Sunday, August 22, 2010

lonely moms?

dear emily,

i just ran into a young mom who wished she had a friend with whom
she could share her heart and struggles.  she said that as much as she
loved her two little boys, they couldn't discuss the issues in her heart
or even fashion, for that matter.  her husband could only answer,
"does this make me look fat?" so many times.



i've also read a few blogs written by some other lonely moms, saying
that they just didn't have time to be with their friends.  no time for
friends?

it is heartbreaking to hear about such loneliness . . . and a little
befuddling.  when my children were little, we met my friends and
their children at the park, the pool, or the church all the time.   once
they began attending 'real' school, it was harder to see my closest
friends, but i made new ones in the basketball stands, and i caught
up with the old ones whenever possible.




is it really harder now for young moms to make new friends or to spend
time with their dear friends?  is it that we are becoming more remote
from each other because of the internet, etc.?

i have the most wonderful, caring, selfless friends in the world, and
cannot imagine my life without them.  i can remember my mom's
best friend laughing in our kitchen over coffee and my grandmother's
helping her to can sandplums.  women are wired for companionship,
and it worries me to imagine our culture without that.

i would love to hear your suggestions to help these lonely moms find
some kinship.

love,
lea

"a friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity."
proverbs 17:17

28 comments:

Debbie said...

I'm probably not the best one to answer this question since I don't have children. But I've many friends with kids. I taught for seven years in the children's program of BSF and saw the moms drop their little ones off as they went on the class. I loved to see them return laughing with other moms they met in class. And many of them became good friends, taking their children to the park so they could play and the moms could continue their conversations.

I made so many friends through this time too. I've been getting together once a month for five years now with 12 of the women I met through BSF. We know we are there for each other through thick and thin.

I cannot imagine life without my girl friends.

But I also have to add that I'm grateful for my blogging friends too. I had the privilege to meet about a dozen so far in person and I've never been disappointed.

Blessings and love,
Debbie

myletterstoemily said...

debbie: i never did BSF, but we did
meet at the church or in each other's
homes for bible studies and fellowship.
it saved our lives!!!

thanks for the encouragement.

Farm Girl said...

Hi Lea,
Thanks for coming by and yes, I am going to do a 10 pound challenge just because when school starts I am motivated and on a schedule. I think Moms that stay are home are lonely, but I was like you, I just made friends wherever I went. My girls on the other hand do get very lonely with just babies to talk to all of the time. I took every Wednesday as baby day and the girls came over and I let them hang out and I chased babies and I let them destroy my house. We even do a Bible study of sorts.
I always feel that if as a young Mom they can get out of the house it helps them to be better Moms and wives.
I firmly believe in the younger women being taught by the older women so that is why I do it, not to mention my grand babies are a added benefit. So many mothers and grandmothers go back to work so I think there is a bunch of lonely women. Wow, some soap box, Huh?
We are changing to Friday mornings this school year just because it works better for them, but I am thankful to God for giving me this gift.
Once I started Home schooling, I had my home school group that I did everything with but I think that for women with toddlers and babies they are yes, lonely.
As your friend says in the above comment, BSF was my first introduction into Christianity, it is where I accept Jesus and learned the Bible so that is a good place to point lonely women and I know we have a BSF program for babies. It is hard.

Andrea said...

It is hard to get together with friends. I find that we all have clashing routines. I had the hardest time making new friends though, until my kids started school. Now, I am meeting more and more moms, but still find it hard to get together with them. How did we get so busy?

Thmini2 said...

I don't have kids, but it is hard to get together with other people as they all seem to work different shifts. At least mine do. Working evenings makes it hard as most clubs, meetings, etc meet at night. I think now that almost all women work away from home it makes it much harder.

Rosie said...

Hello my dear...
I must say I had more time when my children were young. There was a group of moms that would get together for the most wonderful "craft Wednesday"...more giggling and silliness, than crafting. I would look forward to this tiny little light in the middle of the week with great anticipation...now, I must admit, although I love to go for tea with the girls {and I do}, I enjoy my blog friends just as much. Many hours are taken up with business, and I find, I can come for respite or encouragement at any hour of the day or night...a bit crazy I know...but this is my life right now...thank you for your Sweet Christian fellowship and encouragement, always a blessing...love Rosie

Sandy said...

I agree with Andrea that it's
the conflicting schedules that
make it hard for us to get
together. Everyone is so very
busy these days. You have to
make time to spend time with
friends. It's always worth it
when you do.

