Being a mom has been one of the most rewarding yet challenging roles that I have played in my 30 years of life thus far. Learning how to balance your own needs, your spouse’s needs, a career, and the needs of a new baby can oftentimes feel overwhelming and leave you feeling mighty lonely even though you are constantly surrounded by others.
I can relate to these feelings because I have lived through the lonely feelings, and I still have those moments where being a new mom can feel like an island.
The feelings started during my maternity leave and after my husband’s paternity leave was over, and the reality sunk in that I would be alone with this little human for over eight hours. Thoughts like “when will my spouse/partner be home from work?”, “what would the baby and I do together?”, “if he gets sick what happens?”, and “he’s napping, and I need some adult conversation…but all of my friends are at work” ran through my mind like a loud church bell. Take all of those thoughts and then add Postpartum Depression and you get one hell of a sad and lonely mixture.
But my fellow vina moms, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it doesn’t involve having to wait until your child is in college to feel like a part of the human race again.
Here are the top 3 things that I did to kick new mom loneliness to the curb.
LOCATE A COMMUNITY OF MOMS WHO ARE POSITIVE, NON-JUDGMENTAL, AND WHO LIKE TO SEEK “ADVENTURE”
This was possibly the best way that kicked loneliness to the curb! I decided that there is strength in numbers, and that surely if I felt this way, that other new moms did as well. Locating a tribe that fits your personality can take some trial and error, but when you find that core group of moms, you will have found a diamond hidden in all of the coal. They can relate to the late nights, early mornings, the feeling of wanting adult conversation, and are learning to navigate this whole Mom life right alongside you. Some great places to search for these groups are Hey! VINA (of course!), Meetup, your local church, MOPs groups, mom based exercise classes, or even Facebook groups. These groups have given me support and motivation when I need it the most.
GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY
I know some of you are rolling your eyes at this suggestion. I’m a mom who is an entrepreneur, so I know how busy we can all get, but getting to learn more about my community has helped me to not only volunteer for a cause that I believe in, but has helped me to meet others and find events and activities to make me feel like I am a part of something bigger. When looking for volunteer opportunities, try to find an organization that will let you be flexible and bring your baby. The organization that I chose let me bring my son, and it not only exposed me to a whole new group of people but helped to make his world larger as well.
TRY VIEWING THIS LONELY TIME AS A CHANCE FOR SELF-DISCOVERY
There are going to be times in our lives when we don’t have the opportunity to hang out with our friends, and volunteering may not be an option. So, I found peace in changing my mindset. I started to shift my thinking from “I’m lonely” to thinking “what can I learn today about myself?” This thought process has helped me to become more confident in finding the things in life that I am passionate about. It led me to start journaling my feelings, reading more positive material, and helped me to become more comfortable with being “lonely.”
Moms are strong, there’s no debating that, but there are times that we need to feel a little more “seen.” If you are lonely right now, don’t get discouraged! Start by taking these three baby steps to feel connected and watch your world start to take a beautiful and fulfilled shape.
For more ways to meet awesome vina moms, be sure check out Hey! VINA!