2020 provided the framework for understanding how one person can be surrounded by a multitude of others, yet still feel completely isolated and alone. In the midst of worldwide chaos, we extended ourselves in more ways than ever before—think extended work hours, new title of Director of Homeschool, and adapting to mandates that we never could have imagined a year ago. In a time when many are Zooming on the regular with families and coworkers to stay connected and immersed with their children on a new level, this year has unveiled an underlying theme of loneliness for many.
To the lonely moms everywhere finding peace in the late hours of the night, you’re not alone. When the laundry is done, everyone has been tucked in for the night and the house is quiet, your BFFs become characters from the latest binge-watching series that has captured your drained attention span while willing your heavy eyelids to stay open. Sinking deep into distraction of an intoxicating storyline, this provides a safe place where you don’t have to choose sides, give instructions, or make someone happy.
To the lonely moms everywhere who crave authentic relationships with other women but whose battery packs of energy have been depleted and left you unable to give any more, you’re not alone.
The journey up the mountainside toward authentic relationships where your most private and raw emotions can be shared without fear of judgment seems too steep of a hill to climb. It’s easier to curl up on the couch and just keep scrolling.
To the lonely moms everywhere whose life partners are unavailable, you’re not alone. Whether it’s evening work hours, obsession with the intoxicating glow of the phone, or giving the last drop of energy to the kids—this particular loneliness is a wound that never seems to heal. The desire to be in sync is so strong the heart physically aches, but for any number of reasons, it seems as though the marriage is on the backburner.
To the lonely moms everywhere who are single and guiding yourself through the journey of parenthood, you are not alone. Between kids’ activities with an insanely early start time (seriously, why do sports begin at 5 p.m.? Just, why?!), work commitments, and running a family, the responsibility is large and lands squarely on your already overloaded plate. Single-handedly navigating every new curveball, there’s not always time left for recharging and reconnecting with others.
To the lonely moms everywhere with teenagers who have gained independence and are beginning to cultivate their own lives, you’re not alone.
The little one you used to feed and couldn’t manage to fall asleep without your gentle rocking is now growing up and doesn’t need you as much. The role of mother has morphed into a new stage you’re still trying to adjust to and leaves you longing for the time when you were number one in their life. The constant barrage of questions from a toddler that once left you exhausted has developed into silence from a teenager that leaves you feeling alone.
To the lonely moms everywhere, who have lost friends from conflicting perspectives on the pandemic or the most polarizing election in history, you’re not alone. With strong opinions on all sides of an argument, emotions are escalated and tensions are high. One conversation with dividing views can have even the longest friendships calling it quits. Strong core beliefs are the foundation of our country, but can also lead to feeling misunderstood and isolated.
To the lonely moms who act the part, projecting the picture of perfection in front of others but feel like a failure on the inside, you’re not alone.
The pressure to hang the latest fashions on the just right sized body while staying forever 25 with a fusion of Botox and specialty blonding is enough to make anyone feel like they never measure up. Keeping up with appearances for fear of negative optics is exhausting and leaves you feeling as though no one really knows who you are.
If you’re feeling alone, even when you’re surrounded by others, know that others feel this too. As we start a new year with a new outlook on life, having lived through the monumental year we have experienced, let us go forward with the intention of loving one another. We never know what battles someone is facing—even those we are extremely close to. Compassion and grace will be our best allies as we support one another, and extended offers of inclusion will be the kryptonite for loneliness.