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Inside: The truth is that motherhood feels lonely and hard sometimes. Here are 3 easy and effective things you can do when you are dealing with loneliness and overwhelms.
We talk too little about the loneliness of motherhood. But so many moms feel alone and overwhelmed during those long days spent at home, caring for their kids. For new moms, this feeling can be even harder to handle because their lives suddenly changed in a way that couldn’t have imagined before.
When my son was a baby, there were many times when motherhood felt lonely and hard.
I was alone at home with my baby all day long. And the nights brought even more lonely moments. I was walking through the dark house with my son in my arms trying to help him fall asleep. I was nursing him several times a night. Every day I was the last one to go to sleep at night and the first one to wake up in the morning.
There were days when I felt so lonely that it almost seemed that I was raising my son in a secluded house in the woods and not in a home in the middle of a big city.
I knew that I needed a change. And it took time and effort to find a way to make motherhood feel easier and bring more joy to my life.
I went through a similar situation when we moved to California. My son was 3, and suddenly we were far away from home, in a place where we didn’t know anyone.
The first weeks were so hard! But after a while, I realized that I am the only one who can bring a change in our lives. I remembered the hard moments that I went through when my son was a baby. So I took the same steps to try to make things better. And it worked!
Some time ago I wrote about the emotional challenges of being a stay-at-home mom because I wanted other moms to know that they are not alone in dealing with the challenges of motherhood.
Today I want to share with you some of the best tips that I’ve discovered for overcoming these difficult moments. If you feel lonely or overwhelmed, I hope that these ideas will help you!
3 things to do when motherhood feels lonely and hard
It takes a village to raise a child. This is so true! But nowadays most moms don’t have that “village” to rely on.
The good news is that there are some things that you can do when motherhood feels lonely and hard, and that can help you build a happier life.
It takes determination to make this work, and I know that it’s not easy! But I can promise you that it is totally worthwhile.
1. Get out of the house
It might seem like an unimportant thing, but it isn’t! Sadness and depression are more likely to affect you when you feel “trapped” in the house, and you don’t get to spend enough time outside.
If you can get some help with the kids once in a while, use it to get out of the house and do something you like. It doesn’t have to be something complicated.
You can just:
- go for a long walk while listening to your favorite songs.
- visit the library and read a book (without any interruptions)
- go to a coffee shop and enjoy your coffee (and the silence).
If you have a hobby that you can practice close to your home, try to practice it once a week.
If getting out of the house alone is not an option, there are still alternatives that can boost your morale.
Here are some of them:
- Go for a nature walk with the kids and enjoy the fresh air.
- Take the kids to the park and listen to some nice songs or an interesting audiobook while watching them.
- If you are a new mom, go for a long stroller walk in a nice neighborhood.
- Find a coffee shop or a restaurant with a playground and enjoy a coffee or a juice while the kids are playing.
- Visit a friend with kids and enjoy some adult conversation while the children are busy playing.
Try to plan this type of activities at least on a weekly basis. You will have something to look forward to, and you’ll break that routine of just staying home with the kids every day.
2. Connect with other moms
Nowadays social media can give us the impression that we are already connected with many other moms. We can easily join mom groups and spend hours posting and commenting.
But research shows that social media usually has exactly the opposite effect. Instead of making us get closer, it makes us feel more disconnected.
photo credit: Africa Studio / shutterstock.com
So instead of spending a lot of time on social media, try to connect with moms who live nearby. You just need to find one or two moms who share the same values as you do and you’ll get to feel like you are part of a small “tribe” and you are no longer alone.
Connecting with other moms is a great opportunity to have fun, share your thoughts, and just enjoy the company of other grown-ups.
Planning regular play dates is another great way to make motherhood feel less lonely. You can schedule a weekly play date and take turns hosting it. The kids will have fun together, and you’ll get the chance to relax for a few hours.
3. Do less of what doesn’t bring you joy
Motherhood comes with a huge to-do list. And some things just need to be done no matter how tired we are.
But here is the thing: We also tend to add many things on our to-do list from a sense of duty that is only hurting us. We feel that we need to do everything. That our house needs to look perfect, that all the piles of laundry need to be washed, that dinner must be on the table on time every single evening.
We do all these things, and we get so tired that we don’t even get to enjoy the clean house, the organized clothes in the closet, the tasty recipes we prepared for dinner. Or we don’t manage to do all the things on the list, and we feel guilty.
Either way, we miss on the opportunity of a happier and more relaxed life.
I learned the hard way that doing “everything” is just the fast path to mom burnout. So I did a drastic change, and my life has become a lot happier.
Here is what I did. First of all, I simplified my life as much as I could.
- Cleaning up is easier if I declutter on a regular basis and I only keep the things that I really need.
- Preparing dinner is easier when following a weekly family meal plan and this also helps us save money and time. (I still struggle with this when life gets very busy, but I try to get better at this.)
- Creating routines for the most important moments of the day have made our days less stressful and also eliminated many power struggles. (Here is the morning routine that worked great for us!)
- We also decluttered all the toys and implemented a toy rotation system that made our house more peaceful.
Then, I eliminated as many tasks from my to-do list as I could. Without regrets and without feeling guilty. If you want to simplify your to-do list, check out these 7 helpful time management tips that can make your life easier.
Now I follow a simple rule when it comes to any task that needs to be added to my to-do list. I always ask myself two questions before adding it to my list.
First, is that thing really necessary? If the task is necessary, I add it to the list. If it’s a regular task, I’m checking if it’s any way to simplify it.
But if that thing is not necessary, I ask myself the next question: Is this bringing me joy? Based on the answer, I decide if I should add it to the list or not.
photo credit: Smolina Marianna / shutterstock.com
In time, this helped me do less of the unnecessary tasks that used to be on my to-do list. And it allowed me to have more time for those things that bring me joy.
The truth is that motherhood feels lonely and hard sometimes. As moms, we deal with a lot of challenges that can easily make us feel overwhelmed.
There is no magic solution for this. It takes effort and determination to make a change. But that change can help you enjoy motherhood more and build a happy mom life so it is totally worthwhile.
You just need to start this change today.
More from Playful Notes
- Download the Positive Discipline Toolkit (free for a limited time)
- The easy habit that will help you spend quality time with kids every single day
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