It's all about sleepless nights, people who are judgey, and hoping your pre-ordered drink will soon arrive.
You actively try to bond over your toddler exhaustion, being asked the same question a million times, and talking about how childless people could never understand. Of course I must get it... my hair is in a haphazard bun and I am clinging to my coffee like it's an oracle. You'd recognize a mom anywhere, you tell me.
My nights are indeed sleepless. People certainly are judgey. And my friends are also yet to arrive. I nod into the ether of your oblivion, and it encourages you further.
You wax on about how much room your littles take up, how loud they are, getting no time alone, and how picky their little tastebuds are. Those assertions are followed by loud rhetorical questions seeking agreement and booming laughter. Amirite?! Followed by how much you needed this, and how nice it is to run into someone who understands.
My arms are empty. Not just here, but always. It's not something I will share now that you've convinced yourself otherwise in this little cafe. I don't want to make you feel bad by sharing my hidden misery. I can't process how my suffering looks like motherhood to you. I want to make some witty comment that clears the air. But the emptiness I feel inside wells up. I excuse myself to the restroom. Text my friends that I can't make it. Cancel my food order on the way back. And politely wish you well on your night out with the girls. I'm in the wrong place.
Being alone is the problem, I tell myself back at home. Being alone is the answer. Being alone is neither! Sometimes I choose it though. It always chooses me. It's no one's fault, I convince myself. Exhaustion sets in as the sun rises again.