AUGUST 20, 2023 BY CHELSEA SKAGGS: COACH
Hey mama, are you feeling like you’re on an island? An island of diapers, spit-up, and baby talk, with no adult interaction in sight? Well, you’re not alone in this. It’s called “mom isolation,” and it’s a phenomenon many of us face, especially in the early years of motherhood. But fear not! There are ways to escape the isolation and connect with fellow moms who just ‘get it.’ Let’s talk about how.
Understanding Mom Isolation
Mom isolation isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a real issue backed by scientific research. According to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, many new mothers struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation. This silent struggle can be deeply painful, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
This finding underscores the importance of seeking connections and support. As Brene Brown aptly said, “Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
It’s crucial to understand that feeling isolated does not mean you’re failing as a mother. It’s a common experience shared by many new mothers, primarily fueled by significant life changes, sleep deprivation, and the constant demands of caring for a newborn. Recognizing these feelings is the first step towards overcoming them.
Finding Your Mom Tribe
But how can you find your tribe and avoid mom isolation? Here’s a checklist to get started:
- Join Social Media Groups: Consider platforms like Facebook for local mom groups. You can also try Peanut, a networking app for moms.
- Attend Local Meetups: Try services like Meetup to find local mom groups and events.
- Enroll in Mom and Baby Classes: Local gyms and community centers often have classes, like Kindermusik. There are even some great babywearing dance classes like this one in Columbus, Ohio (also streamed live so you can join!)
- Postpartum Together Small Groups: As a new mom, you need to have a space to talk about all of it and make sense of the changes in your life. Postpartum Small groups bring together women just like you to navigate the highs and lows and give you a strong foundation as a mom.
To combat mom isolation, you need to connect with others, share your experiences, and allow yourself to lean on your mom tribe when needed.
5 Ways to Combat Isolation as a New Mom:
Isolation can really get in your head. It can make you feel like you’re failing as a mom, you aren’t a good friend, your partner is distant, etc. These thoughts usually creep in when we are already feeling down and isolated so the key is to keep your brain and body in a good place.
Self-care is more than just bubble baths and spa days. It’s about taking time to connect with yourself, to heal and to recharge. Investing in mental health resources can be a transformative step towards overcoming feelings of isolation. A book I highly recommend for those struggling with postpartum mental health is “The Postpartum Depression Workbook” by Abigail Burd, LCSW, PMH-C, whom I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with on different projects. It provides effective strategies to navigate postpartum emotions and fosters a healthier mindset. Furthermore, consider investing in a journal for jotting down thoughts and emotions. Writing can be therapeutic and provide valuable self-insight. For practicing this care in community with others, Postpartum Together Small Groups make the space and provide empowering resources for you to do so.
Planning a Girls Trip
There’s nothing like a getaway trip with your closest friends to break the monotony and refresh your mind. It’s a chance to rejuvenate, bond, and above all, remind yourself of your identity beyond motherhood. Planning a girls trip can also serve as a tangible event to look forward to, helping to mitigate feelings of isolation.
Planning Date Nights
Even with the addition of a little one, it’s essential to keep the spark alive in your relationship. Night In Boxes provides curated date night boxes that can help create fun, intimate, and creative dates at home. It’s a wonderful way to reconnect with your partner amidst the chaos of parenting.
Engaging in Shared Interests
Joining groups or clubs that align with your interests can help you connect with people beyond just being mothers. This could be a book club, a cooking class, or even a fitness group. Websites like Eventbrite often host virtual and physical events that can help you connect with others.
Asking for Help
Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to do this alone. Reach out to friends, family, or professional services like Postpartum Support International which provides support, resources, and trained professionals to talk to.
You’re Not Broken, Momma
Remember, loneliness and isolation in motherhood are more common than we realize. What’s important is taking the initiative to step out of it, one day at a time. And to echo the words of C.S Lewis, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” It’s okay to reach out, connect, and find your crew.”
Do you have questions, or need more advice on combatting mom isolation? I’d love to help. Email me at email@example.com.
Remember, mama, you’re not alone. Reach out, connect, and find your crew. They’re out there waiting for you!