As a stay-at-home mom, it can be difficult to get outside and have meaningful adult conversations. Even if you are an introverted person and enjoy being inside most of the time, feelings of loneliness and isolation can eventually creep up on you.
I know for me, I miss getting out and seeing my friends. I miss having a good girl’s night out and having spontaneous dinners with friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not saying that I don’t enjoy being a parent. I love being a mom. But being a mom of two young kids, it’s difficult to get out. Even though my kids are the sweetest things and it’s never a dull moment with them, I miss having quality, meaningful adult conversations.
I know that as a busy mom of two toddlers, it can be difficult to make time for anything else. Heck, when the boys were younger, I barely even had time for myself. When my second was an infant, I barely had time to shower and take care of my basic personal hygiene needs. I know that sounds crazy and disgusting but it’s true. Now that they’re a little bit older, and when I mean older, they’re like 1 1/2 and 2 1/2, I can step outside for a few hours.
Dealing with Feelings of Loneliness and Isolation
When I first started feeling lonely, I didn’t recognize the feelings. I would often get lonely, and feel as though there wasn’t anyone to talk to. Even though my husband was always around after work. I felt as though every day was the same.
I found out later that feelings of loneliness and isolation are actually very common among stay-at-home parents. According to a study, 25% of parents who stay at home experience loneliness at one point in parenting or another. This can lead to worsening feelings of anxiety and depression.
It Might Not Be Easy to Talk About
You might not know how to bring up the topic that you’re feeling lonely and isolated at home with your kids.
I mean, how do you say that you’re lonely when you’re at home with your kids all day? Some people might not understand. They might wonder, “Well, you’re home with your kids all day. How can you feel lonely?” Or they might think, “This is what you asked for. Why are you feeling that way?” You’re surrounded by your kids all day but you’re longing for a connection.
Feelings of loneliness and isolation might not be talked about because you might even feel guilty for feeling that way. Whatever feeling you may have, don’t discredit it. Your feelings are your own. What is helpful is to recognize and acknowledge them, talk about t, hem and see what you can do to feel connected with others again.
It’s okay to feel how you feel. Your feelings and emotions are valid. And you’re not the only one feeling that way.
When I was at my nephew’s birthday party, I met another mom who shared the same feelings with me. She told me she returned to work after being a stay-at-home mom for two years because she missed having coworkers and being around adults. So your feelings are not new.
The mom I met at the birthday party felt that way. I feel that way at home. And you must be too if you’re reading this blog post.
Feelings of Loneliness Can Be Harmful to Your Mental and Physical Health
Feelings of loneliness can be harmful to our mental health and well-being. One study found that isolation can be just as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes for 15 years.
Being alone and not having friends, a mom tribe, or support to lean on during your parenting journey can also make it more challenging. You may be struggling with getting your baby to sleep through the night, or having a tough time feeding your picky toddler, or don’t know how to start potty training. There’s an endless number of things that you need help with and could use some help on.
Or perhaps you’re having a particularly difficult day and nothing seems to be going right. Kids are screaming, there’s a pile of dirty dishes waiting to be washed, crumbs and stains all over the floor, stains everywhere. You’re losing your mind. Who do you share that with?
Having a trusted confidant or mom friend who understands the chaos that you’re going through can make a world of difference in your day. You can vent and share your problems. She may or may not be able to come over and help you but she may be able to lend you an ear to share your frustrations with.
Bottling up your emotions, frustrations, and problems is not healthy. You need to have a healthy outlet to get things off of your chest. If you continue to bottle things in and let it build up, it can lead to mom burnout, feelings of frustration, and even lead stay-at-home mom depression.
Why Meaningful Connections Are Important
Meaningful friendships are important for several reasons. They provide us with companionship, support, and a sense of belonging. Friends can also help us to grow and learn, and they can make life more enjoyable.
Here are some of the benefits of having friends:
- Friends provide companionship. They can be there for us when we need someone to talk to, to go out with, or just to hang out with.
- Friends provide support. They can offer us emotional support when we’re going through tough times, and they can help us to solve problems. They offer advice, support, and help with whatever you may be struggling and going through at the moment.
- Friends provide a sense of belonging. They make us feel like we’re part of a group, and they can help us to feel connected to others.
- Friends can help us to grow and learn. They can challenge us to think differently, and they can expose us to new ideas and experiences.
- Friends can make our lives more enjoyable. They can make us laugh, they can make us feel good about ourselves, and they can help us to relax and have fun.
- Having meaningful friendships and mom friends can give a different perspective on parenting and spending time with them can make you feel refreshed again as a parent. You’ll feel better, be happier, and parent better.
