I started out my motherhood journey as a newlywed, fresh out of college, at 20-years-old. I was elated. I was ready. I had always wanted to be a young mom, and it was happening. My friends were all so happy for me, but granted, most of them thought I was a little crazy. I didn’t care one bit.
I was the only mom in my friends group and it would be years before that started to change. If you started having kids younger than most of your friends, maybe you can relate. Maybe you started having kids later on and your kids are different ages than all of your friends.
Either way, you’re left feeling out of sync with your world.
At first, the girls’ nights might continue. Babies are easy enough to drag around to cool coffee shops and out to dinner. And hey, everyone loves a cute baby, right?
Friends love to come see a new baby and hopefully they come to see you bearing a latte when they do.
But the excitement of the new addition wears off. Time passes.
Toddlers, not so portable or restaurant friendly. Definitely not cool coffee shop material.
Somehow, I can’t imagine why, the two-year-old tantrums are just not as cute as the newborn yawns once were.
The girls’ nights out don’t happen anymore. The texts to hang out slow down until they reach a full stop when finally you’re left viewing your old life through the lens of a Facebook news feed and Instagram stories.
Even when you do get invited or get to catch up with a friend, it’s never the same. The difference between your mommy lifestyle and theirs can almost be a culture shock.
What is there to even talk about anymore? Can you really be that out of touch with the “real” world?
Believe it or not, the loneliness feels even lonelier when you feel trapped in the monotony of diaper changes, feeding, tantrums, sleepless nights, and a mountain of laundry that seems unmovable.
In fact, if you already struggle with feeling trapped in the difficult moments of motherhood, feeling abandoned and out of touch with your once great friend group can make it feel even more like some kind of punishment you’ve been stuck with.
Let me pause and say it: you are not alone. Mama, it’s time to stop comparing. That is so much easier said than done, but seriously, the sooner the better. Your life and their lives are not the same.
Tell the voice in the back of your head to be quiet. You know, the one that points out how put together they look, how clean their hair is, or how comfortable they seem sitting there without thinking about blowouts or someone asking them for snacks every other minute.
It takes intentional practice, but put those thoughts aside. It’s OK to talk about your kids, and it’s OK for them to talk about their own lives.
Next, it might be time to get out there and find some new friends. Don’t feel guilty about this. It’s not because your old friends are terrible, but it is important to find community in motherhood. You need someone to say “I hear you and I understand you.”
Try finding a local playgroup or a mom’s Bible study group. You can even strike up conversation with mamas at the playground.
I know, if you’re an introvert like me, that probably sounds like absolute torture. But some of the most encouraging conversations I’ve had were when I put myself out there and said hi to a mom on the playground, and I can now say with certainty, it’s worth it.
We chatted about our toddler struggles, quickly found we were both dealing with the same things, and suddenly we felt that much less alone.
Most importantly, dive head first into your loneliness and give it to the Lord. Tell Him your hurt and frustrations. Pray that He would bring the perfect community into your life.
Let Him minister to your heart and show you how deeply He loves your hurting heart. He wants to hear you cry out to Him and He’s waiting, ready to give you His comfort.
I can’t tell you how many moments I’ve spent in a place of total desperation, standing behind my fridge to hide from my kids, choking on the tears I didn’t want to let out, and just begging God to meet me there in my loneliness. He did meet me there. Every time. And He still continues to show Himself faithful to me, even there, behind my fridge, in my tearful mess. Wherever you’re hiding, ask Him to meet you there. I promise you He will.
You have a beautiful identity in Christ and in the role He has given you as being someone’s one and only mama. Nothing can replace or diminish that! Instead of weakness, we can find strength in that identity. We can find and create community.
No matter how alone you feel today, mama, know that you are not. You are surrounded by the love of the Father, by the love of your crazy tribe of kids (who don’t always show it very well) and by a community of mothers who you might not even know yet.