The Loneliness of Motherhood

“But we push forward. Again. We place our loneliness aside. Again. We save making our mom village for another day. Again. We put our kids and family ahead of ourselves. Again. Afterall, that’s what any good mom would do, right? So we chug along day after day, heart longing for connection, heads unable to find the time to create it.”

No one ever mentions how lonely motherhood can feel sometimes. While you may be going through the same journey as someone else, no journey is quite the same and no one will really understand what it is you face or tackle each day. Even if we were to speak up, we risk the chance of being labeled as “selfish” or a “bad mom.”

God forbid you say anything about having a bad day, mention anything about the way you’re feeling or even have the nerve to ask for a break.

Every mama has been there… where she finds even the smallest moment to herself to just let all the tears come out, whether it’s in her car, in the bathroom, under the covers or when all the other adults have left the house. That one cry that she’s held in for what seems like an eternity because she fears the judgement that comes with showing her emotions or any type of vulnerability.

Expectation vs. Reality

Why is there this expectation that moms can never have a bad day? The expectation that we always have to have things together. The judgement that comes along with asking for something we need or speaking up about how we feel, we’re being selfish?

We don’t see any of this being placed on dads. Instead, dads are praised for “babysitting” their children. They’re praised for spending in half the amount of time with their kids that moms do. They’re praised for “helping around the house.” They’re allowed to have bad days. They’re allowed to be tired. They’re allowed to feel angry and frustrated.

The reality is, we, as mamas, have bad days too. We shouldn’t be judged for needing a break. We shouldn’t be judged for not having the house cleaned or put away by the time the other adults in the house come home. We should be treated like what we do each day deserves some recognition and that it’s not just “staying home with the kids and playing.”

How is any of that fair?

Behind the Curtain

I hate that there’s this curtain that we have to put up so that we’re not judged for our abilities as mamas. While things do get tough, we have to act like it’s okay and that we’re always okay with it. We can’t show that it’s breaking us or risk the chance of being called a weak mom.

When you’re exhausted, you can’t just say you’re exhausted because of constantly having to hold it all together, instead you have to come up with some stupid excuse. Lately, for me my excuse is this pregnancy. I’m not really sure what excuse I’ll use after the baby is born but I still have 7 weeks to figure that out.

Yeah this pregnancy has been kicking my butt. But in reality, what’s been even harder for me is having to hold in how I’m really feeling to avoid the judgmental comments and the feeling that even if I have only one bad day, I’m a failing as a wife and mama. I couldn’t possibly have the right to “complain” about what’s really been going on because I “chose this life” and that if it’s hard it’s “because I don’t know how to prioritize things.”

So I put up the front that things are okay, that I’m okay… when in reality, as soon as I have the second to myself, I’m letting out every frustration, every doubt, every feeling I have of being a failure out in what has to be a controlled crying session because any second, one baby will either need me or someone will walk through the door and begin judging me for crying or showing any emotion other than grateful that I get to stay at home and work from home.

In a week when it was meant to be celebrated for something I worked so hard for for the last two years to accomplish, I felt like the biggest failure in my life. Yeah, I finished school and got my master’s. But I’m choosing to work from home and to most people it just looks like I’m sitting on the couch all day on my phone and not doing anything worthy of my degree or recognition. In a week when every mama should be celebrated for all that she does, I felt like the biggest disappointment because there wasn’t any recognition or praise, it was just another day of chores and trying to keep everyone else happy.

Time for Yourself

It’s time for us to stop hiding how we feel and acting like we always have it altogether… Unless you really one of those mamas who has it all together then I gotta hand it to you, I’m not sure how you do it. I put on a front that I have it all together, but we all know very clearly now that I really don’t.

Mama, it’s time to sit down and be honest with ourselves.

-We’re allowed to speak up when we need a break
-We’re allowed to speak up when something is bothering us
-We need to reach out to another mama who won’t judge you
-We need to reach out to someone who has gone through it before

If you find yourself not having that group you can look to, I’m here for you. I’m still working on myself, but I never want another mama to feel like she has to go through all of this alone.

Here’s my advice to you:

-Give yourself grace and forgive yourself
-Make a playlist of songs you can listen to when you’re feeling down that will help life your spirits
-Put aside some time each morning or night for yourself and only yourself
-Create a gratitude journal that only you can see for the things that you’re grateful you’ve done for yourself
-Stand firm when you say you need a break and take that break to enjoy yourself

While this journey of motherhood can certainly feel lonely sometimes, it doesn’t mean that we have to go through it alone. We just have to find the right group of support that’ll be there free of judgment.