Elizabeth Isadora Gold

“Elizabeth Isadora Gold writes vividly and humorously about the trials and trip-outs of new-motherhood.” —The New Yorker

"Baby Time" at the Library... Not So Much.

I also had postpartum anxiety and depression, but we had moved right before my baby was born, so I had very few friends -- no mommy groups, or, in the beginning, moms for that matter. If you're interested in an isolated mom's story, I'd be happy to share! (It involved a lot of walking.) My son is about to turn two, and I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this wild couple of years.

My first real attempt to find community with other mothers was to attend the library's Baby Time. The librarian was this cool, young lady about my age (28), and she had all the moms introduce ourselves and our babies and then say something about ourselves. She said, "You're not your baby," in a gentle voice, like, I know you love him, but please, talk about something else for five minutes. The women struggled. It was like they felt guilty just talking about themselves. Or they found some way to do it through their baby, like, "We're taking our first trip soon!" The mom next to me had a boy who was about nine months old, and she said, "I am loving coming into my motherhood." I remember thinking that she sounded so serene the way she said that. Meanwhile, my baby was about three months old, just getting over colic, and both of us were still recovering slowly from some birth complications. I hadn't gotten the chance to write anything in months. When it was my turn, I said, "I'm Melanie, and I'm a-- Before this, I was a writer." Eventually, Baby Time became the closest thing to a mom community for me, but it took months before I felt any connection to those moms at all.