Tuesday

Misery Loves Company - The Pain One Feels When All Alone with Children

You don’t know my story as well as millions of others if you haven’t read, “When Mothers Cry.” The topics discussed in that book are the root issues as to why some of us reach a point in motherhood that despite having partners, children, jobs, etc., we still feel alone.  Too much loneliness eventually leads to mental and/or physical pain. Children don’t understand it, a partner might criticize it, but feelings of aloneness are real!

Loneliness isn’t always a bad thing; it can be quite good when used appropriately and for a limited amount of time. For instance, your children are gone for the day and instead of thinking about what they are up to with a family member, friend or daycare, you use your time wisely until you see them again.  You might look to others like you are lonely when you are being quite productive. You are getting things done that you always wanted to do and are feeling good about not having anyone around.

Yet, loneliness has a dark side. It shows up when you least expect it. Too many days of being alone and you can drive yourself mad especially if you have young children you care for and you have little or no time to be around adults. For some moms the support system just isn’t there for those with a cry or many cries about everything from finances to physical ailments. It isn’t because they haven’t reached out, oftentimes many moms with a variety of concerns do connect with someone or a group, but it doesn’t always help. Our minds are just not all wired the same.

I recall a time when I was so lonely to the point that I didn’t care who I talked to while I pushed my double stroller through a small town where most people who lived there were Asian and spoke Chinese. I listened to the broken English speakers as best I could, and we laughed about some things and I felt better during our small exchanges. Some people just don’t realize the power of those small conversations with strangers. They have kept many of us out of trouble.

So how do moms who appear to have everything get to a mental state of loneliness?  For some of us, we get to a place of lonesomeness because we pushed the battles away--the negative people. We stopped fighting with them. We no longer found it necessary to clash with partners, employers, friends, relatives, etc. we simply wanted to fulfill our duties and be appreciated. But when our needs weren’t met and relationships became more of a chore than a benefit, we learned how to keep trouble at bay and then became lonely. Replacements for lonely feelings just didn’t come fast enough, so feelings of isolation took route and for many moms just didn’t leave yet.

Technology adds to the state of loneliness since so many things don’t require connecting with people face-to face. Relocations will also create feelings of seclusion. A controlling partner and/or children will do the same. Aloneness shows up sometimes before or after childbirth, divorce, death of a loved one, hormonal changes or when a child moves away. Thank God the state of loneliness is a temporal season for many of us moms, but it happens. However, loneliness can turn into depression if one chooses to wallow in negative feelings for too long.

When one is experiencing a myriad of emotions connected to loneliness this is when she is also quite vulnerable. She becomes a magnet for others like her, but sometimes these women don’t mean well. They are miserable about certain life issues they may share or not. In addition, they may not have a faith and have not been free out of loneliness in quite a long time. These women may come off as pushy, needy and/or desperate for a friend or someone they can “help.” But their aid isn’t often appreciated because there is a hint of power and control mixed up in it that other women might have picked up on and so they don’t stick around.

Misery shows up and says, “If you need me, I’m here, but I have my own share of problems--lots of them. Listen to me and I might listen to you. Don’t rely on me…I’ll call you when I feel like it. But then maybe I won’t, I’ll be busy, so busy.” You might know someone like that. One big contradiction yet she feels alone sometimes, so she says.

Children oftentimes don’t fulfill any voids, if anything they can create an emotional disconnect with one’s self and cause you to forget about you to the point that you don’t feel deserving of anything not even a friend. Before long you are headed down a path where children are everything and you are nothing. Don’t do that! See the signs and get back on track--you were here before children and when they are gone, you are left not only with a partner, but with you too! If you have a faith, use it!

The key to shaking loneliness is to break routines every now and again. Be around people even if you don’t feel like talking to them. Reconnect with those things you once enjoyed that are beneficial to your mind, body and soul (and we aren’t talking about the things that God would frown upon). Be enlightened by learning something new and doing different things.  Who knows you might make a new friend?

When you start being more content with you, loneliness will drop off like the pounds you lose when you exercise and control your meal portions. Say goodbye to the dark side of loneliness!

Nicholl McGuire is the owner and manager of this blog.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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