There is one thing that so many Mum’s experience, but rarely talk about. And that is loneliness. It is so common but many women won’t admit it. I recently watched a video done by Bethany from The Young’s about her experiences with loneliness and it has spurred me to share my thoughts on it.
I am by no means an expert on loneliness, I can only draw on my own experiences and speak about what it means to me. I would love to hear others thoughts though, so please leave any comments in the box below and I will get back to you!
Being a stay at home mum is extremely isolating. I spend a large proportion of my time alone with Piglet. That might seem contradictory, “alone” and “with” aren’t two words you generally out together, but although I may be in the physical presence of a person it doesn’t mean it can’t be lonely.
I love Piglet with all my heart. He is a funny little guy and when we play together he always keeps me on my toes. But he is also a toddler, his conversational skills are……. lacking somewhat. He’s getting good at repeating words – but that’s about the sum of it! He can’t ask me how I’m doing, offer to help me, or simply give me a turn with the crayons. He’s a mini-dictator, and soon there will be an even mini-er version to boss me around too.
These interactions are not a substitute for adult company. A trip to the park may entertain a toddler for a little while, but it is pretty boring for a grown woman these days.
As I sit here, writing about my life for all to see, it may be hard to believe I am extremely shy. Once we’ve broken the ice there is no shutting me up, but that initial hello is painful for me. I tend to shut down. I answer questions, but won’t ask any back. It’s not a natural position for me. This time last year I tried braving a toddler group and eventually stopped going as it just wasn’t a comfortable experience for me.
It is easy for me to pass this off as unnecessary, as I actually do have quite a few people around me. My sisters have young children, one is even pregnant at the same time as me and so our babies will only bee a few weeks apart. My parents live around the corner and I see them a few times a week. But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel isolated or lonely at times.
Of course, I have friends that I had before I fell pregnant. They are still my friends – they haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth just because I had a baby. But we are at different phases of our lives and that makes it hard to really be there for each other, as you simply don’t understand what is going on in each other lives at this point in time.
This year I am having to miss out on a lot. We have 5 weddings this year. At least 2 of those weddings, 2 hen weekends and numerous dinners, parties and nights out which I am going to miss out on. That is what comes with the territory with having kids, you can’t do everything and I don’t expect to.
However, when you cannot attend all the same events as your friends you are consequently out of the loop. You don’t know all the details of what went on, all the simple parts. Who said what, what was so funny, who was the life and soul of the party. You’re not intentionally left out, but that is how it ends up feeling.
I am constantly reminding myself that it is just a phase. There will be a time all too soon where I won’t be pregnant. I won’t be breastfeeding, and I won’t have a toddler at home who grabs my hand and tries to put his shoes on too when he sees I’m going to leave. I’ll be free to take the time and go and do what I want – and when that time comes I’ll probably yearn for the baby days!
I think it takes quite a big person to admit they are lonely even when they are surrounded by people. It’s not a weakness, it’s not attention seeking or begging for everyone to jump to your every need. It’s very common and we need to be mindful of those around us.
If you see a new mum at your baby group, try saying hello. If their responses are short and to the point, try not to discount them. They’re probably just a nervous as you are.
If you have friends that are parents, but perhaps you’re not yet a parent yourself, try to put yourself in their shoes. Don’t get frustrated when they’re agreement to hang out comes with a list of conditions – understand that it’s probably as annoying for them to have to be so inflexible.
Parenting is a challenge on so many levels, and battling with feeling alone is just another one of those things that seems to go with it. You’re not alone though – there are thousands of women across the world feeling the same way. Sarah from Arthurwears is one of them. And I am one of them.
Why not join our Facebook Group which is hub for women with all different types of diabetes. It is a safe place to ask questions, share knowledge and be open about how you are coping.
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