It was ironic, with my baby I was never alone, but yet I was a lonely mom.
This was the biggest shock of motherhood and resulted in quite a few teary downpours while curled up in my bed.
I honestly couldn’t think of the last time I was truly “alone”, yet the loneliness was gnawing away at my self-identity and robbing me of any happiness I had when spending the days alone with my baby.
This is real.
It is the reality of many new and experienced moms, but hey, it’s okay! Motherhood is isolating, it’s a new season in life, one which is on a completely new level of anything we have done before.
More than half of mothers, 53 percent (1), say they feel “isolated and lonely”. Trust me, you are not alone. It’s truly amazing how fast your own needs can be pushed aside, how every diaper, every burp, every breath during the day gets poured into caring for your child(ren).
With time you see yourself disintegrate into this tired, exhausted, unmotivated, and lonely mom, the one you NEVER wanted to be. There seems to be no way out, that’s the way it is and the way it’s going to be, however, it might be easier than you think.
Why the Loneliness?
Humans were not designed for solitude. We are created to live in ‘herds’, to be around other people.
Even the most introverted people need some form of human interaction as the need to interact is deeply ingrained into our DNA.
John Cacioppo (2), director of the University of Chicago Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, suggests that loneliness puts our bodies into self-preservation mode. Through brain imaging, Cacioppo has found that the visual cortex of the brain becomes more active when exposed to solitude, whereas the area of the brain responsible for empathy becomes less active.
This neurological phenomenon often causes loneliness which may in some cases lead to depression, hence “postpartum depression”.
Through time, people have evolved and moved throughout the country. We do not live as close to our families anymore, and therefore do not always have the necessary means of help.
In fact, only 29 percent of people live in the same town as their parents (1). This causes people to feel more secluded in this modern age.
Friends seem to drift off as they cannot relate to your lifestyle anymore, and you find yourself relying solely on your spouse for company. This may seem like the end of the world, as one friend after the other drifts off and you lose contact.
Sadly, that is a reality we all have to accept.
Life is like a train, friends get on and off, yet only some people are there for the whole ride. Even if you seem to be riding this train alone, there are ways to break the shackles of loneliness.
Below are 7 amazing tips for breaking and overcoming loneliness in your life.
7 Tips for Breaking Loneliness as a Mom
1. Take Some “Me” Time
Take some time to yourself and try to make this a daily thing.
It is hard to get up early when you are running on so little sleep. Challenge yourself to get up even 10 minutes before your child wakes up. Get up, shower, brush your teeth and get out of those pajamas!
Such a simple thing can make you feel more accomplished and get you off to a good start.
I personally know that often you are the only one there to care for your child. My baby used to sleep in 15-minute intervals. Five of those minutes I could spend doing something for myself while the others went to cleaning, cooking, or a quick power nap if I could manage.
If you have the luxury of having someone watch your child(ren), go out and do something.
I particularly enjoy it when my husband takes my daughter to his mom’s house or he is there in case she wakes up from her nap, and I have even just an hour to myself to bathe, cut my nails, and maybe even do a facial mask if I’m feeling extra boujee.
We cannot give the best to our spouse and children if we are not feeling our best and taking care of ourselves as well.
This does not mean ignoring your other duties and focusing only on yourself. You have given your all to others until now. It is time you get up and do a little something for yourself as well!
2. Use Your Words
We all know this feeling. We haven’t seen another adult all day and your husband comes home and…word diarrhea. You cannot stop talking and bombard him with your experiences, funny stories, and so on.
Yet your husband needs some time off to recharge from work and desires some “him” time.
That’s the hard part about being a stay-at-home mom, you are on a completely different time schedule.
Find ways to get your words out there. Try journaling, blogging, YouTube, putting your words out there helps!
Take at least 10 minutes a day to talk to another adult. I usually give my husband some time before I rant to him when he comes home. We have talked about it and he acknowledges my need and is more than happy to listen to me for even 10 minutes. Those 10 minutes can be an absolute life changer!
3. Get Fresh Air
We only have one car. This means I am stuck inside the house all day while my husband is at work or at school.
This can get pretty lonely, pretty quickly.
Some days I will have not been outside of our tiny two-bedroom suite in not one, not two, but even three days. I feel as if the walls are caving in and I am not motivated.
Getting some fresh air, feeling the breeze really relieves that pressure that is building up inside, new possibilities emerge, new dreams and hopes.
Even if you don’t meet anybody and you live on a mountain with nobody around you…. ahem…me, I guarantee you will feel better once you have been outside and taken your little one for a stroll.
4. Talk About How You Feel
Find somebody to talk to, be open and honest about it.
It is more common than you think to feel as a lonely mom. Acknowledge and accept the fact that you are lonely, reading this post is an amazing first step!
Call up an old friend, your mom or sister, or if you are too embarrassed to talk to them, find a professional to talk to. Give yourself a break from being a perfect momma, you deserve it!
5. Get Connected
Like I mentioned before, call or text another adult, an old friend, or a relative.
I have a friend who even though she is not married or has children, is always happy to hear me rant on about my day and support my feelings.
On certain days, this is what keeps me sane. Sending voice messages is also a huge game changer! I do not have the time in my day to call a friend and talk for hours on the phone, taking care of a baby simply doesn’t allow that.
Voice messaging allows me to verbally express my feelings in my own time when it best suits me. It also allows for more personal contact with others.
Find something that best suits you and connect with the people around you!
6. Have an Identity Outside Motherhood
This is SO important! I cannot stress this enough.
Before you had children, you had an identity; thoughts, dreams, goals in life. When you became a mom, these got pushed aside and you put keeping this tiny human alive your main goal in life.
However, YOU have not changed. YOU are still YOU.
Finding yourself, re-discovering the things you love to do, dreaming and working towards goals is what gives us ambition and drive. Even if it’s simply reading a book you have always wanted to read or drawing the things around you.
Take time to build your character and your identity outside of motherhood and find yourself again.
7. Join a Group
Find a local, online, or Facebook group to join. There are tons of options out there.
Think about what you like to do. If you are a vegan momma, an outdoorsy, or crafty mom, there are others out there with the same interest, it’s just a matter of finding them.
That the beauty of social media; we can easily find others with the same interests. I know a friend who takes her daughter to swimming lessons. It is here she found one of her best momma friends and they now hang out once a week while watching their children swim.
You cannot expect to find what you’re looking for when you aren’t even looking. Yes, it is uncomfortable, yet you will be surprised at how many moms are looking for somebody to relate to and talk to! Trust me, there are more lonely moms out there.
If you aren’t sure of what to join, make sure to join our Facebook page to connect with other moms, or even subscribing to our weekly newsletter. I’d be happy to get in contact with you!
When you’re feeling alone and it seems like the world has forgotten you, remember that you are never alone.
There are so many moms out there longing for somebody to talk to. Reaching out to others and connecting with them will be a huge blessing not only in their life but also in yours.
Motherhood is just a season in life, and like seasons it will pass.
You can do this, be strong.
We are with you and supporting you.
Sources for Statistics: