinkery and the park. Kid-friendly happy hour? Count us in. Until you can’t.

Lately, life has gotten the better of me. Work piles up, obligations get in the way, or exhaustion sets in. Whatever the reason, more often than not I’m sending last minute texts that start with “I’m the worst!” and ends with an excuse to stay in.

Sure, life changes after you have a kid, but is that an excuse to be as flakey as a good croissant? Some say yes. But every time I do it, I’m afraid of losing friend points. It’s gotten to the point that I avoid making plans so that I’m not riddled with anxiety — and I hate myself for it.

I’ve talked before about how much my social life has changed since becoming a mom — missed birthday parties and happy hours gone by. But lately, instead of FOMO, it’s a sense of relief that sets in upon scrolling Instagram and seeing obligations I didn’t have to break.

It’s not that I don’t miss my friends (I do, desperately), and I yearn for conversations with other adults and feel like a human again. But I’m struggling to get back to that place — and I hope they’ll understand.

I’m not sure how to get out of this funk, but it’s something to work on. I’ll just add that to my to-do list, and hope life gives me some time.