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by Stephanie Rich

A Loneliness

Loneliness

Here I am attempting to look concerned but I’m really just showing off my sisters amazing make-up skills. She’s one reason I feel lonely, having a sister living in Exeter is not easy. I miss her a lot right now.

We talk about the elderly and how awful loneliness is…people still seem surprised that as a new mum you can be lonely but it’s a reality for many mums.

From my experience there are too types of loneliness. There is the obvious, the lack of friends, meeting up with people, feeling like you have no friends since becoming a mum.

Then there is the loneliness that people don’t want to talk about, the shameful one. The one where you are lonely despite been surrounded by your children, friends, family. This is a headspace that I think a lot of mums go to…it’s a space where I can only describe as…lost? A feeling that no one understands you anymore but what’s worse is that you do not understand yourself.

Lonely mums are not always lonely because they choose to be but sometimes the lonely choice is the better option…less anxiety that way, no judgement and no feeling out of your comfort zone. Loneliness, wanting to make new friends and be social, be connected in some way to the world and the only way to do that is to be with people. It’s wanting to make that call, send that message, meet up for a coffee but for whatever reason you hold back.

I often think social media is one of the main reasons we are all walking around with anxiety. For example, how many people see an incoming phone call…don’t answer the first time…pause…then either call back or more than likely text! Admit it! You have at least done it once! I have! Omg my friend is ringing but I’m anxious what will they say shit! I can’t possibly talk on the phone?!?? Haha I’ll text her back instead.

What is with this? Have we all become disconnected sociopaths? Don’t interact unless it’s via social media that way we have a shield up and we can be our persona online, the one that has all the confidence in the world.

I challenge you all this week, instead of texting…pick up the phone and call your friend, Mum, partner, relative. After the phone call…how does it feel? Are you smiling? Do you feel connected? Do you feel more anxious?…not as bad as you think?

Since I have become a mum and now I’m not working, it feels very lonely and isolated sometimes. I am so under confident at making friends which is bizarre because on the outside I appear confident, chatty, eccentric and very vocal! However, the truth is whenever I speak to anyone these days I am anxious as fuck and worry that I’m not ‘doing it right’ or I’m staring funny. I feel like I’ve become ‘antisocial’ which is ridiculous because I love socialising, and I’m totally social but it’s hard getting out with 3 babies and I suppose it’s a turn off right?! Maybe hang out with one baby but 3?! ‘Mate I’ll see you in 16 years, I don’t want my house wrecking’

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