Tips for Dealing with Loneliness When You’re At Home
Make It a Point to Connect With Others
Obviously, you’re not going to make meeting your friends and other people a priority over your family and kids but it should be up there. If you’re feeling isolated and alone, make it a point to reach out and talk to someone.
Don’t sit on your feelings of loneliness and dwell in isolation. Loneliness can increase the amount of cortisol in your body and lead to feelings of depression.
People are meant to have meaningful human connections.
Check-in With Friends
Check-in with your friends. It could be once a week or a couple of times a week. I understand that we’re all busy taking care of our families, working, paying bills, and so you may not have a lot of time. But you could make it a point to check in with friends once a week. It can be something as simple as sending them a quick text message, Facetiming them while you’re washing the dishes, or calling them while you’re driving somewhere.
Maintaining adult friendships can be challenging in this day and era because people get busier, have conflicting schedules, and so forth. But adult friendships are important to maintain. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can lead to anxiety and depression.
Reconnect with Old Friends
It can be daunting to put yourself out there and make new friends as an adult. An easier approach may be reconnecting with people whom you’ve lost touch with. There may be a friend from high school, an old college buddy, or a former colleague that you had a great connection with but lost touch since you became a parent and got busy. Reach out to them and ask them out for a coffee date.
Have Virtual Hangouts
Virtual hangouts became popular during the pandemic as people were instructed with stay-at-home orders. Facetime, Google Meet, and Zoom all became popular apps as people used them to get together in times of encouragement, and support, and to feel connected again.
If you’re unable to meet with friends in person, schedule a virtual coffee date or wine night. One of my best friends lives at least five hours away from me and so we would schedule dinner and wine nights a few times a week. We would Facetime each other at the end of the day with our glasses of wine and just talk about our day. It’s the best form of therapy.
“True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance, but never in heart.” Unknown
There are many places that you can take your kids such as the park, library, a children’s museum, the zoo, or a playground. You may bump into other moms or parents and strike up a conversation with them. Although it might just be a brief conversation like, “How old is your child?” or a quick comment like, “She’s so adorable,” sometimes that is all you need.
I enjoy going to places where there are lots of other parents and kids around. Parents are more understanding towards other parents and tend to have more empathy for one another.
If there’s a baby crying or a toddler saying no- we’ve all dealt with our fair share of it.
Connect with Other Moms
There are many Facebook groups, forums, and opportunities for you to connect with other moms. You can search “local + new moms” “local + boy moms” or “moms of so and so county” to pull up searches of moms in your area.
Local mom groups can offer advice, and support, and provide information about toddler and family-friendly events happening in the community. There may be fairs, festivals, movie nights in the park, and family activities that are local to your area. Mom groups can give you the exclusive on those events near your area.
The Mom Walk Collective is a group of moms that get together and walk with their little ones around their city. Their mission is to cultivate in-person and online gatherings for mothers to find their village and raise the next generation. You can go to their website and see if there is a walk near you. If there isn’t, you can be the first to start one!
Some mom groups get together for coffee dates, wine nights, book clubs, walking and exercising together, and play dates. Connecting with other moms can be an opportunity for you to share your parenting struggles and get great advice from them. You never know who you may meet through some of these mom groups and the types of friendships you may create.
There are many support groups out there for moms. There are groups ranging from local to national support groups to offer help and advice to just about anything under the sun.
You can find help with breastfeeding support, parenting advice, losing weight tips. In this day and age where the internet and search engines are at our fingertips, you can find suggestions on virtually anything.
Join a Class
If there is something that you’re interested in, join a class! A class is a great opportunity to meet other people who are interested in the same thing as you are.
If you have a gym membership, you can join a Zumba class, dance class, cycling, or weightlifting class. Not only will you be exercising, increasing your endorphins and serotonin, but you will be meeting other people who enjoy doing the same thing as you. Most gyms also offer childcare services while you get your workout on as well.
Local community colleges also offer classes such as baking, cooking, Spanish, piano, and running. If you had an interest in
If you’re unable to commit to an 8- week or 16-week course, you can just do a one-night course such as a cooking or painting class. They usually offer these courses in the evenings.
If you’re doing a cooking class, the great thing about that is you can eat all the delicious food afterward and meet other people who may enjoy food as much as you do.
There are also virtual classes that you can participate in. Websites like Masterclass and Skillshare offer virtual classes for adults. There are a wide variety of topics that you can choose from such as creative writing, poetry, and cooking.
If you don’t have many friends, or if you feel like your friendships are not very strong, there are things you can do to improve your situation. You can join clubs or groups that interest you, volunteer, or take classes. You can also reach out to old friends or make new ones online.
It’s essential to have friends in your life. They can make a big difference in your happiness and well-being.