I find motherhood to be particularly lonely. I started a social media platform to combat this problem in motherhood. The mission of this platform is to support, empower, and connect. You see, when I started my motherhood journey at 21 years old, 10 years ago, there weren’t Facebook mom groups or Instagram, and my peers were not yet having children which left me without the community that can act as a lifeline for mothers. Especially new mothers need support and community. Someone they can shared experiences with and know they aren’t the only person in the world who is struggling with feedings, sleep, and the long list of motherhood struggles. As a young mom, it became a passion of mine to get to a place where I could help other young moms feel not so alone.
And then I had my second baby, and the loneliness continued.
And the I had my third baby, and the loneliness continued.
And then I had my fourth baby, and the loneliness continued.
I began to realize through my own journey and now having this platform where I can connect with thousands of moms every day that… motherhood can be extremely lonely. Many moms are feeling this way, have felt this way, or struggle with the ebbs and flows of loneliness.
If you are feeling lonely in your motherhood journey, you are not alone. There isn’t something wrong with you. And yes, I know you feel crazy sometimes being constantly surrounded by people and yet, so lonely.
Let’s begin this conversation with what needs aren’t being met when you feel lonely. Our needs are important.
1. Affectionate Touch
Affectionate touch is different from the little people climbing all over you all day long. And yes, I know, it’s hard to want affectionate touch when you have little people climbing all over you all day long. Maybe you are feeling touched out because you are breastfeeding, or you have a little one who is having a hard time being put down. Affectionate touch though triggers different chemicals in the brain which help us feel more connected.
2. Someone to Talk to
Communicating our needs, thoughts, and feelings are the birthplace of connection. It is where we find compassion and empathy as well as being able to share experiences. It can be hard to reach out to supports when you are feeling this way. Calling a friend, messaging a family member, or scheduling a therapy session can be so helpful in getting you unstuck.
3. Quality Time
When connecting with the with the one’s we love it is important to prioritize quality time. Schedule a time when you can connect, turn off the phone, and really engage with one another. It can be helpful to find shared interests or just some space to catch up and really express your feelings.
It can feel lonely when you are in the thick of it with kids, a house, and maybe a career and no one takes the times to acknowledge your efforts or say thank you. It is such a human need to want to feel seen and valued. We can start initiating this with our loved ones by modeling this. Start by appreciating their efforts. You might be surprised how the appreciation comes back to you.
5. To Be Cared For
It can be so connecting to receive a coffee from someone or when your significant other steps in and makes dinner. This need is important and it’s important to vocalize it. You can sit down with your significant other and talk about ways you can both take care of one another. With your friends this may align with the above suggestion of modeling these behaviors. Lean into your friendships that reciprocate caring for one another.
Being aware of our needs and advocating for our needs can be both difficult and a saving grace. Motherhood can be lonely, and it can also be a time when putting yourself last becomes more and more common. It is hard to prioritize your needs as the mother when there are other people need things from you. It is hard to prioritize your needs as the mother when childcare is hard to come by.
So, how can we find space to honor these needs and make our motherhood journey a little less lonely?
1. Communicate your needs
Sometimes just saying them out loud can be greatly helpful.
“I really miss you; can we schedule a time to connect?”
“I’m feeling lonely right now, can you come sit with me?”
“I really need someone to talk to, can we make time to check in?”
Being clear with your needs and communicating them makes it clear to your person you are trying to connect with and initiates that connection.
2. Put times for connection on the calendar
Being intentional with your time means scheduling yourself and your needs. You make time for everyone else’s needs. You live your life around nap times, you know when the bus comes and goes, you have soccer practice on the calendar, and you know when feeding times are.
But do you know when your time to connect with yourself and when to connect with others is?
Schedule your alone. Set firm boundaries around your time. Schedule your time to connect with your people. These connections are important, and they help you feel connected.
3. Show up authentically
When you show up and stand in your truth allowing others to truly know you… you feel less alone. We attract those who gravitate toward our energy. If you are showing up as masked versions of yourself, chances are your relationships are not creating genuine connection for you. Be you. You deserve it.
Motherhood can be lonely. There are also many barriers to getting our needs met. That being said… motherhood can also be so genuinely connecting. The shared experiences and true need to connection creates more authentic ways of showing up for one another.
Stand with your need for connection. You deserve it!