Jemm said...

I find it VERY hard to find women that are not working AND have school aged children. We moved only a year ago out to the country on 8 miles of gravel. I am one of those lonely moms, unfortunately. But I completely agree about the importance of friends. It's just always been hard for me.

Emily said...

Which one are you in the pictures?? Isn't the one in the black bikini your youngest??

Joan Elizabeth said...

I'm not qualified to answer on this one, having no kids, but my circle of friends has always been small. Some of us are wired to like our space.

High Heeled Life said...

Hi Lea, my heart goes out these women! I had always been blessed with good friends around me and to have shared in so much with them and me with them.
In the months that followed after my accident - were it not for my friends, I often wonder how I would have made it.(family lives 4 plus hours away)
Having always had lots of friends around I found it very hard when we moved out to the country (an hour plus for most to travel 1 way),I think as changes occur in life some friends stay while others move on.
As I become stronger (health wise), I look forward to making new friends in the town we now live. I can't imagine going back to live in the city.. but I do miss my friendships!! I'm making some great Blogging Friends and have made a new friend Suburban Princess - and though we live almost 2 hours apart .. we have still managed to find time to get together. I truly think people find time to do what they really want to. HHL

Mmm said...

I sued to have a lot of friends when our kids were little and growing up. Parenthood can be a great uniter and an instant commonality to break the conversation gap with strangers. now my kids are getting older, and so much has happened in my life, I am finding it much harder but you know, I still need others to talk to , to encourage my journey alone the way.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Lea
You know I don't have kids but as I get older I find it much harder to spend time with my friends as they seem to be in a whirlwind of transporting kids to and from organized activities.... seems there have little or no downtime.. mum or kids..

I remember as kids we learnt to occupy our time creatively.. and inventively.. and didn't need 'organized activities' to keep us amused... It strange .. I always wonder about this... if it is so great for kids to be so busy.. what about learning to amuse oneself? ... but .. as I am not a mum... i guess it is hard for me to make an informed decision..

Hope you have a great week xxx Julie

Kate said...

great idea for a post lea! i think there are so many lonely mommas out there. my kids are too young for school and i am a natural extrovert who lives in the city, so i tend to struggle more with over-socializing. i could see how a natural-born introvert who lives outside of town a bit could have a really hard time with loneliness. i'd be lost without my girlfriends :) a great way to meet mommas is at library story time or at the park...or at the nursing mothers room at church. it is such a relief to find people who are willing to talk about life's issues and struggles, rather that always pretending that everything is perfect.

love,
kate

Sonja said...

When my kids were little, my life sounded much like yours, there were always friends, and we were together all through the week, in the neighborhood, church etc. My hubby flew out nearly every week and was gone most of the week, so those friendships were so vital.

Now I watch my kids with their friends, doing much the same. They have both boys and girls, and I hope your friend will find her place among other young moms. It sure means a lot!

A Tale of Two Cities said...

When you are a young mom, friends can be your lifeline. I can't imagine raising my children without a good support system like the one I had. Most of my relationships came through church activities, and getting involved with a mother's day out program. It does take stepping out a bit at first and getting plugged in with some activities while your children are in pre-school especially. Great topic for discussion.

Have a great week,
Debi

myletterstoemily said...

i realize now that i presumed everyone
lived in town with a ready access to
the church, park, and library like i had.

it must be so much harder and lonelier
in the country to get together with
friends.

emily: i'm not in either photo.

EntertainingMom said...

I remember how isolating being a new mother was. Even with all my friends I still felt so lonely at times. As with any friendship, creating new friends requires an effort. I was always busy. I joined new mommy groups through my pediatrician's office and the hospital where my children were born. I signed up for music classes and baby exercise classes. These were not so much for my little ones but for me. I had a planned activity once a day. Eventually I met mothers and we bonded. Friendships were made. We created playgroups and went to restaurants, the park and the beach.

There is really no reason one has to feel alone during those early motherhood years. It just takes a little resource and creativity.

Vee said...

Each woman is such a unique creation and how easily she makes friends varies widely from one gal to the next. I remember being very, very lonely as a young mother. Most of my friends were not SAHMs as I was. When my children went to school and I returned to teaching, things picked up quite a bit. This sounds as if it would be a great area of concern for the local church to take on.

