Dear Mom that feels lonely/isolated/like no one gets it,
If you can relate to any of those feelings above, I want you to know two things.
1. I get it. I’ve been there, felt those feelings, and had those same thoughts.
As moms, we often find ourselves cut off and isolated. I remember spending the first six weeks at home with my kids and I know that it helped to solidify a bond that is still prevalent in our lives today. After I went back to work, however, my life still revolved around my kids. I couldn’t wait to pick them up from daycare and hold them. I stopped looking up to those around me and just looked down to the baby sleeping in my arms.
Soon, I started to feel the disconnect between us and them. You know, people who had older kids, or didn’t have kids. People that lived far away, and even those who lived close by. I created a bubble around myself and my immediate family. I would stay home and feel sorry for myself when my husband would want to go out with his friends. I felt as though no one knew what I was going through. No one had ever been a working mom like me. I was totally alone, not even realizing that I had totally isolated myself. I was nice and cordial with others, but I felt as if no one saw me for me; a struggling mama that was too tired to live life. I was too proud to reach out, even though I didn’t know what or who to reach for. Have you ever felt like that?
Although my kids are now nine and five, I still look back on those days of loneliness and I feel ashamed of my actions. How could I have been so self-centered to think that there was no one out there like me? The world is full of working moms missing their kids, while trying to make a better life for them. What I didn’t have was a support system, a group of people to help me celebrate my accomplishments, while at the same time helping me heal from battles lost.
2. It does get better, but I beg of you, reach out. Find your people, your sense of belonging, somewhere. And then return the favor.
There are plenty of resources at your fingertips. Charleston Moms Blog has tons of local activities posted every month that you can get you out of the house. There are tons of different Meetup groups, Moms groups, groups for different hobbies and interests. All you need to do is find one that interests you and jump in! Even if the first one doesn’t seem like a good fit, there are still so many others to try. It’s not selfish to want to join something, and become a part of something that is bigger than just your own family. Chances are, you’ll meet someone that is having similar feelings or struggles.
Once you find a group (or make one of your own) you will probably feel all sorts of good vibes. I do ask one thing of you though. Once you feel stable and a sense of belonging, please go out and see if you can find someone that seems like they could use some help. Reach out to them. It may take some convincing, but we are all looking for a hand to hold at least once in our lives. Bring someone into your group. Remember what it felt like to be where they are.
Nothing makes me feel better than knowing that I have helped bring something good into someone’s life. If I helped make their day better, then I truly feel that I have accomplished my goal. Making others feel better makes me feel better too. Try it, you will be amazed!
My challenge to you is simple; do something today that will make your tomorrow better. If you do that every day, just think about where you’ll be next year!
A mom who’s been there