Motherhood. The most beautiful thing you will ever experience yet, how can it feel so lonely sometimes?
When you’ve been up in the middle of the night with a baby that won’t sleep, feeding, pumping and repeating while your husband is snoring next to you. Your other kids asleep in their bed and all is dark outside because the rest of the world is also asleep, it can feel lonely. Like you are the only one not sleeping.
When you go on social media after a sleepless night and you see all these lovely ladies out at brunch or on a girls trip, looking all cute and put together while you are sitting there in your husbands old sweater. Greasy hair, pump attached to your chest, baby swaddled next to you and you think, am I the only one not included?
When you are bouncing and carrying your crying baby around the living room and you look out the window and see a mom with a few toddlers going for a walk in the sunshine, you basically just burst into tears. How do they do it?
The truth is that motherhood can be just plain lonely. You are exhausted, constantly caring for your little one(s) and rarely having time for yourself.
Well mama, you are not alone. This is normal. Every single mom goes through this. Be encouraged and know that it won’t always be this way!
My little ones are now 2 and 5 and let me tell you, I am now the mom on a walk in the sunshine with my toddlers. All smiles like we don’t have a care in the world. It gets better.
The night waking stops, the constant feeding changing and repeating stops, and the love your children show you is enough to make you forget how hard it was in the beginning months.
When your baby looks up and smiles at you, starts laughing and interacting and comes to you and only you when they need comfort, you realize that all of those lonely moments were needed.
All of those long nights and days of holding, swaddling, comforting has created a lifetime bond between you and your child that no one else can ever replace.
If you find that you are now in a place where you feel like you are ready to “re-enter the world” but are having a hard time, here are some things that helped me:
Don’t feel guilty
You get so used to caring for your little one that you feel selfish leaving them to have some time alone. Don’t feel guilty.
You need time away to recharge. Have some adult interaction. Leave baby with daddy and go get your nails done, meet a few friends for dinner, etc.
Better yet, get a sitter and go on a date night. My favorite way to recharge is to go on a date night with my husband or on a little weekend getaway. Not only does it help you, but it is so good for your relationship!
When you get home, your baby will be there waiting for you. They know you are coming home, don’t worry.
If you are really struggling with this and can’t seem to get out of it, speak up.
As soon as I shared my struggles with Jason, I immediately felt better. He pointed out that I had isolated myself from my friends and the things that I loved. I had put 100% into motherhood and had forgotten to nurture other important passions, dreams and relationships that make me who I am.
It was great to receive an outside perspective and some advice to push me in a positive direction.
I am a Christian and I noticed that when my personal relationship with God suffered, so did my overall joy in life. My faith in Christ centers me, keeps me grounded and brings me hope to make it through the daily challenges.
When I neglect this relationship, I forget that there is a greater God who is with me every day. I am never really alone and this brings me so much comfort and joy.
What centers you? What brings you hope, joy and peace?
Hobbies, passions and goals
I am one of those people that has a million ideas in my head all the time. There are so many things that I want to do. When I am not actively pursuing my dreams and passions, I start to feel lonely and isolated.
For example, I love blogging and writing. It really is a passion of mine but I get into ruts where I don’t make time to create new content. I choose to watch too much tv or sit on my phone or Pinterest and waste time. Time goes by and I realize that I haven’t done anything productive for myself.
I make it a point to work on my goals and projects at least twice a week. It relaxes me, gives me a sense of reward, and gets my ideas flowing and I love seeing my ideas come to life in a tangible way.
Find something that you love doing outside of motherhood. It can be blogging, working out, writing, etc. What sparks your interest and excites you? What are your talents? Are you an artist, good cook, etc? Find what you love and make time for it.
Put yourself out there
If you have friends but have been neglecting those relationships because well, motherhood. Reach out. Don’t be afraid to send a text, schedule a play date and pick up where you left off.
If you find that you really don’t have any friends (this is actually common in motherhood and nothing to be ashamed of!!), then you need to put yourself out there. This can be so scary and intimidating, but once you do it, it is so rewarding.
Join a book club at your church or a play group. If you have a sister join her and her friends and try to build your own friendships from there. Start going to baby showers and birthday parties when invited and actually talk to new people.
If you are on social media, reach out to other people that you follow that you can relate to. You will be surprised to find that there are so many moms who are also searching for a friend!
You can’t meet new people and make friends if you don’t put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone.
I don’t have A-LOT of super close friends, but I have a couple friends that are always there for me and handful of them who are always willing to get together for a play date, dinner date, etc.
The bottom line is that loneliness happens as a result of being alone (obvious, I know!).
So from mother to mother, the next time you are feeling lonely or isolated, remember that you are not alone.
Somewhere out there, there is another mom who is also awake in the middle of the night, probably thinking the exact same thing.
Trust me. I am a mom. I’ve been there and the best is yet to come!