The first year as a mother was the loneliest year of my life.
We had just moved across the country. I hadn’t started making deep friendships yet (though I am thankful we moved much closer to family). I was transitioning from working full time as a music teacher to staying at home.
I had a brand new baby. Worry followed me everywhere. Buggy was a preemie. Tiny. Fragile. Not growing well. I felt like a failure. I didn’t realize the depths of my PPD until much later.
Days dragged by.
I’d wander Target while wearing Buggy. I’d walk through parks – just me and my boy. I’d sit and nurse or pump or formula feed while pumping. Alone. Waiting for the moment my mom would be done with work so we could talk. Waiting for the moment the Hubs would cross the threshold. Waiting for some adult interaction. I felt like Dr. Phil was my only non-family friend at times.
As time passed, things did get better. I started opening up to new friends – starting to invest some time to go deeper than just surface conversation.
With my second baby, I felt I had a bit more companionship. I could talk to Buggy through the day and he could respond. I still longed for REAL friends. By this point, I had a few, though I was hesitant to really open up. To be real. To let others see the mess that is me. We had moved so often that I had built up walls to keep from being hurt by loss again and again.
Motherhood can be a very lonely place.
Are you lonely?
Do you ever feel all alone even in a big crowd?
Do you have acquaintances but long for true-blue friends?
Let me offer some suggestions. Things I wish I had done sooner. Deep friendships are so important.
- Pray. Spend time with Christ. He is the Great Comforter. He will guide your steps as you seek to break the bonds of loneliness.
- Join a mommy group. There are lots of different types out there. Many churches host or sponsor mommy groups such as MOPS Int’l. MOPS is Mothers of PreSchoolers. I credit this group with so much including saving the life of Scrunch. These ladies reached into my life, became my friends, and helped me while on bedrest during my pregnancy. THREE women every day came to my home for 5 weeks so I could make it to a safe point to deliver. I made it to 38 weeks. There are Meetup groups as well. Don’t be afraid to try a few different groups to find a good fit.
- Use Facebook Groups. I am amazed at how many local groups have popped up in the past year. We are busy as moms and it is so nice to be able to connect through local forums when we have the time.
- Put shyness aside. I will be honest. I am a closet shy person. I can schmooze with the best of them and have fun conversations, but when it comes to delving deeper, I get very shy. I don’t want to ask questions that may offend someone and make them think I am too nosy. I don’t want to reveal too much about my personal life with someone I don’t know well. Basically, I am very fearful of doing anything wrong. It’s ok to ask questions that go deeper. It’s ok to approach someone and talk to them. It’s ok to strike up a conversation in the park.
- Realize that you are not alone. Moms everywhere feel this same way. Even that put-together mom that you may secretly envy – I bet she feels insecure and alone at times.
- Reach out. Take that first step. Make that phone call. Initiate that play date. RSVP for that party.
- Join a Bible study or small group at church. Oh my goodness. I cannot stress how important this suggestion is. The real depth in friendships starts when you grow together in Christ.
Feeling alone hurts. I know. I’ve been there. Thanks to MOPS, local facebook groups, and most of all our Grow Group at church, I have some deep friendships. Gals I can call on at any time (though I still struggle to reach out ~ I hate to impose on others!) for any reason. Gals that lift me up. Gals that challenge me to be like Christ. Gals that love me and gals that are “becoming my Becky’s.”
Take a chance. Step out. Reach out. Break those bonds of loneliness.
Are you lonely?