Motherhood is Lonely

Gosh, being a mom can be lonely. No one told me that. And when you are expecting your first baby, people tell you a lot of things. Some nuggets of advice you want to hear. Others just make you want to roll your eyes and excuse yourself from the conversation as quickly as possible.

You know something no one told me? That one piece of advice I never heard?

Motherhood is lonely.

As joyful as being a mom has been, it has been really hard too. These {almost} three years have brought me unspeakable joy and immense darkness. I have felt all the feelings there are to feel – and sometimes that’s just in the span of a single morning. But the biggest surprise of all is how isolating motherhood has felt.

The weight of your children’s lives is on your shoulders all the time. You don’t get the day off. Ever. When your children are sick at school, you’re the first to get the call. A nightmare? Chances are, your children want you to comfort them. You are the one that knows what meals they had yesterday, how much of it they ate, which parts ended up on the floor, and what they will eat tomorrow. As the mom, you are the one that knows what medications they are currently taking, along with the corrected dosages. You’ve got their schedules memorized because you know that your world truly revolves around that nap {and you know all too well the repercussions if they miss it}.

Their little world is entrusted into your hands, and it can be a mighty overwhelming job. Motherhood is big and consuming and heavy. Sometimes you feel like you are all alone, even when you have an incredible husband pulling his weight. Because he’s not the default parent…you are.

This summer we were on our annual vacation with our closest friends, who have kids about the same age as mine. I’ve got the baby of the pack {this year, at least}. As you know, babies sleep a lot, or at least they’re supposed to. And sometimes they cramp your vacation style with all their napping, fevers, and ear infections {or at least mine did}. One afternoon, my girlfriends were having moms’ hour floating the lazy river while I stayed back in the hotel room with my sick, sleeping baby. And while I thoroughly enjoyed my nap with him, I hated missing out on the fun conversations and much needed time in the sun with my friends. They were making memories without me.

Look, I get it. There was no reason for them to miss out on their vacation fun on account of my baby and me. But, for a moment, it almost felt like the junior high lunchroom again. I was left out.

By the time my baby woke up and I got us both dressed and ready for the pool, they were all headed back to put their kids down for their naps. I went ahead to the pool anyway. But, if I’m being honest, it’s mostly because it’s such an ordeal to get an infant dressed for the pool. There was just no turning back. And he loved floating in his little boat and kicking his squishy legs so freely in the water. I remember floating that river with my adorable seven month old, surrounded by hundreds of happy tourists, some of whom were fussing over my baby. I should have felt like a proud mom showing off my little one and all his cuteness. But I didn’t feel that way at all. Instead, I hid big crocodile tears behind my aviators. I had never felt so lonely in my entire life.

When you think about it, isn’t it unnerving how you can feel so alone when you are surrounded by people?

Loneliness is hard, and it is a demon that I wasn’t prepared to fight in motherhood. But it reared its ugly head regardless, and I’ve staggered through this stage, just as I did with post-partum depression. And just like I’ll do with the next stages of motherhood.

But you know what I’ll also do? I’ll wake up each day and instead of choosing to be the victim of my feelings, I’ll choose my kids instead. I’ll study their little feet and their round faces, knowing all too well that these sweet years are just too short. I’ll say “yes” to another game of tag with my squealing toddler. I’ll get on the floor and let my baby boy crawl into my arms and pull on my long hair like I’m Rapunzel. And in those moments when I feel lonely, I’ll hang on tightly and remember that this too shall pass.

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Originally from Louisiana, Brittney has called Houston home for nearly all her life. Brittney graduated from Houston Baptist University where she was a member of Phi Mu and a four-year cheerleader. It didn’t take long after graduation for her to meet her husband Jeremy on the sand volleyball courts at Memorial Park. She jokes that when marrying Jeremy, she also married LSU because she tied the knot with the most passionate Tiger football fan. Many weekends in the fall, they can be found in the shadows of Tiger Stadium at their big family tailgating party. Brittney has a Master's Degree from LSU and works in secondary education as an administrator and a cheerleading coach. Brittney and Jeremy have three boys, Connor {Nov 2012}, Parker {Nov 2014}, and Ryan {May 2018}. Brittney is a big baby-making, food allergy fighting, NICU surviving mom. Though she grew up surrounded by hairbows, pom poms, and lots of pink, Brittney now embraces being a boy mom. She loves raising her three boys and learning all about superheroes, baseball, and the pain of stepping on a lego when barefoot. In her kid-free time she enjoys working on craft projects, getting lost in a good book, and watching Grey's Anatomy.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Your honesty is appreciated! So many moms feel that they have to act like everything about motherhood is perfect and magical…there is so much fluff that flies around the motherhood circles that it can be even further isolating. Props to you for reaching out and being real!

  2. This will definetly pass and way too soon. You spend your whole life being their default parent and then they go off to college and loneliness for them hits you almost daily when apart and even when leaving them once you’ve seen them. God be with you because through their teenage years there will be lonely times even when they are right next to you because they are figuring out who they are so at times you won’t know either. Sorry to be a downer but I am encouraged by your transparency and like you I grab and take any moment I have with them because I lost my sister last year and I would give anything to have some time with her. Love you CF!

  3. Good article! Just wanted to mention that the term “crocodile tears” means something different than how you’ve used it here. “Crocodile tears” are *insincere* tears or expressions of sorrow, not genuine ones. (Source: Just Google it.)

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