Hands up if you’ve ever felt lonely since becoming a stay at home mum. The ironic thing is that at the same time as craving connection, you can also feel claustrophobic when you’re constantly surrounded by your children. If only they’d let us pee in peace!
When we say we’re experiencing loneliness, what we really mean is that we need to spend time around adults; feel like we’re part of a community. Of course, friends and family are the main points of call if we need a pick-me-up, but most stay at home mum's loneliest time is when everyone else is busy at work. While nothing beats hugs and kisses from our little people, even a knowing smile from a fellow parent can help us to feel less alone.
Here are some simple ways to give you a lift when you feel weighed down by it all.
Enjoy Your Evening
If you’ve had a slow day and then spend your evening scrolling through Instagram, it can feel like everyone has a busier social life than you. Instead of "overthinking" and jumping to conclusions, get your brain busy and do something you really enjoy. Get out and do some gardening, dive into some drawing or colouring or take on the challenge of an adult Lego set. It’ll help you switch off and you’ll also feel like you’ve accomplished something (other than chores and caring for your kiddies).
Get Out And About
Unless you have something specific to do such as the school run, it can be easy to let the day slide by without stepping a foot outside. While it sometimes seems like there’s little point (unless the sun is blazing), the more you’re out, the more chance you have of interacting with people. Whether that’s other mums at the playground, fellow coffee lovers at your local café, or another dog walker that has just as much trouble as you with puppy training. It’s great to even have a quick chat with someone that isn’t intent on getting a snack out of you!
Take Every Opportunity You Get!
Because we spend so much time with our kids, when we do get the opportunity to meet a friend for coffee on the weekend or book a babysitter and have a date night, we can worry that they won’t settle without us. The reality is that kids are resilient and although they might not like the fact that you’re not the one looking after them 24/7, it’s something they’ll have to get used to. It’s so important to be able to put on some clothes that are more pretty than practical, enjoy something you haven’t cooked yourself, and have a conversation where you’re the main focus rather than your little munchkins.
Join The club
Whether it’s online or in-person, there are lots of people with similar interests out there that are beneficial to connect with. New mums take so much comfort from chatting with other people that are in the same boat, thus bursting that loneliness bubble. Running groups give you the best of both worlds with exercise and interaction. Even joining a book club makes reading that bit more enjoyable. Reading also lets you become temporarily part of another world and is a great form of escapism. While we don’t need to spend any more time than necessary on the island of Sodor with Thomas and Friends, hanging out in a world created by Sally Rooney could be right up your street.