I will be the first one to tell you that Kim’s Finds started out not only as an outlet for my writing & research but also as a “mental health endeavor”. As a new Mom, I felt like I was inundated with gushing stories about the joys of motherhood, yet the potential struggles were often brushed over. More specifically, no one told me that Motherhood would be so lonely.
Still processing that statement? If so, then you probably understand that Motherhood is wonderfully complex. It can be an amazing time of personal growth and transformation; and it can also be a period of unexpected isolation, especially in the beginning. Here are a few scenarios: You might have just moved to a new town. Your family is far away. Perhaps your husband works long hours… or is deployed in the military. You might be on maternity leave for the first time, and you crave adult interaction. All of your relationships have changed. Your friends (without kids) visited the baby in the first few weeks, however it’s hard to find time to get together now. Your team at work is treating you like you are a million miles away (because you probably are), and intimacy with your spouse is less than spontaneous. Perhaps your closest friend is struggling with infertility, or is still single… and unfortunately, she is now struggling to be your friend. And finally, the isolation icing on the cake…we haven’t even mentioned that your newborn sleeps 15 hours a day, keeping you homebound and on constant alert.
Whatever your circumstances… introversion, introspection, and even periods of loneliness are okay. However, know that there are ways to get ashore from your island. Going back to work may be an effective outlet for some in reestablishing community. However, coping with loneliness for stay-at-home Moms can be a more arduous journey (at least it was for me)… requiring you “to put yourself out there”, in order to connect with other Moms.
Here are some suggestions for battling “New Mommy” isolation: consider joining a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, or a Mother’s Day Out program at a local church. Join, or start, a local play group. Fitness buffs…try Stroller Strides, Fit 4 Baby, Lean, or Luna Mom play groups. Join Weight Watchers, the local YMCA, or take a Yoga class (Don’t be stubborn or unnecessarily cheap! Budget time and money for your physical and mental health, if you can afford it).
When your child is a bit older, go to your local library for story time, take a Gymboree, or Mommy and Me type class. And if you are still trapped in your pajamas and Mommy abyss (like I was for several months)…make it a goal to get out somewhere at least once a day! The post office. The grocery store. Anywhere with “big people” (wink). You’ll be glad that you did!
Further info can be found here:
MOPS: find a local group here http://www.mops.org/
Stroller Strides/Lean/Fit4Baby/Luna Mom: (go to http://www.strollerstrides.com/search.php, type in your zip code, find your meeting spot & the name of your group’s personal trainer, and join instantly online).
Play Groups: Playgroups USA (Go to http://www.playgroupsusa.com/, type in zip code)
Yoga Class: Click on this link to input your zip code into yogafinder: http://www.yogafinder.com/yogazip.cfm or type “yoga class” into Google for pin pointed locations on a local map.
Gymboree Class: Click here to find a location near you http://www.gymboreeclasses.com/index.jsp
Online forums: Moms Like Me, www.momslikeme.com, CafeMom http://www.cafemom.com/