Have you ever felt lonely as a Mom?
My family and I moved to a new state two years ago. I had two young kids and knew nothing about our new city. I took a few months off to ease the transition to a new home, so while my husband was at work all day, we explored the city.
Even though my kids were with me CONSTANTLY, I found myself desperately lonely.
I missed my old friends, the people who have known me for years. The ones who loved me even though my house was a mess and my kids often had tantrums when we left playdates.
About a month after our move, I was tired of being alone, so I decided to take action. I signed up for any group I could find: playgroups, Bible studies, moms groups.
But those activities drained me. I’m an introvert, so hanging out in large groups of moms was exhausting.
Then, one day we went to library storytime. I smiled politely at the moms in the room, sitting quietly, taking in the scene. One mom in particular caught my eye. She had girls who looked about the same age as my girls. Storytime wrapped up and people started to leave.
I don’t know if it was the desperate plea on my face or if she was lonely too, but we struck up a conversation. Our kids were the exact same age! We lived just blocks apart! And had many similar interests!
Yea! A friend. Connection.
Lonely But Never Alone
You don’t have to move to a new state to know about loneliness as a mom.
Remember when you could go to the bathroom alone? You could even eat a cookie without sneaking into the pantry to avoid being caught (and having to share!)
Those were the days.
We are surrounded by people all day long, and yet, so many stay-at-home moms feel lonely.
We all need connection. We need to find other moms who “get it.” Moms who understand what it’s like to change 12 diapers, kiss 100 microscopic boo-boos, and referee sibling squabbles all day. Moms who would never criticize a messy kitchen, unwashed hair or the fact that your three year old is still not interested in potty training.
How to Find Connection as a Stay-at-Home Mom
What do you need?
Are you an extrovert who loves being around large groups of people? Or are you an introvert who needs just one or two close friends? Do you want active friends who plan playdates and know the museum schedule by heart? Or do you need a friend who will bring you a Starbucks to enjoy while the kids run around the yard?
Get Out vs. Invite In
If you love being around people, it’s time to search for groups of moms to join. It could be an organized group through a community or church, or a volunteer position. If you’re searching for a more low-key friend, it might be easier to host a playdate in your home or meet up at a playground.
No More Excuses
I know it can be hard to get your kids out of the house. Sometimes it’s easier to stay home than to find everyone’s shoes. Unfortunately, this can keep us from finding connection. Make a plan for getting out of the house. What needs to happen? Organization? Schedule for the day? Packing lunches the night before?
Now that you’re out of the house, it’s time to make the most of this opportunity! Find a mom who seems to be your speed and introduce yourself. If you don’t feel a connection, move on. If you seem to click, or if your kids play well together, exchange email addresses or plan another get together. (Sounds kind of like dating!)
True connection comes when we can be open and honest with each other without feeling like we are going to be judged or criticized. Unfortunately, we won’t know until we try. On the flip side, offer a non-judgmental, non-critical listening ear to your friend. Building trust takes time, but the payoff can be very rewarding!
Finding Connection Online
For some moms, an online community is their best support. There are fantastic groups available, especially for moms with specific parenting concerns and needs. It’s also a great resource for moms who cannot leave the house or don’t want to join an in-person group.
But, if you find yourself hiding behind the screen, scared to ask the questions or reach out to others because you’re afraid of being judged or criticized, you are missing out on true connection.
Don’t let this fear paralyze you. Find a group you trust. Then, act boldly and be vulnerable.
Even though we are rarely alone as stay-at-home moms, we all need to find connection with other moms who understand. Keep in mind that connection for one mom can look quite different for another.
I encourage you to create your personalized “I’m tired of being a lonely mom” plan.
Then, go for it! Put it into action and see who you will meet!