One of the things I have learned is that being a Mom can be a lonely business. This can especially be true if you are a stay-at-home Mom. Based on recent comments and emails from other Mom friends, I know I’m not alone in this struggle.
Don’t get me wrong…being a SAHM is wonderful! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be home with my children, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges that come with this blessing, too. It can also be isolating when you are home by yourself with the children all day. All moms go through these lonely seasons.
Perhaps the weather is keeping us inside so the kids can’t go out and play. Perhaps your husband works long hours so he isn’t home until after the children are in bed. Day after day, with no other adults to talk to, can make us feel very lonely. It’s no wonder my son gets so excited when it’s time to go grocery shopping with Mama! It’s an outing that we both enjoy!
Have you felt this way recently? I know for a fact that when you’re feeling alone, the days seem longer and I’m more easily annoyed. I don’t like to feel alone but I know those days do come. Here’s some of what I’ve learned to do on those lonely days when can and do happen.
Text a friend. We live in an age where we are technologically connected. Sometimes, this is negative when our technology distracts us from the little ones right in front of us. (I was very convicted as I read Hands Free Mama to not miss the everyday moments in front of me due to technology.) That said, there are times when technology is wonderful! If you’re having a lonely day, text another friend! Whether she lives near or far, a simple text can work wonders. Maybe you just want to say how much you value her friendship or miss her. Maybe you need to vent for a moment via text. Maybe you need to share something funny that just happened with the kids. A text message or two doesn’t take long and reminds you that you are not alone.
Set up a play date. This can be difficult to do. Maybe you’re a working mom and your other friends stay home – or vice versa. Maybe you’re limited with one car to share between yourself and your husband. Maybe you simply don’t know anyone to have a play date with – because let’s face it. Play dates are just as much for Moms as they are for our kids! Even if it’s only for an hour or two, I’ve found that a simple play date with honest Mom conversation can cheer me up for quite some time. So, put yourself out there with the new neighbor down the street or another young Mom from church. Go to her house or see if she can come to you. Changes are, she’ll be just as glad for a play date as you are!
Do something that makes you happy – just for you and just because! Yes, this may mean the laundry doesn’t get done tonight or the dishes just sit. Sometimes, after the kids go to bed, I’ve found the best way to combat loneliness is to do something that I want to do. Some nights, I blog. Others, I take a hot bubble bath and read. Other times, I work on digital scrapbooks. What makes you happy? Give yourself permission to do that! Even if it’s only for 30 minutes, that time will refresh you and keep you from focusing on your loneliness. (I loved the book The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner for helping me realize I need to take time for myself.)
Talk honestly with your husband. I tend to keep quietest about the things I feel the most deeply – even with my wonderful husband. Can you take an evening to yourself while he puts the kids to bed? Can you go out for coffee or solo shopping on a Saturday morning while he stays home with the kids? We’re not talking anything crazy here but a couple hours to get away can be a huge help. I know my husband is always willing to give me the time I need and help in anyway he can. I simply don’t ask as often as I need it. Sometimes, the loneliness of being Mom is related to the fact that we spend all our days and nights with our children. As much as we love them, it’s okay to want and need a bit of a break.
Give thanks. Sometimes I bring the loneliness on myself when I start to focus on the negative – instead of the positive. There is so much for which I can be thankful! God says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” These are some of my favorite verses. Even though the instructions are simple, it’s still a big challenge to do all three of these! Still, even in the midst of our loneliness, I believe we can find reasons to give thanks. Maybe the kids slept longer at nap time than we anticipated, or we had a smooth grocery shopping trip. Maybe we accomplished more on our to-do list than we expected or the kids were full of cuddles this afternoon. Give thanks for all these things!
What do you do when you’re feeling alone? What tips do you have for other moms who feel isolated? Let’s encourage one another!