Motherhood Can Be Terribly Lonely

Mom Moment 47

family shadowBeing a mom is an amazing thing. Truly, it is. I wouldn't change one thing ... except that time we all had the throw-ups. But even then as I was cleaning up my kids' puke, I realized I wasn't concerned about the staining or the smell, I was worried about my kids. That's love. But sometimes, despite all of the love, motherhood is a lonely gig.

My twins are 3. They like to hang out with me, but not really. They want me to play with them, but then want me to leave the room. Sometimes I hear "Go away, Mommy!" I guess I'm not cool enough to vrroomm cars across the map on the floor, too. Mommy! Can you help me click this in? my daughter asks. Her unicorn's hair clip came off. I fix it. Thank you, mommy. No you stay here, she says as she walks away. So I watch them from a distance, but still close, and wonder what my childless friends are doing.

I'm a stay-at-home mom. I work, but extremely part-time is what I say. I write when they nap or late at night when everyone's asleep. I guess I'm a work-at-home mom, but the label thing is confusing and doesn't quite feel right. The label that does feel right is lonely. Such a sad word.

Motherhood alienates you from your friends who don't have kids. Or maybe that's just my reality. Unless you happen to have a friend whose schedule permits coming over to hang out during nap time or one who also thinks 9 p.m. is way too late for dinner and nearly bedtime. I miss those friends.

I have mom friends, too. We do playdates and get in tiny bits of adult conversation, but we get interrupted by adorable hugs and reminders in our sweetest, sternest mom voice that we "don't push our friends." We also talk in the hallway waiting for preschool to get out and it's five minutes of 'wow look at me! I'm talking about adult things!' until the door opens and the kids are in our arms and we go back to our own lives, our own schedules, our own bits of lonely.

Sometimes I just want to have glass of Prosecco in a bar without any sign of a child and talk in my adult voice. I might even want to drop an F-bomb even though I don't really curse but just do it because there is not one little one in earshot who may repeat it when I'm in mommy-mode at the playground. I know, I know. I'm so rebellious.

I don't like it that I'm not exactly sure what's going on in the world, but I can tell you all about how Doc McStuffins made a helicopter feel better. I've read 164 books this week but they all rhymed and none were over 12 pages. My own parents no longer ask how I'm doing -- it's just about the kids. Do I even exist? The one glass of wine I had last night reminds me the next day that I really do exist and I exist with a raging headache and what feels like a hangover from three vodkas back when I was in my 20s.

Maybe I'm experiencing the terrible 3s. It's not my kids. It's me. Maybe after three years, I need more mom nights out. I need to find the energy to have more mom nights out. Maybe I need a day out. More days. If only I could find the time. I'm not complaining. I love my kids -- I love being a mom -- and I have learned to love this kind of lonely I feel. I know it's finite. My kids will be off to school full-time before I know it. I will have more time for me to work or clean or watch the news or read a book or have that glass of Prosecco without fear of the consequences because my 3-year-olds aren't going to stay 3 forever. And I'll miss that. I'll miss the 3-year-old kids I have now just like I miss the 2s and the 1s and the times I counted their age by weeks. Which felt like yesterday. Maybe this lonely I feel is because my kids are no longer fully dependent on me like they were when they were itty bitty infants. They are starting to do everything by themselves and they need me less and less. Less. Less seems lonely. Less is lonely. My mom responsibilities are changing. Evolving. I need to figure out how evolve with it because I have to prepare myself for when the nest is really empty. When the loneliness evolves, too.

Does motherhood ever make you feel lonely?


Image via Jeffrey Turner/Flickr

time for mom, a mom's life, motherhood


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sssdnm sssdnm

I agree. I miss my husband while he's at work all day and I stay home with the baby. Luckily my friends and I do get together often and I bring the baby and it works out fine.

Allis... AllisonWD

Yes. I could've written this myself (especially the part of one glass of wine equals a raging headache..not even worth it anymore! I'm so lame).

Ashle... AshleyD324

Oh yes. I'm a single mom of a 21 month old and a nearly 4 month old. I'm the only friend with kids and it's hard to see them go out and have a good time. I miss those days, but mostly I miss having someone at home with me. I don't miss their dad, I miss the companionship. Having someone to talk to when the kids go to bed.

Beth Hannah

Ashley- I am with you. I am a single mom and I don't want someone to date necessary, just companionship- someone to talk to at the end of the day who gives a damn.

Vegeta Vegeta

If your kids go to preschool and you don't work except for writing a blog at night, you should get a fun part time job or do classes at a craft store or something. DO something about your problem instead of pining and complaining.

Chris... ChristyM123

The last part of this made me tear up. I have a 2 year old, and another due in August, and even though I'm thrilled to be having another baby and LOVE being a stay-at-home-mom, I can't help but count the years of when I get to go back to work and have at least somewhat of a social life. I thought when I had my daughter, that it would be play-dates and chit-chat with other moms over coffee while the kids played, but NO ONE wants to come over or meet at the park. Ever. My only social interaction is Facebook (which isn't much) and the 3-4 calls a day between me and my mom, just to see what the other one is up to. I love my daughter more than I love anything, and wouldn't give this time up with her for anything, but I really miss having other adults to talk to. As you said though, this time won't last forever, so I should just try to enjoy my time just being a mom while I can.

Mama-Doe Mama-Doe

Wow! It takes a thick skin to write an article for this site! Relax people and stop judging!

nonmember avatar Emily

So agree, with the article and with mama-doe. I somehow both miss alone time and feel alone at the same time. I realized when I last held a job Facebook was basically non-existent (2006). I've had more discussions about the best stain removers than the economy. I love all three of my awesome kids, but moms come last, that's just the way it is.

jennyc3 jennyc3

Ya i understand im a single mom my oldest is 12 and youngest is 17 months i love being a mom but by tge time u r in your 30 s all your friends r moms too its hard to find time to hang and money is ya its lomely at times

bella... bellacazzate

Mama-Doe, the comments thus far are quite positive. 

This loneliness/frustration has been affecting women in the home for years. I know you say you want to enjoy this time because, yes, it is fleeting, but to somewhat piggy-back on Vegeta... find something fulfilling. Anything that aids in giving you a sense of identity outside of being your children's mother. It's so, so, so important -- for you and them. 

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