When Motherhood is a Lonely Place
When you become a mom, alone time is basically a thing of the past. You never go to the bathroom, shower, or even sleep alone. You’re in the car with little ones constantly. You are never alone at your house.
I remember when my daughter was a baby and how much I wanted her to start talking. All I could think of was how much less lonely I would feel when she could talk. Well, she started talking. Then came her brother and he talked. Then came baby sister and now she talks.
Guess what? I still feel lonely.
Being a stay-at-home mom is a hard gig some days. It’s rewarding and nice to be able to be the one who is there with your kids. I love not missing milestones, getting to pick-up my daughter from school, and all of the snuggles I get mid-day with my son. However, it can be isolating.
I learned this even more recently when my family moved to Arkansas two years ago. Of course our families are hours away, but we live in a small town with very few resources. We don’t have a preschool, besides school pre-k. The closest moms group like MOPS or baby wearing group is an hour drive. Hello loneliness.
When motherhood feels lonely, I think there are things we can do and remember to survive.
However you can do this, just do it. I hate Facebook most days, but it is my way to be connected to other adults many days when my husband is working long hours. Make the drive to the MOPS group. Put yourself out there and go to the church women’s event. Invite another mom on a playdate when you happen to meet someone at the park or at school. Don’t isolate yourself. You have a lot of great things to offer another mom, even though you may feel like you don’t.
Focus on the Important Stuff
I struggle with this, mommas, more than I would like to admit. Don’t let online shopping and dreams of what could be or what was cloud your vision of the beauty of today. Look at your children and realize how blessed you are to be their mom. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s so worth it. If the little things are stressing you out, let them go. Of course, if your feelings are ongoing and seem to worsen, please seek medical help or talk to a trusted friend or counselor.
Find Joy in the Journey
I felt lonely today when my 17-month-old had a tantrum at school drop-off and other moms scoffed. But remember moms, there is joy in this journey. Yes, she’s a wild child most days, but someday she will move mountains.
Don’t lose sight of what makes you happy. If it’s a little pamper time when your kids go to bed, do it. A face mask and some chocolate can help. If it’s coffee and Netflix, go buy some fancy coffee and indulge. Have a dance party with your kids while cooking supper. Just don’t let yourself forget there is joy. Yes, it’s lonely at times but remember one day it will just be you and your spouse again. I don’t look forward to the days of quiet and no messes to clean up. Not yet.
So momma, if you’re feeling lonely, just know you’re not alone. We can get through this together. Moms are so important in this world and I can guarantee you there are some little ones who think you are pretty great to hang around.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas who struggles with being lonely often, but she needs to remember how blessed she is.