WT 117: Why Is Mom Life So Lonely?
On today’s episode of Wire Talk we’re getting real about how lonely and isolating motherhood can be.
Question 1: I connect so much with you everytime you talk about living in Virginia, away from your network of family and friends when your kids were young. My husband is in the Air Force and we are in the same boat, raising our two little kids in Arizona, far far away from our support system. My husband goes off to work each day and here I am, busy with the kids, but desperate for friendship too. How did you make friends in that season or how did you cope with the fact that you didn’t have friends?
Karen's Answer: I prayed and asked God for friends. I looked for friends at church, ballet class, through the Navy. Like in Ga, I always looked for “like minded” people, honestly, in VA I just looked for ANY friends. I opened my mind and found that everyone is looking for community. My best friends were very different from me, but we got along great. Also, I think to have a friend, you have to be a friend. I started opening my eyes and seeing where I could lean in and be a friend to people. Volunteering at school, then asking a mom to come over and bring the kids to play, ended up in friendships. Coping with not having friends was hard, not going to lie. I tried to stay busy, doing projects around the house. I tried to not throw myself a pity party, for myself. But, I kept going, what else are you going to do? I mean, I couldn’t change my circumstances. In the military, you can’t change your duty station. But, I found there are friends everywhere, you just have to work hard and look hard. Pray and ask God to open your eyes on people around you that could possibly be your friend.
Question 2: I’m a single mom -not by choice- and have trouble relating to my friends whenever we do get together. There is so much about my life that they don’t seem to understand - how hard it is, how long the days are with no “relief” from a spouse, how lonely I am without a partner. How can I maintain our relationship without becoming resentful of their “perfect” life?
Karen's Answer: I love this question because it is REAL life. The deal is, no one’s life is perfect, not even your friends life with a spouse. (otherwise they wouldn’t be complaining) I’ve found in life, most people are self- consumed and they only see “life” from their perspective. It’s like when we had one child and we thought it was so hard, but then you have two or three children, and you realize how easy you had it with one. But, it’s all in your perspective. So…. The mom that is complaining about her husband, well you know it could be so much harder for her. Keep that in mind. My sister is single and the other day when we were having a sister day, one of us were complaining about something with our husband and Michelle gently reminded us that we were fortunate to have a husband that loved us. You know, it really was a wake- up call for all of us. Also, I think how to not get resentful is just to lean into the Lord, and trust in Him that He will provide for all your needs and wants. Psalm 37:3-4 says Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
This is a formula: Trust + Dwell + Cultivate = Rested Spirit
Trust in the Lord
Dwell in the land, rest in God
Cultivate Faithfulness (this means to do the next right thing)
Trust is what changes a resentful spirit to a restful spirit.
Question 3: I just had a baby four months ago and went from working full-time as a nurse to staying at home. It’s hard to do anything outside of a quick grocery run with the unpredictable schedule of a newborn … any suggestions for connecting with other adults during this stage?
Karen's Answer: First off, keep in mind, this is just a season, and it won’t last long. Secondly, maybe during this time in your life, ask your friends to come visit you. I would also “keep in touch” with friends, by texting, phone calls, etc. In just a few more months, your baby will be awake more often and for longer stretches of time, and then you can jump in the car to meet a friend, or run a few errands. Last suggestion: hire a sitter. Some baby sitters, like my Abby love the newborn stage, so find yourself an Abby, and then go enjoy an afternoon or evening with some friends. Get creative and remember this season doesn’t last forever.
Question 4: When did you find time to invest in relationships with other women when you had kids at home? Between work, the kids’ schedules and then household errands - when is it even possible to have lunch with a friend?
Karen's Answer: You have to make time. It may not be as “often” as you would like, but for the few friends, that are important in your life, it is worth the investment. Be intentional. That is going to mean you tell your children, “Hey, Mom is going out with my friend tonight to see a movie and eat dinner.”When your kids push back, like mine did. You just tell them, “My friends are important to me, just like you play with your friends. I’ll see you tomorrow morning. You be good for the sitter.” Moms, go and have fun! In VA especially when my children were young, I found I needed my friends for my sanity. I was a better mom, when I poured into myself through dinner with a friend, especially when Greg was traveling. Push past the guilt, and do it for yourself. Call a friend today and get a date on the calendar.
Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank you for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God. You can receive encouragement each week by tuning in to Wire Talk; so subscribe today and be sure you never miss an episode.
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