Motherhood and Isolation

Motherhood is hard. There is no denying that fact, being fully responsible for another life 24/7 can be tough going. The sleepless nights, lack of time to yourself, being constantly ‘on call’…. they all take their toll. Motherhood can also be lonely. If you’re home alone all day, with just your baby for company, it’s all to easy to feel isolated. When I first became a Mama, almost twelve years ago, I suddenly found myself spending the majority of my day at home with a baby while my husband was out at work. At twenty two, none of my friends had children, they were all just starting out on exciting new careers, partying their nights away and having fun.

mama and baby baya

It’s easy to give in to those feelings, to sit home and feel sorry for yourself. Especially if it takes you an age to get out of the house. But I made myself get out – find a mother and baby group to go to, go sit in a coffee shop, see if your local library has a ‘toddler time’ {even if your baby is a few weeks old, at least you’ll be in the company of other Mama’s}.

By the time I had my second baby, life was a little easier – we’d moved across the country and I had a few friends of a similar age who had children. By the time number three came along, we had also started home-educating, so my weeks were filled with groups, and play dates, and social meets.

This time around, I’m never alone. With four kids my life is never quiet, yet I’m conscious of making an effort to get out and ‘socialise’. As I work from home, it’s easy to spend day after day without actually seeing anyone… well, perhaps the postman and delivery guy, and the odd shop assistant, but no one for an actual conversation. Truth be told, I often find myself choosing to stay home rather than meet up with others. I’m actually really shy, and I hate group situations… one on one I’m fine, and if I know you, I can talk all day… but put me in a big group, or a room full of strangers and I’m the quiet one hiding in the corner ;) I’m often my own worst ememy… declining invitations, then sitting home alone wishing I had company.

I’m lucky to have an online ‘tribe’… in this modern age of the internet, I have friends I can talk to at anytime of the day. Now that is something that makes a HUGE difference. When you’re awake at 3am again feeding your baby, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only person in the world. Yet hop on to Twitter and you can guarantee there is another Mama also awake feeding her baby. Sometimes just saying a quick ‘hello’ and knowing you’re not the only one not sleeping can make a you feel so much happier and less lonely. Even on those days when no-one manages to get dressed, breakfast doesn’t happen until mid-day, the house looks like a bomb exploded and you feel like you might go crazy, having an online community of friends you can call on for a chat can add a little smile to your day. I know that without these online friends of mine, I’d go insane! As a full time, stay at home, work at home mama, having friends just the click of a mouse away is a lifesaver.

I’d love to hear your experiences of loneliness – even if you’re not a Mama, but work from home, and maybe how you overcame it!

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5 Comments

  1. June 24, 2015 / 08:32

    aww Polly this is such a lovely post and I can relate to so much of it too, I LOVE that picture of you x

  2. June 25, 2015 / 20:09

    Great post it can be so lonely being at home all day. I have been forcing myself to go out to baby and toddler groups 2/3 times a week.

  3. Claire
    June 26, 2015 / 16:52

    I work from home and I’m a new mama. I am a bit of hermit and love my own company. But I feel like I should get out and be more social. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have anyone to talk to so I’ve started making more of an effort to go out and join mama groups and networks. Although its not my comfort zone I think I would become a total anti social maniac if I didn’t go out. Good idea to hang out in coffee shops. I’ve started doing that with Ezra just so we get out and see the world a bit. I’ve also found other local mamas on instagram who organise meet ups and I’m making myself go. It’s easy to talk myself out of these things but I’m always pleased I’ve been. Coming home is lovely when you have been out, and with my little baby in tow I feel a great sense of achievement when we have been and done something by ourselves.

  4. Michelle Williams
    June 28, 2015 / 09:24

    I can really relate to your post. I had to really force myself to go to any groups when my daughter was a baby. I tried quite a few Mums and Tots but they just didn’t feel right any my life was spent between my house and my parents. I did force myself to go to an NCT coffee morning and I’m really glad I did as I met some lovely ladies a few that I’m still in touch with today. I’m not the most sociable person and hate being in a big group but like you, one on one or with a good friend I’m fine but I would also happily hide in the corner at big gatherings.

  5. Julia Bourne
    August 13, 2015 / 07:14

    Your post struck a chord with me. Our son (born in the mid-nineties) often kept us awake for most of the night as he had trapped wind and colic and trouble breastfeeding. I had great support from three different baby groups but even so I felt very alone at times, especially in the middle of the night. It sounds great to have online communities now. Going to a group where you have something in common is a good way to make you feel like you are not the only one in that situation.

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