“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
This week I read a blog post by the lovely Wendy from Naptime Natter title “just another lonely mum” in which Wendy opens up about how lonely she has felt being a mum. I could totally relate to her words, and I know so many parents can. When Aspen was born I was incredibly in love with her and with being her mummy, but I was also completely overwhelmed. I had never felt so happy, and yet so lost, confused and exhausted at the same time.
After those initial weeks of visitors, support and my husband’s time off work came to an end, I found myself feeling completely isolated. I was the first of all my friends to start a family. My friends were either at work, travelling, or busy going out, and with Steve working long hours I felt really alone. I meet a few lovely mums through the mother/baby group I attended, but most of the time it was just Aspen and I. I used to walk to the local shops, or drive to the nearest shopping centre grab a drink and browse baby stores just to pass the time, and not feel like Aspen and I were the only two people on this earth.
Reading Wendy’s post brought back many memories for me. I joined many groups with Aspen, we went to Gymbaroo, Mini Maestros, swimming, and the library. I met a few people through this, but found so many of the mums seemed so clicky, and I felt too nervous to try and push myself into their group. The thing is when I read a post like Wendy’s, and when I talk to the mum friends I have now, I realise how many of us feel the way I felt. One of my now very best mummy friends told me one day how she used to head to the shops just so she wouldn’t feel alone. Funny thing is we both hung out at the same coffee shop and shopped at the same favourite baby clothing store all the time, yet we never met until our 2nd children went to school together. We even had matching prams! We probably crossed paths, but never spoke, although she was in the boys section and I was in the girls.
I have never been a really confident person when it comes to meeting new people, but when I was a new mum my confidence took even more of a dive. I think for me and probably many others, being a mum to a newborn shakes our confidence in our abilities. We feel overwhelmed by the amount of responsibilities we have, how tired we are, and we are also coping with hormones, and the way our body has changed. So it is hard to feel our most confident self for meeting new people. But what I didn’t realise, and what I think we all need to keep in mind, is how alike everyone is feeling. Those mums we look at and think ‘wow she has it all together’ is probably just faking it until she makes it. And there is more people than we think looking at us like we are the one who has it all together! We often don’t realise that most of us are feeling the same way, most if us just want someone to relate to, someone we can be ourselves with. I wish I had realised that sooner than I did.
I guess if I was to offer any advice it would be to just be yourself, to be honest about how you feel and what is going on in your life. Once I truly started opening up to other mums about how I felt I truly realised how many people felt just like me. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a lot of friends already, it was just that my friends were at different stages in their lives and I needed to hang out with some people on the same page as I was. In Wendy’s case it is hard as she has also moved and it makes it even harder to put yourself out there. I think as a new mum I also felt a little guilty and selfish admitting that I felt lonely when I had this most perfect baby girl to adore. I had tried so hard to become a mummy and then to say I felt lonely just made me feel ungrateful. But the truth is although Aspen was the cutest thing ever and the most important thing in my life, she wasn’t exactly a great conversationalist! Once I became brave enough to be ‘real‘ and open up about things I was thinking and feeling with other mums, I finally started to find my tribe. We all just want to fit in, to feel like we belong and to find at least somebody who totally ‘gets us‘. We all need that, so please if you are in a group and you notice a mum sitting alone, invite her over. As the quote above says, being a friend is a “tremendous thing“.
To have a friend is wonderful, but to have a true friend is something precious. And you can only have true friends, when you are truly being you.
Have you ever felt lonely as a new mum? What advice can you share on finding your tribe? Please share your thoughts and advice with everyone in the comment section below.
Welcome to this weeks Mummy Shot Roundup. Here are my favourites from this week.
Top Left is from @treasureeverym
Top Right was shared by @betty_and_barnaby
Bottom Left was taken by @its_me_zazie_
Bottom Right was shared by @mamawillmot
I also really love this capture below from @wandermustfamily
and how adorable is this capture shared by @bridiebythesea!
My favourite #mummyshot from Catie this week is
and you can see Catie’s favourites over on her blog too!
My own favourite was this one I took of April just sitting on the stairs,
Thank you to everyone who joins our mummy shot community, we just love looking through all the beautiful images.
I’d love you to share your thoughts on parenthood and loneliness with me in the comments below.
Thanks for joining me, love Mac xx
You can find me on Instagram @macglanville
#mg link up is back. Hope you can join me, stop by Monday, through until Thursday to link up.
Also don’t forget to tag me with #livingfearlesslyauthentic with any real life photos you share on Instagram. Only Rule is ‘Real Life!’
Each Monday I share my #livingfearlesslyauthentic roundup.