The Lonelier Side of Motherhoodby Becki Pallan
Becoming a parent is awesome, a little person who completely loves you and needs you, being lucky enough to have the time off with them is fab and rewarding, however…
Being or feeling lonely is not a nice place to be in!
The noise of the kids or the telly... even the hoover, if you have time to do that… but sometimes that noise stops, and you have silence!
Some people are truly lucky to have a village or a tribe... with my first I did. My whole maternity was taken up with coffee and cakes, family things which needed my attention. A circle of ladies all in the same boat having new-borns and time...
Fast forward three years, I had taken redundancy and soon fell pregnant with my daughter... I felt a little lonely when pregnant but I had my son with me, when he wasn’t at nursery.
I was also studying social media and trying out the Instagram world, we didn’t have a garden at the time, so I spent a lot of time going here and there to escape the house and for my son to run about!
My daughter came and the newborn love from everyone happens... but then that stops! I had no one who was off with me, I hadn’t done NCT as I hadn’t with my first, so felt pointless to do now... this is a regret of mine.
I went to baby classes but it didn’t seem to go any further with friendships, you would say ‘Hi’ in the group and then go your separate ways.
I joined an app, Mush Mums, basically Tinder but for parents to hang out haha
I met one lady there who I keep in touch with now and again, I also arranged a meetup, again nothing really materialised from it.
Then my son started school and again I’ve met a few mums there, who I chat to, we’ve had the odd play date but not that sort of ‘friendships’ where you can really let rip and divulge anything… nothing serious anyway
Day in, Day out becomes the same, days based around school picks ups and naps, the waiting to pick up, just to speak to an adult!
Some weeks are dull and can make me feel miserable, but others I have things planned (not too much, I dislike being busy all the time! Hehe)
You can get swept into daytime tv or sorting the house out! When I do speak to friends, I don’t tend to have much to say, these are things I miss about working so to speak, talking with fellow colleagues, having something else to say apart from the things the kids have been up to!
I guess that’s where the blogging came into it, journaling my journey, writing down things that I feel matter and could help others, or at least make them feel less alone!
Social media has also been a saving grace in some ways, connecting with like-minded people, watching fellow families in the same boat, it can come with a feeling of disappointment too though, that everyone seems to have things to do and people to see, that you seem to be the only one at home, who has sung baby shark for the 100th time by 11 am...
This is by far, not the case, but when you are in the thick of it and having no plans or seeing what feels like ‘perfect mothers’ (I mean what is perfect and not sure this even exists, just can feel that way) showing just the ‘good times’ as that’s what it is, it can make you feel s**t.
Most of social media is a snapshot into people’s world! If you look at mine, it’s all smiles! That’s not me 100% of the time, most of the time people would probably be put off if I moaned 24/7. Haha
Being at home without a ‘job’ so to speak… I feel is where it’s hard, when I worked, I had two worlds, my colleagues and then my family life, when family life is the only thing, I feel this is where the loneliness sets in, by being on social media it gives me an outlet, and blogging my journey, gives me a sense of belonging.
(This sounds so bad!! I know, I really don’t have to say what my children mean to me, I do love being able to be off, spending so much time with them. There are so many parents who would love to be in my position of being at home) however being at home can be lonely and in ways have been for me! I just think more parents need to be open and honest about how they feel, and that people may think, that parents that are home are dossing about!
It is, in fact, bloody hard, as is working, we all find it hard and do just what we can to manage!
My tips to feeling less lonely
- Do something for you... for me its yoga
- Have some things planned, whether that’s playdates or a coffee with a friend
- Make a list of things that need doing... even those jobs you put off every week hehe
- Let your partner or friends know, how you feel sometimes, even just saying it, makes you less alone.