Welcome to the second in my series:
The Struggles and Joys of Being a Stay at Home Mom
I want to start off this post by saying a couple things:
- I am not licensed or certified as a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor. If you are depressed or feel you need emotional support, please reach out to someone who is qualified to help you. This post is only regarding challenges I have faced as a stay at home mom, and what I do to help relieve that temporary stress. This post should not be seen as or used for professional or medical advice.
- This post is in no way intended to put down or lessen the roles, challenges, or joys of being a working mom. I've been a working mother myself, and I know all too well the struggles that come with it. In today's world whatever path you take is filled with turbulence as well as beauty. In my book, all moms who are doing the best at what they do and with what they have are super moms. At this point in my life, I'm a stay at home mom, so this topic is just close to my heart right now.
Part 2: Loneliness
Welcome to Part 2 in this series, "The Joys and Struggles of Being a Stay at Home Mom". This series is my way of reaching out to other stay at home moms and letting them know they are not alone. There are plenty of us out there who deal with the same struggles you are facing. We all love our kiddos, and we all love spending our days with them, but that does not mean our days are all sunshine and snuggles. Today's topic...loneliness.
Now I know it sounds counter-intuitive to think you could be lonely when you are constantly surrounded by these vivacious little people that are crazy full of energy and almost never stop talking. They are so full of life and have a million things to say. Just hear me out though.
No Shortness of Activity
My 3 year old loves to narrate his entire day with me. He tells me everything he is doing and why. He also enjoys helping me with my typical daily housework and is learning at an alarming rate. Which means lots of questions from him, lots of explaining from me, and lots of hearing him repeat exactly what I said word for word as he practices his new communication skills.
My 1 1/2 year old is learning new communication skills of her own. While there still are not many words that I can make out when she is babbling away, I certainly cannot let her know I'm clueless to what she is talking about. She thinks she is as big as her big brother after all. So I do what any other mama does and I carry on a conversation with her complete with silly questions, over reactive facial expressions, and bigger than life hand gestures.
Add to that the fact that they are my constant companions. With the exception of nap time, I am literally never alone throughout my day. There is no shortness of activity in our home, but sometimes in the midst of all the crazy I feel alone.
We Need Adult Interaction
It can absolutely be lonely when you are the only adult voice that you hear all day every day. Can you talk to your kids about the big things in life? Your hopes, your dreams, your vision for your life. How about the frustrations you are dealing with? As adults, we need interaction with other adults. We need to be able to discuss topics that are more in depth than what our favorite colors are and what every animal on the planet says. The need to connect with other adults exists in all of us.
*Side note: Someone please teach me how to make a realistic elephant noise. I think my son is actually embarrassed for me at this point.
How I Combat Loneliness - Adult Time
When I feel like I"m getting to the point where my normal voice might possibly be permanently replaced with my "mom voice", I tell my husband I need adult time. I can call him in the middle of the day for 5-10 minutes, and at least feel renewed enough to make it until he gets home.
Make sure to make time to talk with other adults. Your dreams and ambitions, current events, a sporting event, the weather. Something. Whether it's your significant other, a parent/sibling, or your bestie, the communication helps keep you connected to an adult reality.
Interacting with other adults is important, too. Find a way to spend some alone time with your spouse. Even if it is 30 minutes a night. It gives you time to unwind and recenter. One of our favorite things to do as a couple (other than strolling on the beach) is take a short walk around the block after dinner. I feel like a different person when I get home. Maybe you could make plans for some girl time once every couple of weeks. You could go to your favorite coffee shop or window shopping! Whatever you and your gal pals like to do.
A couple more things...
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Check out the other posts in this series:
- Not enough time/Too much to do
- Self Care
- Struggle with Identity
- Establishing a sustainable routine
- Juggling work & home