Being a young/single parent and experiencing loneliness.
It feels weirdly good that an opportunity has arose to write my first post surrounding loneliness in motherhood, thanks to the brilliant blogger that is Keighley. I am in the process of launching my own blog but I felt I had to get involved in this particular topic because it is something I experience often.
For those of you that do not know me or have not come across my twitter (@LifeMilk2016), my name is Jen and I have recently turned 28. I have an 8-year-old daughter, in year three and I guess I first ever experienced loneliness going back to when I was pregnant in 2008. I was 18 years old, and had fallen pregnant at a time when my life was all about going out, dating and having fun. I had always had a huge group of friends and was planning / hosting our teen days out which changed dramatically, once I decided to have a child. My peer group dropped me, I guess because i could no longer binge drink, party all night long and have girly holidays. Being so young, terrified of becoming a mother and feeling alone throughout my whole pregnancy – is something I will never forget!
I thought once I had my daughter, I would be occupied with my baby and partner that I would not have time to feel lonely. Boy, did I get this so wrong! To be honest from my own experience, I found when I was alone at home with the baby; I felt most alone during that particular stage. I did develop post-natal depression and shortly split from her father. I did not speak to anyone during this time apart from my GP.
I have been a single mother ever since my daughter turned three and although I do not allow it to stop or define me; I must admit that there are times when I feel emotional and alone. The majority of my friends are mothers and we do meet when we can but there are many times when I feel like they are living their life with their own little family and that I am just here. Of course, I love and adore my daughter, her happiness is paramount but when you are doing it all and working full-time, it does gets lonely.
I felt alone just recently, which kept resulting in tears. I would go to the toilets at work and have a little cry and again once my daughter was asleep. Loneliness is not a nice feeling and in my case, it can lead to low moods and anxiety. I think one trigger can lead to others and I have now decided to try to manage these feelings straight away, whether that be that I speak to someone or that I immediately take time out to reflect / evaluate what I can change to make me not feel this way. After experiencing loneliness on & off for almost 10 years, I knew it was time I made changes and try to find ways where I wouldn’t feel this way anymore.
A few things that I have done so far that has helped me overcome feeling lonely:
- Speaking to my GP – I think it is so important to build a rapport with a health professional you trust. I have had the same GP for 10 years and she is brilliant, I think it genuinely works when they have worked alongside you for so long, they tend more to understand and know what works best for you.
- Talking to my family and friends, letting them know how I feel. I was surprised at the reaction because I genuinely thought that they would not understand or would be too busy to help. Being able to talk and release, was a weight off my shoulders. Do not be afraid to offload and open up, clamming up and dealing with it alone – will not combat the problem.
- Speaking to my online friends that I have made on Twitter, you guys really are an amazing bunch – having others that understand exactly what you’re feeling and being able to offer their tips and advice. Meet new people, use social media and apps such as Mush Mums to connect with other mothers. You’ll be surprised at how much you have in common ☺
- I love writing lists, I find them therapeutic and believe or not, a list can have me occupied for hours. More recently, I have created a 30 before I am 30-bucket list that I want to complete that will provide fulfilment, memories and happiness. Working on something for me is keeping me occupied and has me in an and has me in an uplifting mood. I would strongly recommend @ellaiconic cute #CEO purchases, I have one and it allows you to write lists in the different aspects of our lives. Please do not knock it, seriously, it has helped me take control of my own happiness and be less reliant on the company of others.
Being able to talk up, make changes and reach out, if often easier said than done but with help and support you can change the way you feel. It is not an overnight job but have patience and if anyone ever feels lonely and wants to talk feel free to drop me a DM @LifeMilk2016 at any time. Mwah…x