Do you ever feel like, especially now that you’re a mom, you have fewer and fewer friends as time goes by? I was talking to a friend earlier this week about how we both feel like lonely moms at times, and if that’s you too, I just want you to know that you’re not alone.
My friend confided how she’d recently felt blindsided in a friendship when her friend essentially told her she no longer had time for her. She then asked me if I’d be having a baby shower for our upcoming baby and I told her I doubt it, because, well, I’ve lost touch with most of my friends over the years. I don’t think I’d have many people to even invite and those that would come I’d feel bad to have them purchase me a gift because I feel like such a bad friend many time! In fact, not that long ago I blogged about some of my friendship failures over the past few months. Sometimes, I just come up short. Not because I want to but because life gets busy and I am forgetful. If you read my blog regularly and think I have it all together, I’m here to tell you I don’t!
The fact is that motherhood is tough some times! It’s time consuming and often leaves you little time for friendships.
It can really be a lonely time in life when you are knee-deep in motherhood and if that’s you, I just want you to know that you are NOT alone!
The Types of Lonely Moms
The Stay-At-Home Mom
Things change when you leave the workforce to stay home with your kids. You don’t have the colleagues you once had to chit chat with every day. Even if these ladies are not ones you’d choose as friends outside of work, it still helps to fulfill the need to interact with other women each week. Whether you’re discussing your favorite tv shows, getting advice on your next hair cut, or just venting about the trials of work, when you’re a working woman, you usually always have other women to talk to throughout the week. These things just aren’t quite as much fun to talk to your 4 year old about — and frankly, they have probably talked to you about SO many other things by 9am that all you really want is a little bit of quiet some days anyway.
When you’re a stay-at-home mom, some people think you sit around all day and watch soap operas. However, many stay-at-home moms spend their days cooking cleaning, and spending extra time on things designed to save their family money since they are living off of one income, like clipping coupons or washing cloth diapers.
The Work-At-Home Mom
This is where I fall and it’s a weird place between stay-at-home moms and working moms who work outside of the home. I don’t get the physical interactions that come with working outside of the home, yet because I’m still working (just at home), planing times to get out of the house are even tougher. Scheduling a play date during the day means I need to set aside time that evening to work instead, taking time away from my husband. I also struggle with worrying that my fellow stay-at-home mom friends will just think I’m blowing them off or being a bad friend because I can’t schedule many activities during the week.
By the time I finish homeschooling my kids, cleaning my house, grocery shopping, cooking meals, and blogging, there is very little time left for other activities.
The Working (Outside the Home) Mom
Yes, I know I just said earlier that the working mom gets to socialize with other women at work, but those women are not necessarily going to be her close, true friends. After working 40 hours a week, most working moms still need to come home and adult. Again, cooking, cleaning, shopping…all the things that a mom does around the house add up to a lot of time quick! Then a working mom has to try to squeeze in time with her kid(s) and husband, not leaving a lot of extra time to spend with her friends.
The Mom of Many
With 4 kids and another baby on the way, in the eyes of most people, I now have a “big family.” To a lot of people, this is overwhelming. They don’t want to invite a family with so many children into their home because, well, if they are fixing a meal, that’s more mouths to feed and seats needed at a table that’s probably too small. Or, they fear our family will be too loud or rowdy. Whatever the reason, for moms of big families, it feels like you’re invited to fewer gatherings as the number of your children increases. This isn’t meant as a complaint, as I get it and understand that for some people, it’s just too much. It’s just a reality that many moms of many face.
The First Mom
When I had my first daughter, almost all of my friends from high school weren’t even married yet, let alone having children. I was in a different place than they were. They could go out (and stay out late) while I was at home breastfeeding my baby. When you’re the first (or one of the first) in your group of lady friends to become a mom, it can be easy to feel like an outsider quickly.
The Special Needs Mom
This is the mom who has a child on the autism spectrum, specific dietary restrictions, genetic conditions, etc.. Sometimes your child has a harder time socializing with others or maybe their health condition means that you have to be extra careful of taking them out into public during cold and flu season. I’m not a special needs mom myself, but I know plenty of them. I also know it’s a tough, lonely road for many to walk. I’ve even heard of parents who won’t let their children associate with children who have special needs. How sad!
The Needy Mom
You’ve recently had a miscarriage, your mother has cancer and is dying, you’re going through marital problems. These are times when a woman/mom needs more support in her life. Unfortunately, this is when a lot of friends check out because they either don’t know what to say (or are afraid to say the wrong thing) or how to help or they just don’t want to invest extra time into a friendship (ouch!).
The Mom with No Style
This is me. Not only am I fashion challenged, I’m also on a budget. I have 4 kids to feed and clothe and I just don’t have the extra money to keep up with the latest fashions. And, even if I did have the money, I’m just clueless when it comes to fashion. Plus, when would I find time to go to the store and shop?! Oh, and putting on makeup? I’m lucky if I get to put on some foundation and lipstick while I try to get everyone else ready to head out the door. I often worry that I look drab and uninviting, which leads to me approaching other women for friendship less.
The Mom with Low Self Confidence
This could stem from no-fashion sense, as I just mentioned above or from other issues. (My teeth aren’t straight/white, I’m overweight, I’m not as smart as other women, I’ve been hurt in the past, etc.) I feel like this is probably something a lot of moms don’t want to admit, but I’ll be the first to raise my hand here. Honestly, I often feel like I can’t reach out to other moms because I’m not great friendship material. I feel like I’m boring, dull, and have no life outside of motherhood and blogging. I’m not full of wit and humor. No, I’m mainly just tired and busy.
That’s a lot of moms, right?! And I bet you find yourself fitting into at least one of those categories.
The thing is, I want you to know that other lonely moms, they are all around you! So many of us have had to cope with loneliness at times. Maybe not at all of the time, but certainly at different points throughout motherhood.
You are NOT alone and you are not the only mom feeling this way! In fact, there are probably moms you look at every day and think, “gosh, they are so happy and have so many friends and are always having a good time,” and chances are, they probably feel just like you do! We moms hide things well! I felt that exact same way about the mom who confided in me that she was lonely. I would have never known!