When I was a little girl I always wanted to be a mummy. I had a triple dolls pushchair for my Tiny Tears, Timmy Tears and Katie Tears, do you remember them? Well I had the whole family! I’d look at real mummy’s in the park opposite my parents house and dream that one day it would be me pushing my babies on swings, chatting to my mum friends, blissfully living the mummy life!
As I got older I was under no illusions. My own mum had always told me how hard it was to be a mum, that it wasn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Then watching some of my friends become mum’s and watching their sleepless nights and toddler tantrums opened my eyes even more. I didn’t go into being a mum naively, I had been forewarned it would be hard. It would be hard but the best thing I would ever do.
It turns out all those people were right. But one thing nobody really warned me about was the loneliness.
I have found being a mum really lonely, even more so now I’m a stay at home mum. My little girl dreams have all come true and apart from the obvious baby loss heartbreak it has been just how I thought; amazing. But it does come with loneliness and that can be hard. I spend a lot of time on my own with the kids. You can’t be with friends all the time and you can’t have plans every day. Life doesn’t always work like that and I do really enjoy my one on one (and two) time with the kids but sometimes you can go a couple of days without speaking to an adult especially if you solo parent a lot like I do or are a single parent. I mean my 5 year olds chat game is pretty strong these days if you’re into the Lego Ninja-go team or if you fancy a strong debate about whether sliced cheese or grated cheese is nicer but sometimes you need the adult chat too whether it be a heart or heart or to catch up on Love Island.
The more I’ve spoken to friends and other mums about this the more I’ve had them agree with me and tell me they’ve felt the same. I think it’s something that’s hard to admit to others sometimes. So often this new mum role is something that’s been planned, in my case since I’ve been that little girl and it’s hard to say that it’s not sometimes all it’s cracked up to be. But guess what? There’s no shame in saying you’re lonely sometimes, that sometimes you want a bit more than the cheese debate.
I think what’s more important is what we do about it.
Maybe we should be being more honest about it. Maybe we should be messaging another Mum friend to say that we’ve been stuck in the house all day and do they fancy a cuppa. There’s no need for a deep and meaningful if you’re not up for it but it might be enough just to talk to another adult who gets it. For me, I think I need to plan more, plan to see people a bit more. Ever since I had a really bad patch with my anxiety I stopped doing that so much as I was worried I wouldn’t feel up to it and end up cancelling on my friends so I’d avoid it all together. But I’m going to change that, face the loneliness and do something about it.
Are you with me? And just think when you send that message the mum at the other end of the phone might be feeling exactly the same.
Remember, you are not alone.