Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Unexpected Loneliness Of Becoming A Mother ♥

When I found out I was expecting my first child I was of course delighted and couldn't wait to meet my baby, but with all the lovely thoughts that began running through my mind there were also those niggling thoughts that wouldn't go away, ones of dread at the thought of losing my friends. 

Can you believe that I was terrified of telling my friends that I was pregnant? In fact, instead of telling them face to face I told them via text and Facebook messenger. I feel quite silly now when I think about the fear that overtook me, it was like something from my primary school days, but I honestly thought they wouldn't want to be my friends anymore. 

Four years down the line and two children later it seems I was right to be worried. I am no longer friends with the people who I thought I would be lifelong friends with, and I'll be honest, I miss them and still think about them to this day. Sometimes I think I should get in touch, but too much time has passed and it'd just be awkward now for me. 

Due to all of this, I'm sorry to say that I wasn't prepared for the loneliness that would come with becoming a mother.

I was the first lucky person out of my group of friends to have a baby and although, at the beginning, when my first son had just arrived, I heard from them from time to time, but everyone was leading busy lives and didn't have a lot of time to meet up during the day, the time when I was always free. Due to this we all just drifted apart.

This is also the case with my family, I have realised that people cannot be around all the time and I just have to get on with things. When I thought about spending each day with my children I wasn't aware of just how lonely my days would be. 

Although I have a beautiful, smiling baby and an energetic, curious little boy to look after, I really feel the lack of adult conversation and interaction and this sadly does really get me down. My partner works a lot, every morning when I wake up he's not here and doesn't return until late afternoon, so my days are filled with looking after the children, with no other adults to chat to.

When I look back now I wonder how I didn't even think about this and realise just how isolating my life may become. I was simply too caught up in the joy of pregnancy and wondering so many things about my impending baby boy to spend anymore time thinking about any negative implications which may apply.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not completely cut off, left outcast from society and all social interaction. The internet is a great thing for me and it's given me a means to chat with other bloggers and mothers, but I long for a catch up with friends in person/

It's amazing that as children, we find it so easy to make friends but as we get older this skill seems to decline a lot, making it harder and harder to approach people even though you share a common interest. I know it's not just me who feels like this...

The sad and unfortunate thing is that I know there are other new, young and not so young mothers out there who feel exactly like I do. They probably too wish that they could get over the crippling awkwardness and just reach out to fellow mothers, just to have someone to meet up with at least once a month and have a drink, lunch and a chat.

I remember taking my eldest son to a public health nurse appointment, where I plucked up the courage and began speaking to another young mother, and unsurprisingly her and I seemed to be in a very similar situation. I really wanted to ask her if she wanted to swap numbers and meet up someday with the babies but I chickened out, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

It seems years of texting and chatting over the internet has left me unable to be brave enough to do simple social things in 'real life', which I wouldn't even bat an eyelid doing in virtual reality, how unfortunate for me.

I have spoken to other first time mothers from a pregnancy group I used to be apart of, who also felt very lonely. At the time I really wished they lived closer to me and I know they felt the same as it would have been great to have had the support, chat and friendship face to face rather than over the computer. Sadly, I no longer chat to these ladies now either.

I would urge other mothers, no matter what your age, if you're in a similar situation as I am and find yourself feeling unbelievably lonely then try to do something to combat this. Since I began writing this I have searched Facebook for groups in my area where mothers can arrange meet-ups and coffee mornings, there seems to be a lot of things going on every week in these groups. 

I hope I'll build up the courage to go along to one of these meet-ups soon, I know it would not only be beneficial for my children to interact with others, but would also be great for me to get out of my shell and have the chance to possibly make a new friend. 

I cannot recommend enough to expecting mothers about the benefits of joining the Eumom forums, not only did I receive a fountain of baby knowledge from the ladies in my pregnancy group, but we were all a great support network for each other.

Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my mothering experience for the world, I just wish I knew more mothers in my community and didn't feel this terrible loneliness most of the time. It has come to the point now where I am both touched and flattered when someone texts or messages me to see how I am or wants to arrange to meet up. 

