March 4, 2020
I was recently reading that according to a study done in 2018 by the Global Health Service Company Cigna, 46% of adults in the United States reported feeling lonely and 47 % reported feeling left out. I don’t know about you but these numbers are not only sad but they are alarming. Here we are 2 years later and I wonder if these numbers are even higher than they were then!
I have definitely seen an increase in sadness, depression and anxiety in my patients and their parents. While we do not specifically ask patients if they are feeling lonely, I suspect that many would answer yes to that question.
We are living in a time where we are fooling ourselves into feeling connected via social media and chats but is it makes you wonder if it is really fulfilling our innate human need for relationships. Humans are social. We thrive when we feel included, loved and worthwhile. This is not just children, its adults too.
New moms often feel isolated as they find themselves for the first time home alone with one or more kids that depend on them for everything they need leaving little time to do anything for themselves. Feeling alone and with feelings of guilt for being sad when the world expects them to feel grateful all of the time for being moms. The problem is that along with those feelings of gratitude in parenting there are days that are just hard, and that doesn’t make you a bad mom.
When a mom is feeling sad or overwhelmed this affects her ability to show up as her best self day after day. This affects her relationship with her kids and sometimes results in yelling, frustration and impatience. The worst part is that usually when we lose our temper we feel terrible about it.
So try to put yourself out there. Join a mommy and me class if you can. Try to find another new mom that maybe you can walk with or meet up with once a week. You need to make it a priority in the same way that you make it a priority to take a shower. Relationships are what help our minds healthy and we need to prioritize this. Do not let motherhood isolate you from your friends or the rest of the world.
Even if you feel like the friends that don’t have kids just don’t get it, keep the friendships that mean something to you. You are still the same person you were before you had kids just with a lot more responsibilities. Don’t shut people out because they aren’t going through what you’re going through. Grow together and forgive each other when you make a mistake.
I know you know how important it is for your kids to have friends, so make sure you remember that you do too.
Have a wonderful week!