The Loneliness of Motherhood

 

When you think of being a mom, you think of happy moments: laughing with your kids, instilling great wisdom and strength. You probably think of reading stories and playing dolls and tea parties. You think of taking your kids to the zoo, the park, etc… All of those things do happen. But the truth is, many days they do not happen. Many days you are just trying to survive. Many days you feel completely alone. You may be surrounded by noise and even people. But you are alone.

Motherhood has probably been the loneliest season of my life thus far. I don’t think it matters if you are a stay at home mom, a full time working mom or anything in between. I have always been a part time working mom or full time.   I have never felt so lonely in my life. Not everyday of course. If you are not a mom, you might think, how can that be? You are surrounded by family every day. How in the world can you be lonely?   Chances are, though, if you are a mom, then you can relate. And even if you are not a mom, you may still relate. I can think of times in the past where I was surrounded by crowds of people in college or times sitting in a church pew by myself, where I remember feeling quite lonely. Loneliness, by definition, has nothing to do with the amount of people around you. It has to do with feelings and emotions. And let’s face it, motherhood has tons of feelings and emotions.  I share my feelings of loneliness with you, because I have a feeling if you are still reading at this point, then you feel alone as well.

You see, motherhood is glorious in all the happy moment pictures and glimpses you see. It is wonderful. It is life changing. But it is also the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is the most frustrating, angering, and lonely thing I have done in my life.

I think one of the reasons we are so lonely is because we are so isolated. You may have two or four kids or one, but when you are with your children, they are completely dependent on you. (At least the youngest are, which is my phase of life).  Even if they are older, they still look to you for answers, either through what you say or, more often then we like to admit, what you do. They are constantly watching you. They may know you better then you know yourself. Children test their limits.. again and again and again. They know what buttons to push, they know what they can get away with and which parent is most easily manipulated. I’m not saying they are doing these things to purposely frustrate you. They are just being kids. They are trying to figure out how this world works and we are, as a people, inherently selfish. Kids (and many adults) want what they want. Kids have not learned the gratification that comes with waiting sometimes. Then again, many adults have not learned that lesson in our fast paced American culture.  But we as moms sit there and we try to figure it out by ourselves, like we are the first people to ever have any problems with their children. In today’s world, I fear it may be worse. When we were younger, you were sent outside to play or to ride your bike in the neighborhood. Many of my peers state times of being out all evening until dark.  In today’s world, it seems parents hover and are scared if their children are out of their sights for one second. There is no release, no break. I’m not saying it is not warranted these days, I am not a sociologist or psychologist. Though I do think we let fear control us and we let the media and online presence control us. My point is, many moms are surrounded by their children all day long. There is no natural break.

I understand loneliness. That’s why I feel led to write these words. Do you know how many times I have lied on my bed, crying because I lost my temper, didn’t know what to do, or just out of sheer exhaustion? The more I cry, the more I feel sorry for myself. It is the most loneliness of feelings. Being all alone and crying hysterically.

Now everybody is different, we all have our struggles. Mine is being too harsh, forgetting to just laugh and enjoy my children. I lose my temper sometimes. My eldest child is extremely strong willed and many times I’m afraid her will has won. It’s a power struggle many days. Oh, I could tell you stories, sure. And I probably will if you stay tuned.

My point of this article is for you to know you are not alone and help you fight through your loneliness. There is someone who is going through the same thing you are. Sometimes you have to take the first step. What can you do, you say? I’m very practical so I’ll share some of the things that have helped me and that I hope will help you.

  1. Obviously, writing. 🙂 Even if you just keep a journal.
  2. Listening to music
  3. Call somebody! Anybody!
  4. Get outside! Sunshine is good for you in many ways.
  5. Read a book or your Bible.
  6. Pray, Pray, Pray
  7. Tackle a project.

Of course, I’m sure there are other ways, those are some of the ways that have helped me. I want this blog to be a community of women helping each other, so share what has helped you tackle loneliness or another obstacle you may be facing. And if you need someone to pray for you or to listen, shoot me an email. I’ll say a prayer for you in that moment.

Thanks for reading. Please share if you know someone who needs to hear these words.

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