Are you feeling lonely, mama?
So many of us mamas feel lonely. I have known this loneliness well myself. My daughter’s first year of life was a very lonely time for my husband and I, for many reasons. Social media like facebook and instagram can serve to deepen this isolation. Yes motherhood can be beautiful (and at times even photogenic), but its so far from perfect. When you are feeling alone, comparing yourself to others and feeling like you are falling short can feel the worst of all.
So what is a mama to do?
LOVE (the verb)
I have some dear friends who taught me about love. Not romantic love, but unconditional love. We met Randolph and Felicia when we bought our new house. They live next door. No matter how distracted we were, they always made themselves available to us. No matter how scattered or sad or lost I felt, they always made me feel welcome. They invited us over for dinner, watched our kid whenever we needed them to, and invited us to worship. They never forget a birthday, holiday or anniversary. This summer after Mike left for D.C., Felicia brought Tucy and I gifts. She gave me a beautiful dress that made me feel pretty. Though she maybe never knew it, it was just what I needed.
These days, if there is someone that I know needs a little extra help, even if I don’t know them very well, I try very hard to be there for them. This is especially true for pregnant mamas, new mamas, and other mamas with their hands full in general (don’t we all). These days Tucy must think that every practically everyone we know has a new baby or a baby in their belly! But she loves new mamas as much as I do.
Getting my husband through law school means that we don’t have much extra money. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help. I have found that things that people need help with the most don’t cost much. I love to cook, and everyone appreciates a good meal. Most gifts we make ourselves. I especially love making bath salts and sugar scrubs, all natural and organic of course 😉
People are always so surprised, just like I first was, when someone does something nice for them. But what they learn is that it doesn’t make them less strong to need things from other people. We human beings are built this way. We rely on each other, we need each other, and when we help each other, it just feels good.
I have learned that the more I listen, the less lonely I feel.
Don’t get me wrong … just because I help other people doesn’t mean that I’m not a hot mess. I’m still a hot mess. But when I look around and think about it, I realize that I always have a little something to give, and there is always someone who needs it. And believe it or not, when it’s my turn for things fall apart (as they often do), someone always comes through.