Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Don't Beat Yourself Up Guide To Feeling Lonely

Last week I was walking down the street with my boy asleep in his buggy. We had gone out a bit earlier on our pre-school run for him to drop off as he was super tired. The road was quiet. And I thought "Sometimes? I am just so f*cking lonely". It dawned on me that during that day I had not really spoken to another adult. Bar a brief "goodbye" in the morning to my husband. Sure I had had many conversations about Peppa and school shoes and snacks and poo poos. But that was it.

Often when I write these guides it's on topics I know a lot of women can relate to for example: tantrums, weaning, sleep (or lack of). I understand that these are all stages and are across the board but today I'm talking about something I'm not sure is across the board. Or if it's just me? Do lots of other Mothers feel lonely or am I just failing massively in this area.

Amazing to talk to about poo and Peppa. But ask them about the Kardashians? THEY SUCK!

Since I have become part time I have found the vast quantities of space (11 hours a day for three days a week) quite difficult to fill. I ADORE being with my children. And it really is a pleasure to watch them grow, learn and develop. But the other seven hours a day I struggle. Of course I have mates. But many of them work and curse them are not at my beckon call (SO SELFISH). And there is only so many times you can phone your husband for a 'chat' before he kindly says "mmmm I kinda have a job?".

I've done and hated the baby clubs, the ballet classes and the polite chit chat with other Mums in the library or on the school gate. But I have found it really hard to find a crew of local women who (excuse my wankiness) 'get me'. And actually I don't even really know if I 'get me' anymore. I get that I have a marvellous knowledge of Frozen. And I know the map of Thomas Land like the back of my hand. But sometimes I am so anxious about the words that come out of my mouth my belly hurts. I worry what new people will think about me and that I'm not saying the kind of words Mums should say.

When boredom sets in? You take a selfie with your new shed.

There's a time when the novelty of maternity leave wears off and you realise that your job now is quite a solitary affair. And I'm still not quite there making a good go at it. The constant tick tick ticking of the clock is going and I am aware in two years I won't have this problem anymore. I will long to feel lonely with a small child in my arms. Rather than lonely with two bigger children in school down the road. Maybe I'm being a p*ssy. Maybe I should just suck it up and be happy discussing wees and My Little Pony.

But sometimes? We all have our moments. And like to wallow in our misery before we have a cup of tea, eat some of the kids treats, go to bed and start afresh tomorrow.

25 comments:

  1. I can totally relate to this. I can often go whole days without speaking to another adult other than my partner before and after his work. I go to lots of playgroups etc. but as soon as I start a conversation I'm dragged off by my LO to play or have to go and intervene to stop a drama occurring over some toy or something! It's hard.

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  2. Come and join our Thursday club.. Me and my 3 friends who all all have pre school children gather at my House on a Thursday and drink tea have a moan about our partners/monotonous lives, take it in turns each week to provide the lunch whilst our children are running wild in my house which is like a branch of toys r us! All same minded as you.. No comments are met with disgust, no feelings of embarrassment or petty small talk just frank mums who need a cuppa (55 biscuits) and a moan or rib tickling laugh!

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  3. This is exactly it! Xx loneliness with kids, I definitely felt this and took a long time to wear off xx good on you for writing about it xx I agree that I dont think everyone does experience this and that in itself can make you feel more lonely and incapable xx a good read as always xx

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  4. This is exactly it! Xx loneliness with kids, I definitely felt this and took a long time to wear off xx good on you for writing about it xx I agree that I dont think everyone does experience this and that in itself can make you feel more lonely and incapable xx a good read as always xx

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  5. Emma....every effin day!! I am lonely, like proper lonely. I don't have any proper friends, just those I say Hi too who I used to go out with quite a lot but then had 4 kids and got a bit depressed and stayed in the house all the time, during which time no one came to visit me as I realised they were my friends when they wanted to go out. My good friend moved away and as neither of use drive we don't see each other any more, but because she isn't a loser (like me) she has made loads of new friends and I on the other hand have made non, just the couple of nice mums in the preschool playground who I daren't ask if they fancy a coffee after the school run for fear that they will think I am a moron! Its made me sob a little thinking how sad my life actually is.