I have actually written papers on the loss of neighborhood as it relates to working moms. I truly believe that families would be more healthy, neighborhoods would be more healthy, entire communities would be more healthy, if a man could earn a living wage and his wife did not have to work if she didn't want to. It used to be that community was held together by the moms. This I firmly believe. Not any more...if we know our neighbors at all, it's quite unusual. But that's a story for another day...

Zuzu said...

Hi Lea,
I didn't have any trouble meeting other mamas and making friends while my kids were growing up. But now my kids are grown adults and I live in a remote area and my sweet sister passed away.
So I started blogging. Not the same thing as being with others in person, but it does help with the loneliness & Hubby doesn't have to go all oooooo&ahhhhhhh over pink fabric.
I think in general, life is moving along much faster now & it seems more difficult to get together with others. Perhaps if this young mom started a play-date group by asking others to join in, that would form some new friendships.

Zuzu

Single and Sane said...

This wasn't true when your kids were growing up, but when a few of us got together a few weeks ago, we started talking about how, when we were kids, we'd leave the house in the morning or after lunch and the only rule was "be home by dinnertime." Our moms had free time even in the summer, because we had the freedom to roam the neighborhood all day.

Kids don't have that freedom anymore, so moms have fewer opportunities to get together with friends when kids are not in school. That's a loss for both moms and kids.

You're right. Moms need to make the most of every opportunity to socialize, wherever they can find it.

Margaret

Brittany Ann said...

Military moms (and wives in general) try hard not to let this happen. My group alone plane at least two things a week, which we can always bring kids to if we have them.

We fold laundry together on Monday nights, have a craft day every other Thursday of the month, and do something on Saturday with the husbands when they aren't deployed about once a month.

We also run shopping errands together.

It keeps us sane, especially when we're without our spouses.

It helps me, and we don't even have little blessings yet!

myletterstoemily said...

brittany:

wow, the military wives have sure
learned how to do this esprit de
corps thing well!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Honey I think when you mentioned the internet you might have got a lot of your answer there.
I have lifelong friends that I have known and loved for over 50 years.
I honestly don't think women now have what we had when we raised our children. They don't take the time to make lasting friendships. Or who knows I could be wrong just going by what I have seen around me.
Love
Maggie

Bree said...

Bible studies with childcare always blessed my days when our boys were little. In fact MOPS was a huge time in my life-not only did they love me by giving me coffee and food (that generally I didn't have to make!) but I had a time for fellowship and encouragement and it was a huge step in the growing of my faith. There were times I went simply because I needed a break and I was blessed (as were our kiddos) beyond measure to learn about my Heavenly Father--our God is so good and knows our every need :)
Bless you! Praying for your wisdom and discernment with these sweet mamas. Praying for them.
Bree

Girl Meets Paris said...

I had a lot of friends when my kids were little. When I moved to a new town, I joined something called a "Young Mother's Club." We met once a month, but in that, we spun off into smaller groups. Mine was Bunko. It was so fun... and we all had our second babies together. Of course this was great, but church has always been my main lifeline. Also, other moms I met at my children's schools. Oh, and lest I forget Ladies Bible Study... a great way I got out of the house every Tuesday morning... and still do! Childcare was always provided by our church... a blessing!

Now I'm almost an empty nester, and everyone I know works. I do get lonely, but I'm getting more comfortable with that. But I do LONG for a friend I can call on the spur of the moment to stop by for a cup of coffee, or to go window shopping with. Still looking... :)

Anonymous said...

i agree with you that we women are better moms, wives, daughters, etc/etc when we share life with friends. i made friends over the years in those wonderful basketball, soceer and football stands along with drama and band parent projects. but my closest friends, those girls i can share my most intimate needs and fullfilling life experiences are those that i've studied God's Word with whether in a Bible study or just "walking" together sharing His Word. oh, and i've also made wonderful friends while exercising over the years----fitness classes are wonderful places to meet other women like ourselves-----one time i moved away and came back 5 years later to my class. there was a friend i had only known in that class, that i hadn't seen in 5 years who said "well, glad you could finally come back to class"

Jenners said...

I do think it is easy to become a lonely mom if your friends before the baby aren't in the same place in life. I know I didn't "get" it when some of my college friends had babies right after college ... I was single and focused on a career. Now, they have teenagers and I'm with a 1st grader. I think you need to seek out those in the same space you are in life ... it helps to have someone to commiserate with.