Lonely

My life is so incredibly full, in so many ways.  I am a mother, a dream come true for me, that at one time I never thought possible.  I have a loving husband.  I have a thriving consulting business.  I have food on my table and can afford extra life comforts that many other have to go without.

And yet, lately, I feel a tad bit lonely.

I have always been the type of person who has one or two close friends, never a big group of friends, but a few very close people.  Right now, I feel like I’ve lost that in my life.

Most of our friends had kids years before us, leaving us behind – I do not blame them or resent them for this, this is just sort of a fact of life.  But what it means is that their kids are now older then Little MPB and interested in different age appropriate activities.  And, they seem to be friends with their kids parents.  My other closest friends have all left our province and moved away.  Yes, we can text, but no, it’s just not the same.  We cannot get together for a long chat with a glass of wine or cup of coffee.  There are no lunch dates and there are no play dates.  I text and email with a few bloggers regularly, but it’s just not the same as real-life human interaction.  And honestly, as we’ve mostly all become parents, our texts/emails are fewer and farther apart these days, presumably because they are just as busy as me.

As for making new friends, I have been completely unsuccessful at making new friends at baby/toddler activities. Because at this point, in swimming, I’m solely focused on keeping my part fish-kid from drowning, not talking to other parents about how their days are going.  The same goes for gymnastics and any other activity we’ve tried.  I’ve been told making friends at his social activities wont happen until kids start un-parented activities, and parents sitting on the sidelines watching start striking up conversations.

But here’s the truth, even if I had some way to make new friends or rekindle old friendships, I simply don’t have time.  My life is consumed with:

  • Little MPB.  Time with Little MPB is always paramount and comes first.  Swimming, gymnastics, dinner time, play time, snuggle time, potty training, etc. – these come first.  Always.
  • Work.  I work too much, and I will be for the foreseeable future because consulting life is feast or famine.
  • Doodle MPB.  She takes up more time and energy then I ever thought possible for a dog.
  • House/daily needs.  Apparently one must keep their house somewhat organized as to not have it fall into a state of disrepair and grocery shopping is a necessary evil.
  • Mr. MPB. He should be higher on this list.

My days are so busy right now, that I cannot do more.  I don’t think prior to being a parent I realized just how much parenting takes over your entire life – I knew it would change everything, I just don’t think I realized just how much.  And, I think all our friends moving away at the same time just created a bit of a perfect storm.  (Please let me be clear, I am not complaining about being a mom – I wouldn’t trade anything for being Little MPB’s mom.  It’s just that right now everything isn’t sunshine and roses, and I want to acknowledge the less then ideal parts of life).

So, how can I even try to build the friendships that I am currently longing for, it I don’t even have time to be a friend in return?  And since I wont make changes to my life priorities, do I even have the right to complain?

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15 Comments on “Lonely

  1. Oh I’m right there with you. I do have some friends locally since moving a year ago though, but even so, I hardly ever even see any of them.

    And I feel the same way about DH, they should be higher on the list, but when is there time for us?

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  2. Yup, some seasons of life are lonelier than others. I’m in a very similar boat. The only thing that gets me through it sometimes is to tell myself that it’s temporary and that I won’t feel this way forever. And as my therapist says, don’t forget self-care! (like adding one more thing to the list is really what you want. :P)

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  3. I feel the same way for different reasons. Being in my late 30’s now childless with almost all of our friends being parents we have little in common anymore. Our lives are completely different. And it’s not what people with children think childless life in your late 30’s is. Our lives are different in our late 30’s childless than it was in our late 20’s. We have more responsibilities and things going on in our lives than we used to.