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  6. Awwww, I wish you lived near me! I feel like this a lot. The first half of the week when I'm at work I long to be at home but then when I am, I kind of feel a bit meh. I love being with my boy but sometimes it would be nice to have some mum friends to do things with x

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  7. Oh Em, I am so glad you wrote this because I've been feeling so alone... in my loneliness. I keep wondering if it's just me who sucks as making other mum friends (or just ANY friends for that matter). I've done the baby groups too and hated them. I live miles and miles away from all of my family and friends and I've not really made any new friends since the move (2 years ago!). I often wonder what I'm doing wrong? I can go a whole week without speaking to another adult (aside from hubby).

    Agh, totes crying now. :(

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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  8. Oh yes, totally get this! Of all the things I thought motherhood would be...I didn't see lonely coming at all! Where are all the amazing mum friends we're supposed to meet? I did the baby group thing but just found it all a bit awkward.
    Great post.
    Xx

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  9. I would totally be your friend - even a crazy o'clock on a weekday! We could just watch mic and drink tea together! And have afternoon pimms while the children play happily together (the dream obvs). Hey ho. Let me know when you move to St albans! ☺

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    1. Liz,

      I live in Hemel but moving to St Albans soon. I don't have any friends with the kids and would love to meet someone to hang out with both with the kids (mine is almost 4) and just for drinks/tea/night out/ or whatever ;) I'm a single mum so feeling rather lonely most of my evenings and having a nice friend would be amazing!

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  10. Everything in this - I relate. My sole reason for going back to work at all was because I was so lonely. It's sad, and rubbish, and totally crapola x

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  11. I can so relate to this! I never did any sort of toddler group because I knew I would hate it, but at the same time I missed adult conversation (still do, as I work at home!). Days at home with small children can be long and tiring and it would be nice to chat to an adult and have a laugh.
    Like you, I feel like people don't 'get' me. I have quite a naughty sense of humour, but I keep it hidden for fear of offending people, so then I come across almost the opposite of what I am - quiet, shy and a bit boring. The sort of person can't really be bothered to talk to. I felt slightly sad the other week when I saw a photo on FB of every other mum from the village with a child in year 4 out for lunch together. I'm friends with some of them, although not all of them, and I wondered why they didn't look at the group of people and think 'Why don't we invite Sarah as she's the only mum from the village with a child in year 4 who isn't here?'. But they didn't. I wouldn't have been able to go anyway as work at home really does mean WORK at home, but it would have been nice to have the opportunity to turn them down!

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  12. I totally understand the loneliness, it can be crippling some times. I struggle with social anxiety issues, so getting out there to meet new people is really difficult. I would be lost without my online friends - I'm part of a birth month group on Facebook that has been my lifeline. I only know one of the mums personally, but we've become good friends and our kids love each other. Once term starts again, I will go take trouble to some groups - I think I have to for my sanity, and hey it might give me more to write about!

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  13. YES. I am so socially awkward it's ridiculous. I especially like the bit about not really knowing yourself sometimes. Like, what can I talk about that's not related to my kids? I try really hard to do other things but it's all so exhausting, and I feel I must be very boring to people who don't also have small children. Anyway, I'm not sure this helps, but you're not alone. Love xx

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  14. Me too! I have a good NCT group but all that really connects us is our children. I would love to have friends that 'get me' as an adult. I still have uni friends but they are childless and I find there is a distance as they can't comprehend the changes when you become a mum. So I feel a bit stuck between worlds (if that makes sense) and long for stimulating conversations with people I actually have something in common with.

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  15. Same here. I'm the first of my friends to have children so they don't get it. Couldn't bare the idea of baby groups then once the loneliness set in tried the toddler groups but it seems to be childminders and they just mix with the other childminders. I had a good job where I didn't have time to think and was just busy all the time now I just get sick of the sound of my own voice!

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  16. Em, you are definitely not alone! I really struggle to put myself into situations to form friendships (baby clubs urgh!) and we are living in a new area, so that kinda means I have diddly squat! no childcare, no coffee, no idle chatter! its freaking lonely! You are normal! xx

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  17. I feel the same too. I work from home, cramming in work around school runs, so have to rush home from school drop off, missing even the school gate chats. Hubby goes to work early and comes back late. At times I'm painfully lonely, and have been so isolated the last 6 years (since no 1 was born and I left full time employment) that I too get nervous talking to other people, not sure what to say, and who I really am. I live in a commuter town, the work friends I made all live away from here and my old, good friends are scattered to the winds, I see them a few times a year. It was very difficult to get past my own nerves, and my hubbies work timetable, but recently I booked myself onto a yoga evening course, my first step to getting out on my own, meeting others and reconnecting with myself. I'm hoping, now youngest is about to start school, that this first step will be lead to others, and I can start reclaiming a life, outside of being Mum. I adore my kids and have willing sacrificed my personal life in order to give them a good home, in a good town, and Mum around after school – I don't regret it all. With hindsight, I should have perhaps not let go of so much of my old life.

