If I were a cartoon, as I tend to visualize my life sometimes, there would be a bubble floating above my head. It would go with me everywhere that I moved. It would look like three little circles leading up to a big circle that would have the words ‘she’s not really dumb, rude or this boring, just unable to pay attention due to baby’ inside of it. It would be my disclaimer. If you are not a mama, in fact if you are not a fairly new mama, you may not understand this cartoon scenario of my new social low, my inablilty to focus. It is my reality and it drives me crazy. I need that bubble. I need people to understand it really isn’t me, well, or them.
For example, tonight I went to a little hot dog bon fire. How fun right? Except that I never added a thing to conversation or felt like I could really listen to any one else. This is not me.
There was a girl there that I’d call a friend…a new friend with potential to be a much better friend. Except the fact that again I asked about her siblings. Again in the sense that the last time I was around her, I asked then too. “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” Oh my gosh. I remember. I already know. Because apparently it is the only question I can ask. My brain can’t seem to think while holding the baby or if I’m not holding her, wondering if she is too hot, too cold, whether or not the person that has her wants me to get her back, if she needs something to eat, more clothes on, if the ashes are going on her? I have become this terrible non-listener with ADD. I am a mother. Why would you want to be friends with that? I can’t even ask a new question.
So now I am wondering if this goes away with time? Do you get your mind back? Do you have something meaningful to add to a group again? Something to talk about other than your children? Will I ever get to listen again with a quiet mind?
All of this brings me to the dreaded question? The great dividing wall of those that are in it right now and those that are out of it…’What have you been up to lately?’ It’s the new ‘What do you do for fun?’ of college. Could I answer then honestly with an ‘oh you know, cutting out things, gluing them in my journal, and writing down stuff I want to remember?’ And now can I really say (because who wants to hear it) ‘well, today I cried because Audrey bit me while I was nursing her and it made me bleed, so then I cried more not because it hurt, which it did, but because maybe I have to quit breast feeding now which is the end of an era and it makes me so sad & emotional.” Mmmm, I don’t think so. So now to add to my social awkwardness, I just say ‘hanging out with Audrey.’ Which is not only a boring answer, but worse I may have become one of those people that have nothing to talk about but their children. Oh my…what has happened to me? I sure do need that bubble.