Mother of a Lonely Heart
“I used to have friends. And then I got pregnant.”
Is there anything more that need to be said than—I get it.
Boy, do I get it.
One minute you're staying out until 10 on a Tuesday drinking wine and eating soft cheeses; the next minute you're tied to your breast pump and trying to explain to your friends what wearing hospital grade diapers for a 3 month long period feels like.
I hear it mostly from the ‘young moms’: the ones who feel like they are the first of their friend group to settle down, get married, move out of the apartment, and have the baby.
And this brings up so much. Masked under, “I used to be cool” is loneliness, anger, resentment, sadness, regret and then, the beast of them all, shame. Right? Because, as moms, we’re not 'supposed’ to feel this way. We supposed to feel happy and loving and compassionate and caring. Fully in! Everything was worth it!
This is hard.
And you are not ‘supposed’ to feel any way except for how you feel. And if that’s lonely? Great news (ironic news…) you are not alone!
Things get in the way. Carpool, packing snacks, play dates, doctor’s appointments. Things! Always the things! And not just in the way of us having the time and mental capacity for going out and connecting with friends, but in the way of our self-care. Little energy is left for ourselves at the end of the day. And when we don’t love ourselves, it’s near impossible to welcome and trust love from others.
Then we let months go by, years even, until we pick our heads up from out of the diaper bag or soccer bag and think, “When was the last time I spoke to someone?”
When was the last time you felt really connected? When was the last time you felt it was safe to say, “This is hard”?
So what’s a mom to do?
Well there’s a few things. Some big and some small.
The Small Stuff:
- The Peanut App: This is a great! resource. I call it the Tinder of mom dating. This connects you with moms in your area. Download it (for free) and start sending messages to other moms. “Hey! Do you want to get coffee sometime?” Easy as that, girl!
- Local Events: When you start looking, you will be amazed at how many ‘mommy focused’ events are happening around your town. Even if you do not walk away with a new connection or ‘mommy friend’, doing something that you are passionate about helps light up that feeling of taking care of yourself, deters the burn out and leaves you feeling confidant and sparkly.
The Big Stuff:
- Talk to someone: It doesn’t always feel safe to say, “I am struggling with ____”. Sometimes, it is not. Sometimes, the people around you, even the ones you love, just aren’t quite in a place to hold space for you.
- Talk to Someone: Is this your first time reading my work? Great! Let me introduce myself: My name is Victoria and I love therapy. Many times the thing that’s keeping you feeling isolated in your motherhood may be something that has always been there. Motherhood has a way for magnifying the things that we’ve been choosing to not see. This is where a skilled and accredited therapist may be something to peek at!
Either way, if you are choosing the big stuff or the small stuff:
I feel you.
I got you.