One Way to Lift Your Loneliness
Surely I was the only mom who felt this way. My husband had to practically push me into the shower to wash up. “We are going out for dinner.” He told me after arriving home to see me a teary mess. Our newborn son lay in his crib, finally asleep after hours of crying. Being a new mom, I didn’t want to leave him but I also wanted to run away. The crying was edging me towards insanity. My togetherness was unraveling, and I did not like that feeling. This was not motherhood. This was not what I signed up for. Get me away from this screaming child who obviously hated me. How could I love and hate something at the same time. Maybe I was going insane.
After weeping in the shower, I got out and dried off. My first born was crying again. I could hear his pleas for comfort on the other side of the bathroom door. Knowing my husband was on the other side, I didn’t rush to get dressed. “Take your time!” I heard him call out from the other room. He knew me better than I thought.
As we packed our little family of three into the Toyota Camry to head out to dinner my hand began to shake. The post-partum anxiety was in full force. I climbed into the seat. Only a few weeks post c-section, my midsection was still sore. My husband grabbed my hand. “You need some friends,” he said. It wasn’t a question but a statement. The problem was I didn’t have any friends nor did I have the strength to reach out. All of my friends were either childless or much older with no newborns. Loneliness lingered in my heart because I refused to reach out.
The mistake I made in those first few years with my oldest son was that I thought I needed friends who were in the middle of the exact situation I was in. I wanted people with newborns to comfort my heart – but honestly I needed something different. I needed both my childless friends and my friends who had older children. Over time I began to seek out those friendships I had had pre-baby. Surprisingly and graciously they were still there.
Eleven years and five children later, I’m so much more aware of loneliness. Loneliness will linger if I let it. It is just too easy to stay home, wrap myself up in my own sorrows, and refuse to reach out. One of the number one reasons I think we keep ourselves wrapped up is because we think: “No one will understand.” That is a deep and hurtful lie straight from the mouth of loneliness.
No, my friends who didn’t have children can’t identify directly with a newborn who cries every night from 5PM to 7PM weeks on end. None of my friends had had c-sections. They could not understand when I said I literally can’t pick my baby up for fear of pain.
Let me tell you what they DO understood. They understood being tired, worn out, weary, and sad. The emotions I was feeling as a new mom were not unique emotions. My circumstances might have been unique, but my feelings were not. So as I reached out to my village, I found they took my hand and whispered truth to my heart. I was not alone. They would pray for me. And yes, they were happy to get coffee and help hold my baby.
Momma, are you struggling with loneliness? Are you believing the lies that “no one understands” or the pain of motherhood is unique to you. Stop it. The stepping up and out has to begin with you. A simple text, a short phone conversation, and a once-a-month coffee date will do wonders for your mom-soul. Don’t neglect or shy away from those people in your life because you think they won’t understand. Have a little more faith in your village than that. Look around and see who you call, text, or email today.
When loneliness lingers, lift your eyes to see who is already in your life. If you feel as if no one is in your life. Christ is there. I know that seems like a platitude. But let me tell you something: when God strips everything away – it is He who remains. Seek Him. In the pages of His word He is there. I promise. From one lonely momma to another.