You're surrounded by people all day. You're never alone. And even when you steal 30 seconds for yourself, you're usually holding a sleeping baby or just waiting for the next request from your children who will undoubtedly need something the moment you sit down. So does it happen? Is it possible to be lonely in a house full of kids?
No matter how many children you have, it's very easy and normal to feel lonely, even though you have kids in the house.
You Isolate Yourself
Stay-at-home parents easily fall into the isolation trap. It's easier to avoid your children's public meltdowns by simply staying home. And it's easier to stay in your pajamas than get dressed, pack the diaper bag and leave the house to head to the playground.
The at-home parenting life naturally lets you slide into isolation and that's not good for you. That isolation, which is more of a convenience factor than you purposely hiding from civilization, leads to loneliness.
You Talk to Kids All Day
You worry about your kids getting enough socialization. But are you getting enough socialization? Sure, you talk to your kids all day but that talk includes deep conversations like, "Is your diaper dirty?" and "Someone's fussy and needs a nap." Of course, the banter back to you is usually, "I want," and "Mommy, mommy, mommy."
Check in with your spouse on his lunch break.
Call your mom. Talk to a grown up at least three times throughout your day to keep yourself in check.
You Think Social Media Keeps You Connected
Social media is deceiving. We feel like we're spending time with our friends because we liked their post or they sent us a two-sentence response to that cute pic we posted of our kids.
But social media isn't truly social. It's not the same as getting out there and meeting face-to-face with our friends and family. You have to unplug to truly get connected with others.
You Feel You're Doing It All Alone
It's okay to admit that there are some days you're jealous of your significant other as he pulls out of the driveway and heads off to work. You've got a full day of kid raising ahead of you and sometimes you would happily trade that for sitting in long meetings wearing a business suit and heels all day.
To make you feel even more like you're doing it all alone, your spouse comes home at the end of the day ready to relax in his favorite chair and you want him to clock in and take over the shift you've been working all day. While it's best to talk to your spouse before you become a SAHM so you can both be on the same page with your expectations, it's never too late to start the conversation before your feelings lead you to loneliness and resentment.
You Hardly Ever Leave the House Without Your Kids
When was the last time you left the house without helping someone get in a car seat? You need to get out of the house and you need to go by yourself.
You may not always be able to get out of the house to enjoy some me-time out on the town but even a trip to the grocery store can feel refreshing if your shopping cart isn't half full of kids swiping cereal and candy off the shelves as you try to buy ingredients for tonight's dinner.
Other Moms Don't Seem to Get You
You feel like you're the elephant in the room when you're hanging out with other moms. They seem so together and happy when all you feel like doing is ranting about the diaper rash cream your kids smeared all over your wedding photos. Just because you share motherhood with others doesn't automatically mean you're compatible as friends.
Friendships are extremely important to moms and can help combat those feelings of loneliness. Like dating, you just have to find the right person. Look for support groups of like-minded moms. Get the phone number of the mom you were chatting with on the playground. Set up a play date encouraging each friend to bring someone new so you can expand your friendship circle. Making those solid friendships will help you see you're not alone and we all have those good days and bad.
At-Home Parenting is a 24/7/365 Commitment
It's not that working moms aren't parents 24/7/365. But they do get to leave the house during a set time frame each day. You, on the other hand, are at home with the kids all day, every day. You're there for every milestone, but every diaper change too. You experience the joy of being there for them no matter what, but have to deal with the constant messes you continually clean up throughout the day because all of you are home.
You don't get a day off. You don't get to call in sick. You're always on the job, so-to-speak, and you can't even go to the bathroom alone. It takes time to get used to that adjustment and there may be days you don't feel like you ever will. The commitment you've made can feel like a blessing and a curse, depending on the day. Surround yourself with a support system, make time for yourself and don't forget to enjoy date nights with your spouse. You'll be a better, happier mom who loses that lonely feeling for good.