Do You Feel Alone
By: Alysia Lyons
A few weeks ago, I attended a virtual conference where I heard the term YANA for the first time. You Are Not Alone. I heard it again yesterday, and it made me think about the things I’ve felt most alone with as a mom.
I’ve felt guilty, ashamed, alone, afraid and many other emotions that I felt were my burden to bear on my own. No one else understands what I’m feeling, I’d think. I’m too embarrassed to share this with anyone else; what will they think of me?
During these times, being a mom has been difficult and lonely.
On my podcast, Imperfect Mommying: Better Parenting Through Self-Healing, the topic of community comes up quite frequently. We are not meant to mom alone. However, in the last few years, we’ve started isolating ourselves as family units. We don’t socialize much outside the people we live with, and when we do, we rarely talk about the things we struggle with as moms.
We’ve isolated ourselves, and it’s not healthy.
In my coaching community, we describe the inside of our mind as the self-abuse room. And when we isolate ourselves as moms, the only thoughts we have access to are the ones in our self-abuse room and occasionally the thoughts shared on social media, which, most of the time, only contribute to the negativity in our own minds.
If your best friend were to say to you some of the things you say to yourself, you would immediately come to her defense. Most of the time, you wouldn’t say, “Yeah, you’re right; you are a pretty crappy mom. You really should have known better or done better. If you were a better mom, your house would be clean, and dinner would be on time and healthy. You should really try being more like Susie Q. She’s fantastic.”
But these are the kinds of things we say to ourselves, on repeat, all day, and we may not even be aware of it. This is why community is so important. When we have a safe place to share how we feel with others, we have the opportunity to realize we are not alone, and we have people who know our hearts and our intentions, which will keep our self-abuse room in check.
I’ve heard people say, “It’s hard to make friends as an adult.”
Believe me, I get it. Especially post-pandemic, making friends or finding the time to connect with them can be difficult. But it’s also not as hard as we think it is. Most of the time, it’s a matter of making it a priority in your life.
I googled “How to find friends as an adult” to help with the suggestions I’m about to list. Here are five ways of meeting new people as found on Wikihow.com:
- Join a club – Book clubs, sports clubs, and other shared interests are great ways to meet new people. I recently joined a local mom group on Facebook, and they are getting together at Starbucks next week.
- Reach out to others when you go out – Consider trying to talk to one new person every time you go out. The fair is in town this week, and my boyfriend and I invited the parents of one of my son’s friends to join us when we went.
- Say “Yes” to more activities – You aren’t going to make new friends binge-watching your favorite TV show. Go to Facebook or MeetUp.com and find events in town to go to.
- Make friends with family members – If your family is local and you get along with them, reach out and see if they would like to spend time together.
- Become a regular somewhere – Local coffee shops are a great place to hang out and be looking for people you can connect with.
This article has more details than listed above, and these suggestions are designed to spark some ideas of your own. I know that over the last few years, I’ve connected with a lot of moms of the children my son makes friends with. Don’t be afraid to use your own kids and their friends to make friends of your own!
If you’re struggling with this and would like to join a community of Facebook moms, feel free to join my group, Moms Conquering Guilt. I am passionate about helping driven moms determined to enjoy every day, love on their kids more, and feel freedom in their life. Don’t settle for the status quo; you deserve so much more.