Before I became a mother, I read countless articles that told me I was going to feel lonely and isolated. It is so hard to figure out how to take care of this precious little life and at the same time, take care of your recovering body. It is a journey that you yourself must walk no matter how much you prepare and anticipate it.
The thing that caught me off guard was that it doesn’t matter if you have a support group or not. Your husband can be the most helpful man in the world. Your mother can come over everyday and cook and clean. You can meet friends for coffee and discuss all things baby. None of these things prevent the isolation from creeping in. None of these things negate the changes, mentally and physically, you must go through. Don’t get me wrong, it is very helpful to have a support system, but at 3 am when it’s just you and the baby you cannot avoid coming face to face with isolation and loneliness in the deepest recesses of your soul.
Isolation stems from many things. For me, I am the first of my friend group to have a child, I am far away from my parents and my in-laws, I work from home, and my husband is a busy basketball coach- often traveling. I’m in a small town with few connections to the outside world. There is no Target or mall to go wander around, and there are no gyms with childcare. On top of the obvious isolation from people, there are the many difficulties one must go through in the early days with a newborn, which often add to the isolation.
I was trying to figure out the whole nursing thing. I had no idea how to hold a baby. I was unsure what his constant crying meant. He wouldn’t let me put him down. I slept, maybe, 3 hours a night. It was a whirlwind.
I started to pack up and visit my parents whenever Ryan was gone. I was at their house almost every weekend, or they came to me. They helped me tremendously even from 3 hours away, and boy did I need it. Having a support system helped me keep battling, but one thing I longed for was a friend in my position. I finally reached out to someone I had never met but had heard of through mutual acquaintances. She took me under her wing and helped me get through some long days.
For some reason it is so much easier to stay isolated then it is to try to make things happen. Your life revolves around a child’s sleeping and eating patterns. Often, your baby will just cry for no reason. It’s easier to be at home to handle these things then to bother going out.
The funny thing about loneliness and isolation is that you’re not alone. There are thousands of other moms in your position. We all feel isolated at times, and that’s why it’s so important to reach out.
If you’re feeling isolated, then these are the tips I would give you:
- Reach out to family and friends
- Force yourself to get dressed and leave the house
- Go for a long drive
- Search for mom groups and activities
- Reach out to other moms
- Get involved in your church
- Connect with moms on social media
This article hits the nail right on the head- SAHM Isolation
I would love to hear others advice. Comment below, and tell me how you combat mommy isolation!