It sounded simple. I was invited out by some friends for tea in the park. Come and join us they said, it’ll be fun. But I just couldn’t and I knew they wouldn’t understand. I had a baby, actually two babies really, under the age of two. It had been a long day. It was summer and taking the babies out in the searing heat wasn’t sounding appealing. Also, it was my little boys bedtime. Sure I could have taken him out past his bedtime. But not this day. He missed his nap and boy was he cranky! He needed to go to bed and taking an overtired toddler and a baby out at bedtime to me spelled chaotic disaster. I knew he would screech and pull me this way and that and I wouldn’t get to sit and eat, let alone get a word in with my friends. Then there was the baby. I would need to find somewhere at the park to breast feed him. Plus I would have to pack the pram, sippy cups, nappies, dummies, blankeys. And my baby was starting solids soon which would mean I would have to find a place to feed him at the park, probably sitting in the pram, and it would go everywhere. Plus how would I heat the food up while I was out?
With all of this swirling through my new mummy mind. I told my friend,
“sorry I can’t make it.”
No one in my friends group had started having babies yet and I felt very alone. I got married at 18 and had my first baby at age 20. They tried to include me. But after a few night time invites out by our friends to cafes, movies and eating out I knew that my life as a mum would be very different now.
I could let it get to me and vent about my lack of freedom since becoming a mum and live a miserable lonely life. Or, I could embrace my new role as a mum and move on to bigger and better things. Find new friends who also have children and change the way I go out, perhaps to play grounds instead of cafes.
I’m happy to report that I chose the latter.
It did take me a few years before I moved on and embraced my new life as a mum and left my past child-free life behind me. It took an attitude change and the Lord gently guiding and directing my heart. I began to see my life at home as a mum in a whole new light.
I was listening to Vision Christian Radio this morning and they were chatting with a past radio host who had left on maternity leave to care for her baby. She admitted on air to feelings of postpartum depression and said she had been feeling lonely.
She spoke about the importance of reaching out to other new mums around us and to check in on new mums at our church and in our community.
It got me thinking about how hard it is sometimes to deal with the loneliness of being at home all day every day with babies and young children. It really can be challenging and lonely. I know too well what it’s like to want to reach out to others in the community around me. And to pray that others would reach out to me.
I have some mum friends who I love very dearly and we share the same values and hopes and desires for our families. When we catch up with a long chat and cup of tea it is like my soul and entire being has been deeply refreshed. But our times like this are few. Between homeschooling, appointments and day to day schedules, months will go by before we can have this kind of conversation again.
I decided last year, after we sent our older children to school that I would take the my little girls to the local playgroup. I wanted to get to know some local mothers from my town, not just for my own sake, but I felt like I wanted to minister to the hearts of young mums who may need some encouragement.
But it hasn’t been easy! I’ve had to fight somewhat, just to get there! Between my five children catching sicknesses and having to stay home, to appointments, other life things that pop up and sometimes, just plain “I’m exhausted and need to stay home, ” I haven’t actually made it to many play groups! This term alone, I have gone to 1 in the past 6 weeks!
What I am trying to get at is, sometimes even when a mum really tries her hardest, it is still sometimes almost impossible for her to get out to things.
This is one of the reasons I began blogging over five years ago. I found encouragement in the words of others mothers blogs. I read them for hours and felt like someone out there understood what I was going through.
The online community back then for me was a God send. I believe He put these virtual mothers online for me at that exact moment, for me to read words of hope, friendship and understanding.
So, what makes me continue opening up my laptop and blogging away, is the thought that other mothers out there who may be feeling lonely, like I was, will find some encouragement here. If I can hardly make it out of my house to offer my friendship and a listening ear to other mothers then at least I can do it right here on this blog. Lately I have really being enjoying Youtube too. I have found some really great stay at home mother’s on Youtube and have been learning a lot of wisdom from them. Lately I have really been enjoying watching Sarah from ‘Our Tribe Of Ten.’ I put one of her videos below.
So don’t feel bad if you have been feeling lonely while at home with your children. Even if you have just had a baby that you have been longing for a long time for. It is perfectly normal to feel some loneliness as you adjust to life at home with a baby. The more you fight against it though and wish for your old life back the worse you will feel. So look ahead. Having a baby is a massive blessing and can be a real joy! Look for joy in little things throughout your day and take one day at a time.
Thank you for reading!
Please leave a comment and connect! I am here if anyone needs a listening ear.
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God’s blessings as always –