Mommy Isolation: Feeling Lonely Post Partum

Mommy isolation

If you’ve felt a tinge — or an onslaught — of loneliness since becoming a mom, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted jointly by Mom Central Consulting and Gather Moms found that more than half (60%) of mothers with children under five experienced feelings of loneliness in their everyday lives. The survey also found that four out of five moms felt they didn’t have enough friends in their lives with 40% of moms reporting that they didn’t even have a “best friend” or someone with whom they could share intimate details.

While there are many causes and factors to consider when it comes to “mommy isolation,” co-founder of Mom Meet Mom, Meg Gerritson, believes it ultimately boils down to not focusing enough on one’s self.

“The number of physical and emotional changes that a woman undergoes throughout her pregnancy and into motherhood is quite overwhelming,” she says. “You find yourself looking up and suddenly everything around you is unfamiliar. This is when good ol’ mother nature kicks everything into autopilot, forcing us all into survival mode and nudging us to focus on everyone and everything but ourselves. I truly believe this is often the underlying driver of postpartum loneliness. You can really lose yourself if you’re not careful.”

When you start to feel like you’re losing yourself — or focusing on everyone around but neglecting your own well being — it’s time to step back and evaluate the situation. Keep in mind that just because you’ve had a baby, that doesn’t mean you have to completely change your life or who you are. Sure, you will need to make some sacrifices and those hours spent gabbing with girlfriends may not be as abundant as they were pre-baby, but you don’t have to eliminate your favorite pastimes completely.

Finding a balance between keeping yourself and transitioning into motherhood is, of course, is easier said than done. Ultimately, it requires a proactive approach.

“It’s really important for all moms to take steps towards emotionally transitioning into motherhood as early as possible,” advises Gerritson. She recommends beginning that transition process while you’re still with child.

Focus on things like: 

  • Redefining your independent self
  • Pinpointing your priorities and passions
  • Identifying what makes your relationship spark (if in a relationship)
  • Learning to appreciate and enjoy alone time
  • Practicing ‘mommy networking’ (e.g., if you see another mom or expecting mom in, say, a grocery store, say hi and get a conversation going).

Gerritson says you should write these things down and attach goals and commitments to each.

“Hang these commitments up somewhere close by and hold yourself to them,” she urges. “The more comfortable you are with yourself and your changing lifestyle, the faster you will be able to bounce back and become social again.”

While getting back in the social game may seem overwhelming or even scary for shy mothers, it’s incredibly important to your wellbeing to get out of the house and try. Don’t over think it.

“Attend a breastfeeding support group or go for a walk or just grab coffee with one or more moms nearby,” suggests Gerritson. “It can be hard to break away from your new day-to-day responsibilities, but once you do it and can connect with another mom like you, you’ll feel so much better.”

As a twenty-first century mother, you also have the gift of the Internet, so use social media to your advantage. Seek out websites that specialize in mommy convergence, like Gerritson’s Mom Meet Mom, which was founded by her, Julia High and Christa Terry, to specifically help combat those feelings of isolation and loneliness. In a nutshell, Mom Meet Mom is a free social website that lets moms and expecting moms meet and plan play dates nearby.

Other mom-centered websites with a focus on creating community and introducing local moms to each other include:

This page was last updated on 06/2017
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