No one ever told me that motherhood would be lonely.
How could we possibly feel alone with kids hanging off our bodies, a constant dull roar in the background and the word “Mommy!” on repeat all day?
But there it is. A lonely ache that nags as we push the stroller, change the soggy diaper and kiss the offensive boo boo. Motherhood is quietly lived out in the mundane and simple tasks of everyday life. It is done without anyone noticing. There are days when it is extremely lonely.
As a new mom, I lived hundreds of miles from my family. Days were spent in solitude. Just me and my baby. He didn’t sleep, and trying to fill those long days was hard. I was scared I was going to make a mistake. (I was still new enough that I had no idea how many mistakes I’d make!) The isolation closed in. I just wanted to be seen. To be acknowledged as being. Some days, I still do.
Loneliness comes from the invisibility of motherhood. I was not the only mom who felt alone with a newborn. Today, I am not the first or last mom who feels lonely with tweens and teens. We don’t talk about those lonely days, weeks or years enough, do we?
We just keep on being mamas. We do what needs to be done and a lot more, besides, only to fall into bed, get up and do it all again the next day. And the day after that. Some wonder if the sacrifice is worth it.
The gift of having a loving mother is priceless. We need to be reminded of it through the mess, and the loneliness.
It is worth the cost, but we don’t have to walk through the complexities of motherhood alone. Our invisibility isolates us. Reaching out to other mothers through MOPS, or other play/mom groups, ushers in friendship and community. God created us for relationship, with him and with others. It’s one of His gifts to us, to have friends to walk alongside us.
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
There is power in numbers friends!
And if friends are scarce, He doesn’t leave us stranded. We have hope because He is the God who sees us.
“I will never leave you; I will always be by your side.” Hebrews 13:5 (The Voice)
I find great comfort in this promise. We are not alone in this marathon of motherhood. He’s with us from start to finish.
As a mom of older children, I am finding the decisions are becoming more difficult. I feel alone and scared as I have to help guide my boys through choices about internet, friends, schools and so many other important things. It’s overwhelming. But even in these decisions, He is faithful.
If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. James 1:5 How awesome is our God! As Hagar discovered in the desert:
He is El Roi, the God who sees me.