When I was little I was a gymnast. I spend hours after school in the gym working on routines. Hours that would equate now to a part time job. When I was old enough I coached. When I moved out I coached and filled the rest of my time working in real estate offices and teaching dance. Needless to say; I was always on the move. That’s why becoming a stay at home mom was a bit of a culture shock. All of a sudden, you’re not rushing off to work in the morning. You’re not setting goals for work. There’s not gratification of a paycheck at the end of the week. On top of all of that- there is stay at home mom loneliness.
I am not the sort of person who follows inspirational quote instagram profiles, or posts them on Facebook. It’s just not my thing. But for the first time ever, I found one that spoke to me.
“Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you. – Carl Jung
Want to know why it hits home?
Because I can’t even explain why it hits home.
So we’ve survived the first few weeks. Your hormones have regulated (mostly). You’ve got the hang of the baby thing. Life is great. Right? Then why are you so lonely?
For me, it was lots of things. It was because my significant other is gone 10 hours of the day and we only have one car. It was because I no longer have grown ups to talk to and laugh with during the day. No co-workers with inside jokes. It was because none of my friends have children. They don’t understand what I was going through or that I can’t just go out on a Thursday night. Or that I just don’t want to go out on a Thursday night and leave the baby at home with Dad.
It was because it sounds so childish when you explain to other people that you’re lonely. Most people have the idea (including our hardworking work outside the home spouses) that staying at home is a piece of cake. (Be honest, when was the last time you got to sit and eat your food while it was still hot? Like never.) So explaining that you’re lonely will either make people think you’re not grateful, or that you just don’t enjoy being a mom.; neither of which is true. No one, even other moms, understands what it’s like. How isolating it can be. How important it is to talk about.
When my son stopped breastfeeding, I struggled. I still can’t explain why it hurt my heart so much, but it did. I knew I had to find something to occupy my time, so I started blogging. Blogging turned into comments, turned into subscribers, turned into friends who shared my interests. Turned into people to talk to and share with. It made a world of difference in my life, just having that tiny bit of communication with grown people throughout my day. The best part? I still get to stay at home with my son and be here when my daughter gets home from school. And I’m not lonely anymore.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I struggled with being lonely and stir-crazy for a lot of my stay-at-home days. I’ve found that it is important for me to retain a little bit of who I am as a person, and to make sure I am taking care of my mental health. So much of what is important to you gets pushed way back when you’re so focused on raising a tiny human, that you forget that while being a mom is the most important thing in your life, and it changes you to the core; you are more than just someone’s mother.
You’re you. And you’re great. And you deserve more than to feel like you’re just a butt wiping machine.
Some things that helped me feel better:
- We are so lucky to have access to friendship in the palm of our hands. Find stay at home mom forums and talk to other women who are going through what you’re going through.
- For me, making my bed helped. It made me feel a little more like I had my life together, and it also prevented me from napping in it when I had the opportunity.
- Put shoes on. It’s purely psychological, but wearing shoes just made me feel like I had shit to do. In turn, I got more done, and felt a little more accomplished.
We talked about this topic on Facebook Live!
Let’s talk about stay at home mom loneliness.
Posted by Poise & Purpose on Monday, March 14, 2016
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