Combatting Loneliness in Motherhood

It seems absolutely mad.
You spend 9 months growing a tiny little human and they are finally here. A little human that never leaves your side and depends on you always. You are NEVER alone and yet always lonely!

Loneliness was definitely something that I experienced when I had Stanley. I was only 20, I had no friends with babies and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. The days dragged by and I would ring Joe 15 times a day to see if he was coming home from work yet. The days were long and started at about 6am, I had a baby that hated napping and I felt like everyone judged me outside of these four walls for being a young parent with no idea.

It wasn’t really until Stanley started nursery that I finally felt less lonely. And it wasn’t because I miraculously gained 100 mummy friends but just because I now had a structure and routine to my day. I made small talk with adults in the nursery queue and talked to his teachers about what he had done daily. Just a little bit of adult interaction per day helped immensely. Suddenly the days didn’t drag anymore because I had reason to get out the house. I also had time to just be Amy again while he was at nursery without being a slave to my toddler.

When I had Delilah loneliness wasn’t something that I ever experienced this time round. When I was pregnant I downloaded an app on my phone called ‘Baby Bump’ (which sadly doesn’t exist anymore.) I joined the forum and began chatting to other mums, mostly in America. But then I saw there was a UK forum and joined immediately. I met the most amazing group of ladies and even now 3 years later we all chat daily in a big whatsapp group. When Delilah was little I knew I had a group of ladies in the exact same position as me who I could ask anything! I think we probably all know way too much about each other! At first I felt like the biggest loser if I mentioned my new online friends, but actually I've now realised in this day and age most people have friends they talk to online regardless of whether they've actually met in person.

I'm not going to sit here and preach that the best way to combat loneliness in motherhood is to attend every parent and baby play group (it probably is the best advice if your confident enough to go) but I appreciate this isn't for everyone and definitely wasn't for me! I went to a group a couple of times and genuinely hated every minute! I would count down the minutes until it was over because I felt like everyone was looking at me and judging! I didn't make any friends and just sat alone which inadvertently made the loneliness worse.

My top tips for combatting the loneliness:

Routine - Create a routine that means you leave the house daily, even if the only human interaction you have is the cashier in Tesco! Just getting out breaks up the day and makes you feel less alone.

Be sociable - And if this means your only sociable online then who cares? Making friends online was the best thing I have ever done and now I know I am never alone! Me and the 'Baby Bump girls' became so close that some of them even attended my wedding! We aren't just online friends anymore and they are actually my closest friends!

Set aside a little 'me time' - Of course in the early days this can be almost impossible but I found it so important. A little 'me time' can really lift your spirits. It doesn't matter what you do but to just be you for a little while rather than Mummy really helps with your mental health.

Thanks for reading,

The Harmons x

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