All The Lonely Mommas
Ever feel like you weren’t in the club?
Like people everywhere are talking about how thankful they are for their tribe or posting pictures of themselves online hanging out with their tribe and you feel like you’re standing in a corner of a room tentatively raising your hand, saying “Hey, I’d like one of those.”
I think there should be a parody of “All The Single Ladies,” and instead it could be called “All The Lonely Mommas.” At least then we’d have a cool beat to accompany the solitude.
Suffice it to to say, at times I’ve found this motherhood journey with young kids at home to be lonely. This is not to say that I don’t have friends and acquantences who I count on and like very much. I personally don’t have one cohesive tribe as much as I have packets of friends in a variety of different areas. I’m learning that’s okay, too. I don’t need to spend these years chasing after some mythical tribe where all my friends are friends with each other and we are all inseperable. This isn’t high school anymore, and, for some of us, developing a cohesive tribe has been a bit tricky to accomplish. I’m not really trying to accomplish it anymore so much as enjoy each individual friendship I have, as well as the ones I’m developing.
Working Mom/ SAHM
There’s also the loneliness accompanying whatever a mom’s work situation is. I’ve been both a working mom and a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) in the past three years.
When I worked, I had some amazing co-workers that I really liked. But we were all teachers. And teachers are busy. So there wasn’t a lot of time to socialize during the day. We were too busy teaching little brains. I also, during that phase, felt disconnected from my mom friends who were SAHM’s at the time. I couldn’t go to the play dates, the play groups, the during-the-day mommy stuff that helps to fill the long days at home with kids. And I was often too tired at night to do anything other than sit on the couch. Especially when I was pregnant. Social engagements became few and far between, which was, indeed, lonely.
When I have stayed home, I’ve been lonely in the long hours and sometimes full days that go by without talking to another adult. I got better at scheduling enough during the week that I didn’t feel like I was going to lose my mind, but the hours, especially at the end of the day, can drag. As much as I love the cuddles and playtimes, and stories, I also acknowledge that it is often lonely too.
It’s Nice To Meet You
For me, its been getting better. Mostly because I have made uncomfortable decisions over the past few years, on and off, to make new connections and put myself in places where new connections are possible.
A co-worker has a kid the same age? Set up a play date. There’s a mom’s group where you live? Try it out. That mom also standing alone on the other side of the park? Say hello. There’s a chance she is feeling lonely too.
Keep putting self out there. Show up. Introduce yourself. Stick hand out, smile and say “Hi, I’m _____. It’s nice to meet you.”
Sometimes that’s all that will come of it. A short, but hopefully pleasant encounter chatting about your kids and the weather and this and that. That’s okay. But sometimes the conversation will flow freely. Sometimes, you’ll schedule a playdate. Sometimes, you’ll make a new friend.
But you’ve gotta be willing to take the hits with the misses. It’s a numbers game. If you keep putting yourself out there, it’s a matter of when, not if before you start making some connections with people that connect with you.
I think we all do each other and ourselves a service when we acknowledge “This is hard.” Or “I’m lonely.” So let me be the first to say “That’s me.” Totally. It’s come in waves over the past five years of motherhood, and it has been getting better but yes I have been and still am lonely sometimes. So let’s do something to change it.
Hi, I’m Lorelei. It is very nice to meet you.
What about you? How have you made mom friends? What have been your own challenges at this phase of life?