I looked around and thought, “Well, its just me and Facebook again.”
It was just me, no car, and the little one who zapped all my energy by 10am. Everyday was like the same day and, frankly, sometimes I regretted my decision to stay home. I didn’t know the loneliness that came with this journey.
If I could at least go out of the house to work and SEE other people daily, I’d feel a lot less alone. Less secluded and marked off the list as a …MOM. It wasn’t just that I was mom but that relating to others suddenly was like a journey to the top of Mt. Everest. Making real friendships as an adult is difficult. It seems everyone is so busy in their own world of work, friends or family. But I didn’t have nearly as many distractions. Actually I simply had baby and DH (dear husband).
The hopes of doing something with others shrank, as I saw no one had time to even return my phone calls. No one to meet you at the park. No one to voice a frustration or ask a question. No one even to pray with you. Who do you talk to? Even if you know of other at-home moms, sometimes they can be so busy with their own home and kids that they aren’t available to you. And we may only see this aspect of their lives. Yet, even in busyness we all have a need for companionship and mutual strengthening. I’m sure at least some of them feel the exact same way.
Why does being a mother, specifically moms that stay home, feel so lonely? I actually felt lonelier with baby and DH than I had when it was just DH and I and I was out of work for a while (hello housewife). We had just moved to a different city only a year or so beforehand. Yet it seemed to be more than that, after all, my family lived here and I grew up here. You’d think I would be comfortable and invigorated as a new mom. Instead I felt a striking amount of isolation, as many of you feel in early motherhood.
The seclusion of my mental struggles lead to being secluded physically.
“ “So he was really a tortured fellow, … He felt very lonely during that period. But he felt that it helped him. And it did.” — Mark Rydell
Loneliness isn’t solved by escaping
Finally, I saw it was NOT the lack of a career outside the home that made the difference.
It was not the somewhat recent move that caused the loneliness.
So it’s not busyness or location, but it is simply the presence of baby and not knowing HOW to cope. Lack of knowledge causes much tormoil. In the Bible God says, my people DIE for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6
I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Not having answers, lacking in priorities and being inapt concerning organization. All of this combined with not having someone to share the joys, failures and struggles of motherhood – an entirely new facet of life.
The loneliness was based on the new level of complications and duties that a baby brings from an accelerated amount of doctor appointments to planning for birthdays to purchasing, washing and storing so much more clothes than you ever thought you’d own (at least for me with my minimalist mindset).
When I step back and think about being in the midst of these tasks, do I feel lonely or overloaded? Yes! You probably you feel the same.
I wish I had realized that others feel the same.
They are in different locations, with different aged children, perhaps with prettier clothes or driving a nicer van, but they also feel alone in motherhood. But regardless of how I feel or how you feel, it is only a feeling – WE ARE together in this. We can choose to share that experience and being stronger together, or we can choose to be a loner. This always results in you or others (or both!) reaping loneliness.
So how do you deal?
As women we really need to act more like we are together in the process of child-raising.
When you are out at the store or at the library, don’t give a side look to the poor woman whose kid may be acting out. That was you just last week, last month or last year. Instead give her sympathy, empathy, love! Say a kind word. Give a reassuring smile. Even… tell her your name. I know that’s breaking some secret code but we have to start being more open if we expect to be able to relate to others and stop the cycle of loneliness.
Are you willing to do this?
In my book, Motherhood Creation, I speak specifically about isolation, loneliness and depression and list several strategies of how you can walk away from that into a state of confidence and hope. If you are willing to make a change, sign up to my mailing list. You will be the first to know about the book release and you will have a chance to get a free copy.
Need more refreshment? Read this Letter to a Lonely Mother. BEST ever.