I like the title up there, but truth is, I have never found a satisfactory way to handle the stress of loneliness while staying home with small children. I enjoyed taking graduate classes and found that I could study genetics while sitting on the floor as the kids played around me. Getting out to class was really good for me and it helped me to feel very good when I was home with the little ones. I currently have a special interest group I joined and that is fun too. But the truth is that finding ways to support your emotional health so that the lack of adult voices during the days isn’t a problem is not at all easy.
A good friend or a family member who is also a stay at home mother can sometimes be a great asset. Being able to pick up the phone and talk to someone who understands is not to be underestimated. I didn’t have that. My sisters are great but at the time my oldest children were toddlers they were busy working gals with office jobs and involvement at church. My friends were mostly adults without children so that left me as the odd woman out. However, that isn’t always the case, look around your social group and think about who might be in the same situation.
Know it gets easier. The toddler years pass and soon there will be Scouting and groups up at Church. The activities we go to with our children are opportunities to meet other moms. Talk to them while you wait, ask about hobbies, interests, field of study/career, etc. In this way you may find new friends. At the very least you will begin to know the mothers of the children your children are getting to know. Every new activity your children discover will bring you into contact with more adults. So even if no great and lasting friendships develop you will still get to chat with another grown up.
Keeping a journal can help too. Writing in a journal lets you have conversations with your own subconscious. Write without editing and you may discover things about how you are feeling that you hadn’t realized. Often the loneliness is a symptom of something else. It may be very simple, and fixable, so journal writing can help. Journal writing can be a means of recording the joys of being home, a reminder of all the good that is yours because you are there with the children each day.
These are a few things that helped me cope with this difficult aspect of the Mom Job. I would not trade the time I have had with my children for anything. I raised them and then later remarried and am now raising two more. The Job hasn’t changed, but I have.
Dear Lord, please comfort the moms out there who are lonely. Help them be aware of the richness of their lives and send them friends who understand. Thank You for the best job in the world. +Amen.