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  18. My children are now 10,8 and 6 and I have amazing friends and lots of fun, tears and laughter. It has not always been this way though. When the children were young I was very lonely, looking back I wish that I had just embraced it but it's easy to say that looking back. I really struggled leaving the house with them and it was always my child that sprayed wee everywhere during baby yoga, always my child that cried and refused to listen to the story. It is taboo to say that you are lonely because you are supposed to feel content with everything that you have but the reality can be a totally different story. Hang in there because the loneliness does go and it does get easier but you are certainly not alone in feeling this way.

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  19. You know, every now and then I feel that too. This overwhelming sense of being lonely. I love my days with H as you know, I love time with my hub. But in the week, when we don't have glamorous plans or days out, I am too painfully aware that aside from friends made through blogging, I don't really know any parents with kids Harrison's age and my single friends just don't get it, which is fine. Love you lots and wish we lived closer xx

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  20. V true. I think it's especially so when they're young and your social life is on hold (except for events with kids when you can't talk to anyone properly). And when they were younger I always walked away from things thinking 'did I say the wrong thing, was I an idiot?' as I felt so unsure of myself. Definitely easing though - the only way is up (as Yazz said...)

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  21. Thank u for writing this, I thought I was the only one who felt this, I kinda feel I don't know who I am anymore and given the opportunity to have me time I wouldn't know what to do myself anyway! I just love it when people say how can you be lonely you have 5 children to keep you company grrrr a teenager with hormones, 2 inbetweenies 8 and 9 a 2 year old and a very clingy 10 month old to contend with I'd be better off talking to the dog!

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  22. I feel exactly the same, I think I struggle for a few reasons - I had my children fairly young so lost my friends at that point as they were all still out clubbing every night, I made som friends through nursery and we would have mums nights etc but again that stopped because we went to a different school to everybody else. I generally don't do school runs anymore as I just don't know how to talk to other mums - one mum I know was outraged when I said I can't wait for my 12 yr old to go back to school, like I didn't love her! Madness
    Would be nice to find some like minded people to have a laugh and a joke with even if it's just online, maybe practice our social skills to get us back out there! Need a joiners questionnaire to rule out the easily offended though lol!

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  23. I totally relate to this, Emma. Even if I'm with all three children, I sometimes feel like a floating island. But I know what you mean about being with other mums who don't "get you" - it's worse than being on your own (or on your own with your toddler). I'm aware I'm reading this months too late and I hope you are not feeling so lonely so often now. You've probably heard this a million times, but when the kids start school, it's so much easier to find like-minded mummy friends. In a class of 30, surely at least one or two will be nice, fun and your new besties - I've found that anyway. Big hugs. xxx

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  24. Hi Emma

    I agree so much but as a mum to a 14, 13 and 11 year old I don't think it gets any easier ...I am 33 so was quiet young when I had my children so now my "friends" , other people my age or would be new friends are just having babies or just getting married or have toddlers and although I love that, I feel like I'm a world away from them ..... The loneliness is overwhelming sometimes and I work full time and still feel this way , I don't speak to my family and my best friend died in November so sometimes I'll catch myself thinking and feeling so lonely .... It's hard to find people who as you say get you and with whom you really click I love the idea of a cup of tea/ a night out/ladies who lunch lol / park dates / evening having dinner at each other's houses /laughing with someone till your belly hurts but I just can't seem to find a way to make it happen .... I've been watching Christmas soaps and films and seeing people with their families and friends the pictures people have posted the laughs the smiles , going round to each other's houses exchanging gifts and memories and it made me realise I don't have anyone ...... Making friends in school was easy but as we get older it gets harder or we get pickier or more guarded but either way I need this year to be different I want to make friends I want a friendship circle that will become my "tribe" that secret coven of women I think we all as women want .... So any advice or suggestions would be great xxx

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