Becoming a mom is a huge transition for any woman. You suddenly have another person depending on you (and your partner) for everything. You love this person more than anything in the world, and your life completely changes from the moment they enter it.
According to all the books and blog posts, I was prepared to become a mom nearly 5 years ago. I had the gear, I had the clothes, I had the books, and I was as emotionally ready for this little person as I could be. I knew that she would change me. I listened to my friends’ stories and filed all their knowledge away for later. They warned me about so much – the lack of sleep, breastfeeding, the terrible twos, and more. But there was one thing they never mentioned.
No one warned me just how lonely motherhood can be.
I am a person who thrives on companionship. I am an extrovert, and I have always been someone that integrates my friendships into my daily life. I thrive on talking to people, on being around people going through the same things I am. I had that throughout college and young adulthood, and never really thought that motherhood would be any different.
But when I became a mom, that part of my life had to take a backseat. When I became a mom, there was certainly no time for long catch-up phone calls. There was no time for brunch. There was no time for going out for drinks after work. I had to get home to my family, to my little girl. My life was all-consumed by this little person that needed me so much – this little girl who brought me so much joy and I loved more than I ever could have imagined. Very quickly, my friendships were pushed aside, no matter how hard I tried not to let them.
Suddenly I had no idea what all my close friends were doing in their daily lives. I didn’t know when they started new jobs, when they started dating someone new, or when they were looking for a shopping buddy for a big event. We didn’t know each others’ struggles and accomplishments. It was completely strange to me. I was so used to being integrated into each others’ lives, and with motherhood, it all just fell away. I don’t know if it was that we were too busy, but I felt cut off and lonely, even surrounded by my family.
Why didn’t anyone warn me that motherhood could be lonely?
On top of all of it, making friends as an adult, and especially as a mom (and a working mom at that) is just weird. First of all, it’s hard to find people you could be friends with, and then – what on earth do you say? “Hi, we’re both moms and we should be friends!?” I am by nature a friendly person, but I’m also a bit awkward. I often say the wrong thing. I always don’t get jokes and too many times, I don’t feel like I fit. I miss when I did. I miss seeing and talking to my friends daily or weekly – losing that close contact with them when I became a mom hit hard. The few friends I have living close by have their own busy lives, and it’s difficult for us to coordinate schedules. I crave female companionship and friendship constantly, but I can’t seem to find it.
No one warned me about that.
So I guess my point is if you’re a mom, working or not, and you’re lonely – I get it. You’re not alone. I know you love your family and love spending time with them. I know there are so many great things in your life to be thankful. But I also understand you miss your friends. You miss laughing with someone until 2 AM over stupid things. You miss having random dance parties just because. You miss movie nights and brunch and just talking about nothing for hours. You miss hanging out with people who understand where you’ve been and you’re going – because they’re there too.
I get it, and you’re not alone.