Never Alone. But Lonely.

Loneliness.

A word reserved for the widowed pensioner. And with beautiful children to create endless joyous noise in a busy home, a forbidden word for mothers.

And yet. Loneliness is a real, albeit guiltily harboured, emotion amongst mums.

Surrounded by children, constantly needed, constantly busy, dashing between the school gates and the swimming pool, the dentist and the supermarket. Never alone.

But lonely.

I count myself lucky to be self-employed. I can make my own hours and fit work around being a mum. Many parents don’t have that flexibility and so I am grateful for my situation. I do miss having colleagues, however. My husband works long hours. He is a wonderful father to our children and provides for them in a way that makes me incredibly proud to be his wife. But we are often like ships passing in the night. One of us is opening a laptop as the other assumes childcare duties. Roles are then swapped as one of us heads off to a meeting while the other stuffs the rowdies into the car in a bid to make it to drama class on time.

Sustaining friendships as a parent is a task. I’ve always favoured quality over quantity in friends and so have a handful of wonderful, dear friends who I know would be at my doorstep in a crisis long before I would have to ask.  However, casual socialising requires military planning and with geographical distance and the general busyness of life plotting against us, it’s easy to go months without a proper catch-up. My sister lives in London, my brother in Leeds and whilst my parents are only a 20-minute drive away, they have their own work commitments.

It would be easy to throw out clichés at this juncture. “Join a parent-toddler group!” “Go to an aerobics class!” “Invite a fellow school mum round for coffee…”

To be brutally honest, when I read suggestions like this, I cringe.

We are not living in a fantasy land of rainbows and daisy chains. It’s easier said than done to walk into any one of the above situations, not knowing a soul. Friendships are not always formed; sometimes there are impenetrable cliques already established; people don’t always welcome you with outstretched arms and a hand-woven friendship bracelet, ready and willing to be lifelong buddies.

I have no answers. Perhaps things will be less lonely as the children get older and want to discuss world news and good reads over who would win a fight between Owlette and Dr.Ranj.

Perhaps I need to stop moaning.

Perhaps I need to concentrate on how bloody lucky I am to have three hilarious, gorgeous children running riot around this house every day.

And yet for all the noise and the chatter, the never-ending cacophony of spoons being dropped and juice being slurped, there is that dull, quiet, nagging feeling, of being a little bit alone.

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1 Comment

  1. 12th May 2018 / 12:26 pm

    I feel this all the time! Not alone, but lonely. It’s awful, I hate feeling like it. It’s not easy to just form a friendship just like that…I hope it goes away soon! Xx

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