When I first moved back home to Wales we lived in Abergavenny. I was in a brand new town and was also a brand new Mum. Even though I had my beautiful boy and was also pregnant with Frankie by the time he was 6 months old it was probably the loneliest time of my life.
Some may say how can you feel lonely when you have a baby as all of your focus should be on them. Or you shouldn’t feel lonely , it’s selfish as you have your baby and that should be enough to stop you feeling lonely. But feeling lonely as a mum is a thing. Yes you love the bones of your baby and they are the centre of your universe , but you still exist too and need other human interaction and friends.
When we moved to Abergavenny I literally didn’t know one single person there. Archie was 10 weeks old and I was a first time mum still trying to find my feet. I was desperate to meet some other mummy friends and fantasised about going for coffee and play dates and chatting to loads of other Mums at playgroups. Isn’t this what being a stay at home mum involved? Yes in a perfect idealistic world it probably did.
Archie basically hated sleep so I was very sleep deprived and always up at the crack of dawn. Most days James would leave the house by 6.30 am and would not be home until around 6pm. This was such a long time to go without talking or interacting with another adult , some days I would literally see no one. I did start to feel really isolated and lonely.
I decided to join a local baby group. I was so excited and off I went with high expectations. It was awful I hated it! I had never felt so awkward in my whole life. I’m a really sociable and outgoing person and always have been , not afraid to chat and say hello.
There were a few Mums at the group they all seemed to know each other so I sat myself down amongst them in the circle. I attempted to start a conversation with the woman next to me but she near on blanked me , just nodded and literally put her back to me and started chatting to the other Mums. I will never forget that it made me feel so low , I actually cried when I got out of there.
I continued to go to this group because it was good for Archie and seeing him smile and enjoy the music was enough to keep me going back. I will never forget how long those days were. Looking back I think I was definitely low and not myself in those early days. Being alone most days , sleep deprivation not having anyone to relate to really did contribute to that. I was never diagnosed with post natal depression but only now can I admit that I probably was suffering with it but thankfully managed to pull myself out of it.
I was so lucky that when we moved I found the most beautiful mother and tots group and have definitely made friends for life. Could not have asked for a more down to earth group of mummies. They make me laugh daily and never get bored with talking about tantrums , poo and sick.
I love my babies so much and they are my world , but they can’t chat about fashion and have a glass of vino with me. You do need friends when you are a mum and people you can relate to and count on to keep you going . When you are having a really crappy day its amazing even to just pop a text to your friend who just gets it. Being able to share with them that you’ve just stepped in shit because you’re trying to potty train your two-year old but he isn’t quite getting the grasp of it.
Whenever I see that mum who was me 3 years ago wanting to have a coffee and chat I always make time and be as welcoming as I can. Because loneliness as a mum is most definitely a thing.