Written byTabatha Hull
Learning to cope with social isolation as a stay-at-home mom can create a heart of gratitude rather than despair.
Some people are energized by socializing and interacting with others. I am not one of those people. Although I do believe this trait would come in handy for me at times, I have always been on the quiet side and by nature an introvert through and through. I thrive on orderliness, peacefulness, and calmness.
Several years ago, I began my dream job. Although the perks are many, my co-workers adorable, and the rewards priceless, there are some aspects of my job that I struggle with on a regular basis: The atmosphere is loud, chaotic at times, and rarely is everything in order.
It can also be incredibly lonely.
I am a stay-at-home mom.
Apart from God’s saving grace and marrying my best friend, my children are the best thing that has ever happened to me. And although I love them more than I can put into words, I never expected to feel alone in this journey.
Why does my dream job often make me feel like an utter failure? Why is my loneliness so all-consuming at times?
I’ve walked with Jesus long enough to know that it’s not all for nothing…
When you feel alone
If you feel exhausted, invisible, and long to be appreciated, remember this: God sees you.
He sees you as the day gets hard and the built up tears finally fall down your face. He sees you
when you’re overwhelmed and dragged down by life with no one there to lift you up. He sees you in your loneliest, darkest moments.And not only does he see you, he wants to be the first one you turn to. He made you. He alone can satisfy your longings and make you whole.
How to cope with isolation
If you are struggling with feeling lonely as a stay-at-home mom, you’re not the only one. After more than 8 years of staying home with my children, I can honestly say that this has been the most joy filled, as well as the most difficult journey of my 34 years.
And I still get lonely.
Our enemy will do everything in his power to make us feel alone, unappreciated, and defeated. It’s up to us to fight him in God’s strength and remember the sweet grace we’ve been shown.
So here are a few things I’ve learned to do when this despair creeps in…
1. Take your eyes off of yourself
Tough love isn’t always easy to receive, but many times it’s the only way this strong willed momma will learn. I’ve realized that so often my feelings of stay at-home-mom anxiety stem from focusing on myself. I set my mind on my weariness, failures and inadequacies. I focus on how unappreciated I am or how my children should be getting the hang of this maturing thing by now.
As moms, we aren’t perfect and will fail our children. We will fall short of the expectations we set for ourselves.
However, our children do appreciate us. They just don’t always know how to express it. And they are still children! We shouldn’t expect them to behave perfectly when we still struggle in the same areas.
When you take your eyes off of yourself and set your mind on serving others, everything changes. Loving and helping those God has placed in your life brings an incredible amount of joy. He created us this way!
2. Spend quality time with your spouse
Life gets busy. It’s not unusual for me and my husband to go a few months in between date nights. But neglecting to spend much needed time strengthening your marriage is harmful. You need regular and frequent amounts of quality time together with your spouse.
After all, life doesn’t feel as lonely with your best friend by your side. God designed marriage this way. Many times, simply reconnecting with my husband helps me remember the blessings that surround me.
3. Give yourself a break
I love taking care of my children and feel as if this is currently my purpose in life. Spending time away from them feels… well, selfish. But God, in his wisdom, knows that we all need a break sometimes. He took a break and rested on the seventh day, remember?
Yes, our children are of utmost importance, but it is okay to have some alone time or meet up with a friend every once in a while. You’ll be amazed at how much a simple chat over a cup of coffee can refresh your soul.
If you are looking for ways to meet some new momma friends, I’d encourage you to get plugged into a solid Bible believing local church. Serving alongside other ladies in a similar stage of life or connecting with others through a small group setting is a sure way to create new friendships.
4. Take care of your health
Our bodies were designed to be active and fueled by nutritious food. Skipping out on these two aspects of health on a regular basis will only add to your negative thoughts and feelings.
When you are faithful to take care of and truly appreciate the health God has graciously given you, you will feel abundantly better. Whether it be going out for a walk to enjoy God’s creation or taking a class at the gym, physical activity will do your body and brain some good.
Likewise, providing our bodies with proper nutrition can make a world of difference in the way we are able to mentally and emotionally process life.
5. Remember that you are not alone
I remember the days of caring for my colicky baby. I felt isolated, alone, and as if there was no way out.
But God uses difficult phases of life to draw us closer to him. The further along I get into my parenting journey, the more I’m convinced that this is why he blessed me with two very strong willed children and this is why I still feel alone at times.
God wants to use our weaknesses to magnify his strength. He wants to use our hurt to reveal the unconditional and undeserved love he holds for us.
Going through these trials has forced me to realize that I cannot do this on my own and am in desperate need of a Savior. And when I come to him with my burdens, he gives me such peace and hope.
Our faith is strengthened most by the difficult seasons of life.
6. Look at the big picture
If you’re wondering how to stop being a lonely stay-at-home mom, I encourage you to take a step back and look at the Bible as a whole. It’s a beautifully woven together love story from the very first pages of Genesis to the end of Revelation.
It is the true story of a God whose love for the people he created is beyond comprehension. His plan all along was to dwell among us, but that plan was marred when we gave into sin. The crazy thing is that he didn’t just turn His back on us as a result of our rebellion.
Far from it!
He gently convicts and pursues us, longing for the moment we realize our need for him. Not because he needs us, but because he actually wants us! He wants us to realize that we were created with a hole in our hearts that only he could fill.
And then… He sent His perfect sinless Son, Jesus, to earth for the sole purpose of dying the death that we deserve in order to offer us a sweet gift of grace. If we genuinely repent of our sin, believe and accept what Christ did for us, we can be assured of an eternity spent with him in heaven.
The original Greek meaning of the word “repent” means, “to change one’s mind or purpose”. Repentance isn’t simply feeling sorry for what we’ve done or asking forgiveness (although both of these are a natural response). Repentance is a change in our hearts and a brokenness over our sin as we realize the hurt we have caused our Maker.
Your loneliness draws you back to your creator
It’s inevitable: Sometimes in life you will feel lonely. When you do, look up. Look into the eyes of the one who died to be your Savior and can fill every longing in your heart. Although you may not feel it now, this time with your kids is a genuine gift. Be careful not to throw it away.
Set your mind on serving others. Make time with your spouse a priority. Take a break every once in a while and reach out to others for encouragement. Take care of yourself and remember that you’re never alone in this journey.
Yes, motherhood can be trying. And, yes, you may still be a lonely stay-at-home mom at times. But instead of being discouraged, allow God to use your trials to shape and mold you into becoming more like His Son.