Coping With Loneliness In Motherhood
Whether you’re a first time mum, or you’ve just had your fourth baby, those first few months of your newborn’s life are a wonderfully exciting time, but they’re also mentally and physically challenging. From the never-ending feeds, to the sleepless nights, and generally just figuring out how to care for a tiny little baby – it’s all pretty overwhelming.
One feeling that can take a lot of new mums by surprise is loneliness. It can hit at any point of motherhood, but it’s very common to feel lonely in the early months of your baby’s life.
We asked our brilliant eumom community for some advice on how they combat loneliness. Making the effort to get yourself and your baby outdoors, even if it’s just to your corner shop seems to be one of the most common pieces of advice, as well as making the effort to join local mother and baby groups.
Mum And Baby Groups
Clare: I went through this with my first guy. I joined a mum and baby fitness class and a baby class for him. This meant I’d two days planned each week without thinking. Check in your local area for groups to join. It’s tough but definitely worth getting out at least two or three times a week. No one tells you about the loneliness, it hit me like a ton of bricks. You’re not the only mama who feels it.
Louise: I brought baby to swim classes and in turn made few new pals. Mum and baby groups great too. At end of day every mummy goes through it and in same boat. So going to those groups is first step. I've always found them so welcoming.
Rachael: I began bringing my little girl to a parent and toddler group when she was two months old and it was one of the best things I ever did. Even having one day a week where you have that plan can give you motivation after the first time! Also check out other groups in your local area and there might even be a Facebook group if you research!
Melanie: Nothing prepares you for the loneliness of new motherhood. I found going for a walk helped and there are loads of parent and toddler groups around. Local libraries often have stuff on that you can go to with a small baby.
Emma: I find myself making conversation with service people all the time and cringing at the overshare. Swimming lessons are on my to do list and the eumom birth month groups are fantastic too.
Amanda: Check out www.SocialMum.ie - its a great site for meeting other mums in your town. Lots of mums on there in the exact same boat.
Get Out And About
Deborah: My little boy is just 11 weeks also and my eldest is 11. I make myself go for a walk every day, I don't drive and live in a small village.
I go to town once a week to just do some shopping and get out and on a Sunday all four of us head off for a long walk, somewhere different every week.
I started a walking group three times a week just by posting on Facebook if anyone wanted to join me and I do that in the evening when my husband gets home.
I also try to plan a catch up with friends at least once a month be it for a coffee or drinks or a spa treat as it gives you something to look forward to. There's no mother and baby groups in my area so have to take the bull by the horns and go myself! It's natural to feel lonely so don't stress.
Mona: Make a daily walk part of your routine. It'll do you and baby the world of good. Even if it's only to the local shop for milk and bread or the butcher. At least you'll get some adult interaction.
It’s Okay To Take A Mental Break From The Baby Stuff
Aisling: Do something that reconnects you with your friends. I met a friend every day for lunch in town. It was a nightmare getting ready to meet someone at 12pm everyday to go for lunch but I swear chatting about non baby related things was amazing. The baby slept most of the time and if she was awake my friends were more than happy to hold her for a few minutes. The classes are great for some but don't feel guilty for doing non baby-related things.”
If you want to read more advice on how to cope with loneliness in motherhood, click here