I know my parenting adventure would be made all the more enjoyable with a friend for both my sons and I, who know what we're going through and to exchange tips, general chit-chat and have a laugh with.

My sons are my entire world, but every mother needs a good friend outside of home too. Simple everyday moments are made better when you have other people to enjoy them with.

Have you ever felt like this since having your children?

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11 comments

  1. I have felt a bit like this, I didn't have many friends beforehand but when I was pregnant we had to move back down to nearer our family so I left my friends in Bristol. There aren't many people my age with babies around here so we don't see many people except family!

    Kerry @ Lived With Love | Mummy, fashion & lifestyle blog

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  2. I have very few mummy friends, and never see them. And as for my non mummy friends, I see most of them Very rarely (some not for years now (my son is 3 1/2) ) - I do still have some friends who make a really big effort to see us but, even then, it's much less often than we'd like it to be.

    I do have an added disadvantage of mobility issues, not driving and being a couple of miles from town so I hope that once I live closer to town I can see people more (though some bridges won't ever be built again, I don't think, sadly) xx

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  3. I know exactly how you feel. Its something that cant really be explained. I experienced it with my first child but after a couple of months it got better. I now expecting my second and I am scared that everything will change again

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  4. I've totally been there. For me, a whole new world opened up when my children started pre-school + school, and I started making friends with the other mammies...but that can seem so far away I know.

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  5. I've so been there myself! I was 21 when I had first and whilst all my friends were out partying and living it up, I was at home with the little one. It was definitely hard but I got through it and now I'm expecting baby no2 so I'm hoping it'll be much better this time.

    Lydia
    http://www.stylishshenanigans.com/

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  6. Oh I know this feeling oh so well and 2 of my closest friends are new mothers too. Sometimes I think the whole motherhood experience is quite overwhelming, somedays just go by in a blur, weeks run into each other and I may not have even seen anyone except for my partner and family. I am trying to make more of an effort to get out and about with my boy more, I need to for him as well, to be used to being around other children and babies too. Am I correct in saying you are from Cobh though? You look familiar! If you are please feel free to swap numbers with me and arrange a chance to meet up with our babies...the kettle is on constant boil in my house and I've recently taken to baking a cake every other day and could do with some help eating them :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Yes I am from Cobh, I went to your Blogger profile to see if I could contact you but it's private. Exactly, it's not just for me, I want my son to be comfortable around other people and babies too. Also I bake every weekend too, must be a mother thing :)

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  7. I also have a wonderful group of online friends which is fantastic but as you said, it's not always the same as having people face to face. You should definitely just go to one baby group and see what happens. You'll be surprised - I went along to one where nobody spoke to me, but I had my little onto chat to which made me feel a lot less awkward as I didn't feel like I was truly there "alone". I didn't go back to that one ;) but have found some great groups which I love :) x

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  8. I had babies 7-10 years after my friends did. I had my baby at 30 and all my friends were finally enjoying have kids who were fairly independent. It is lonely. My husband works days and nights half the time. I love my baby but I do miss having some freedom. I told my best friend I was pregnant via text because I felt like I did something wrong. She and her husband are not planning on having children and I didn't think I could have children so I always played it off like I didn't care if we did. I wanted to protect my heart. I love how a baby makes you feel like you are more of a family.

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  9. I feel the same way with you. I do not have many friends in real life :(

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  10. oh hun try not to let it get you down, im sure there are tonnes and tonnes of young mums who feel the same as you. you're definitely not alone!
    if it makes you feel any better i am in the exact opposite position if you like, ALL my closest friends have babies & im always left out because im the only one who CAN'T hang out in the day time because i work, and anytime we meet up in the evenings the kiddies are usually asleep so i dont get to see them as much as id like. sometimes i feel like my little god-daughter barely even knows who i am! :(
    i know you must feel lonely now but im sure it wont be long before your friends start having babies and then you'll be the wise one that they all come to for advice
    xoxo
    sparkle-bug.blogspot.co.uk

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Peace & love,
Fiona
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