Motherhood is lonely. There I’ve said it.
And no-one tells you about the loneliness of motherhood…not the baby books, the anti-natal classes, your mother or your friends.
In addition to being lonely, motherhood made me feel trapped.
Trapped in my body. In my mind and my home. Trapped by my children, my husband and the responsibility of being everything to everyone.
After I had children my life changed dramatically
Suddenly my time wasn’t my own. I lost my independence, my freedom, my sense of self.
I didn’t matter anymore or specifically my needs and wants didn’t matter. This is a lonely place to reside.
Furthermore, my self-worth was non-existent. Everyone and everything was more important than me…or so I thought.
I was so busy trying to keep everyone else around me happy that I completely lost sight of myself.
My children demanded my attention, my time, my energy. Like leeches. My boss at work expected a focused, productive machine on the job – she didn’t care if I’d been up all night with a sick child.
The housework, the laundry, the meals, the groceries, the household accounts – half done in the rushed hours before and after work.
And trying to maintain relationships with friends and family in the scraps of time remaining felt more like a laborious obligation than the enjoyable experience it should have been.
I continually swung between feeling time deprived and a failure because I couldn’t manage my time better. I certainly didn’t feel I could give myself any time to relax, to breath, to re-energise. There was always too much to do.
I wanted help but didn’t know how to ask for it and felt aggrieved that I should have to ask for it. Why couldn’t those nearest and dearest to me see I needed help and step up without me having to break down in a snotty mess?
I was resentful of my husband and his freedom to come and go as he pleased. He’d casually mention his after-hours work obligations or his rugby training. He never had to worry about who was minding the children. I could never leave the house unaccompanied without “asking” my husband or someone to mind the children.
I was lonely
And sad. I certainly wasn’t much fun to be around. I struggled daily under the weight of my responsibilities and my resentment issues.
My health suffered. My mind weakened. I had no clarity, focus or direction.
I’d lost my way in the loneliness of motherhood
And for a while, I sought solace in wine and crisps. My prize for making it through the day. My little bit of comfort and joy in an unrewarding period of my life. This was the complete opposite of my figroll and oxtail soup diet. Equally as bad, might I add.
What started out as a weekend treat turned into a four-day long weekend, every week. A glass or two after I got the kids down to bed, ALWAYS accompanied by a salty snack.
It doesn’t take a genius to see what happened next. I gained weight. Which in turn added to my unhappiness. Not only was I directionless, now I was uncomfortable in my body, I was negative in my mind and I didn’t like who I’d become.
I wanted to make changes but had no idea where to start. I was unable to move forward under the weight of my mind, my body and my obligations.
Thankfully, I battled my way out of the loneliness of motherhood through exercise, nourishing my body with healthy food and my mind with mindfulness. And at this point, I should say, I love my children and my husband deeply. I always have, even in the loneliness of motherhood.
A lot of my issues stemmed for my own unwillingness to communicate my needs, my innate desire to appear like I had everything under control and a deep-rooted fear of not being enough if I allowed myself to say:
I AM LONELY AND LOST. I MISS MY OLD SELF
If you find you’re in the same situation, I urge you to utter these words. Only by releasing this emotion can you move forward and start to climb out of the loneliness of motherhood.
I also recommend the following:
- Firstly – communicate. And be honest about how you’re feeling. Tell your partner, your mother, your friends you’re feeling stuck, lost, lonely and trapped. You’ll be surprised by how many other people feel the same way. I guarantee it – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And when you ask for support, you will get it.
- Secondly – do something once a week for yourself. Start small if this seems like a mammoth task – set aside 20 minutes to have an uninterrupted bath or go for a walk. I highly recommend moving your body because not only do you get some much need alone time, the endorphins released through exercise will last longer than your downtime.
- And lastly – above all love yourself. Motherhood is the biggest roller coaster you’ll ever ride. You’ll experience the highs, the rushes and the lows. On your low days, be gentle and kind with yourself.
Being a mother is the toughest but rewarding job in the world. It can be filled with so many magical, precious moments but it’s absolutely OK to acknowledge the loneliness the accompanies motherhood. You are not alone.
Co-Founder Perry Hustle
P.S. To make one positive change in your life TODAY – join our Hustlers community – even if you don’t feel ready to start exercising, even if the thought of having to prepare a home-cooked meal brings you out in sweat…Join the hustlers today. You can’t help but be uplifted by the positivity, support and empowerment on offer in this amazing community.