Successful Mothers are not the ones that have never struggled, they are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.
There are times during postpartum when you may feel quite lonely. This is a normal feeling that most of us experience at one time or another during postpartum, but these feelings may still take you by surprise. Let’s start by trying to identify some of the things in your life that may be making you feel more alone right now:
- Maybe you are missing your coworkers if you’re currently on maternity leave
- Maybe you’re feeling disconnected from your partner
- Maybe it hits you during those late night feedings
- Maybe you’re missing family who live far away who haven’t met your baby yet (or who are close and are being less involved than you’d like)
- Maybe you’re feeling disappointed that more local friends and neighbors haven’t checked in on you and your family
Or maybe it’s something else all together. Know that in reality you’re not alone, and many other postpartum moms are feeling exactly the same way you are right now.
Once you figure out where your loneliness is stemming from, try to find some creative ways to add more connection with others into your daily life. This may look like:
- Talking to a neighbor on your morning walk
- Reaching out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
- Scheduling a date night with your partner
- Doing a zoom call with family who live far away
- Meeting coworkers for coffee or lunch
- Joining a new mom’s group
- Starting therapy
It can be hard to ask for what you need from others, but if you’re feeling isolated, these things may help offset some of the feelings of loneliness for you.
Real life example: I remember feelings really lonely being home alone all day when my oldest was a baby, without any adult contact or conversation for hours and hours on end. I ended up joining a local mom’s group, which gave me friendship and support from the other moms, as well as something fun to look forward to during the week. Today, I’m still friends with many of the moms I met in this baby playgroup years ago!
Hope for the Future
It can be very difficult when you are feeling hopeless about the future and struggling with finding things to feel hopeful about right now in postpartum. This often happens when life is hard in the present and we don’t feel like it will improve any time soon, if at all. It can be helpful to dream about things you would like to happen, and then figure out what actionable steps you can take in the present to move yourself one step closer to this new reality.
An important thing to remember here is that:
- The road to healing isn’t linear; there will, unfortunately, be setbacks along the way. This is normal, and not a statement about you or your choices.
Know that you will get better and you will feel like yourself again soon. Please reach out to a medical professional or therapist if you need more help and support.