    I definitely get why you feel the way you do and it does make sense. I hope this is just a stage that changes in time.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I feel like I could have written this exact same post from the start to finish. I’m in the exact same boat and some weeks I don’t even realize it but other weeks it hits hard that I truly feel like I have no friends beyond my oldest ones who I text on occasion but never get to see. September last year I committed to going on a “blind date” with another mom who just moved to our town. We had a great time and kept talking about doing it again. No word of a lie…it took us another YEAR to get together again. And the only reason we got together was because my husband connected with her on facebook about something she was selling and the two of them made arrangements for a spouse double date. Things are slowly starting to form there as a friendship builds, but it is so much work and truthfully, it’s sometimes easier to just not have to do all that work. I’m forever envious of the people who are long time friends, all have kids around the same time as each other and are always doing family things in a giant group or the moms all take the kids to the park and hang out. I wish I had that, but I was the first in my group of friends to have a baby and most of the others have no plans to have kids. It’s tough. It’s so incredibly tough. While we have these amazing little humans to care for and love, as well as wonderful husbands, a girl just needs friends to spend time with, laugh with and release the daily pressures with.

    Not to make this post totally about me! Just wanted you to know that you’re definitely not alone in this struggle. 🙂 And next time you’re in my neck of the woods, lets do wine or coffee!

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  5. Oh lets throw a pity party together for both of us!
    If you feel not so alone in this, I am just ask lonely, I dont have friends we hang out with often , they have kids same aged as me, and yet, we barely meet often. There is simply no time. Beween kids, jobs, food, grocery, paretning, and yelling at the kids to not do something the 1000th time, there is barely enough time for “making out”, who has time for friends then? 🙂

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  6. This happens to everyone, and they all go through it and then tell you how they ‘learn what’s important,’ that ‘the little things just didn’t matter’ as much as they thought they did at the time, and how ‘things are so much better now.’ Yet, at the time, they wouldn’t have said that; they’d be too busy.
    What we really need to do is invite each other over amidst the mess and just roll with it. We’re all too uptight about the dishes that haven’t been done …for a while and our undecorated house and our unshowered persons.
    Look into FB mom groups that meet, even an exercise group, in your case. I’m going to just start inviting people over. Maybe I’ll call it Exercise Clothes Playgroup.

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  7. Me too! I’m so so so lonely. All my friends have kids in elementary school now. They’ve made new friends with other moms, and I’ve been left behind. I’ve tried making friends with other foster moms, but most of them don’t work and I do, and they all have kids (bio and/or adopted) and I don’t. Sometimes when we’ve had foster kids, I’ve started getting to know other parents but then the kids are gone and it’s hard to stay friends after that. I’ve thought about trying to meet other childless people, but we’re actively trying to adopt so with luck we’ll disappear from their lives someday. In the meantime, I’m just lonely.

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    • We should be friends! We are foster parents in the process of adopting our current child. No biological children.

      We also struggle with friendships as no one in our local lives are foster parents or understand whats’ happening in our lives. It’s so difficult to maintain friendships,even with other parents, because our parenting experience is so very different. People don’t understand where we are coming from, our techniques, our struggles, and we are exhausted from the energy and mental efforts of caring for kids with big feelings.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. i understand! it can be hard. we luckily have a neighborhood with kids the same age so we often see each other outside and hang out in the evenings/on weekends. but I know that’s not the case for every neighborhood (and we genuinely like our neighbors). I did moms at other activities – library storytimes, gymnastics, soccer. it can be hard to form any kind of friendship when running after kids, but it made me feel like a part of the mom community that way. hang in there….it will get better when the kids get more independent, I think!

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  9. I was thinking the other day about how isolating parenting can be for friendships. I find the same thing here. And if I want down time then I need to trade off social time as everything else is a must do. Life is hectic. I hope you can make some nice connections where little mpb and the grown ups all get a friend!!

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  10. I feel this post acutely. I’m at the other end tho, empty nest and single after intensely parenting. I’m still working the career, but I’ve gotta steady, so the hustle is different. I feel like I’ve got all the time in the world, but many friendships withered over these last years because I was so unavailable. I get it. Hang in there, keep plugging away.

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  11. I really feel this post. It can be really hard to make/maintain friends with all the busy stuff going on in life and I know I felt/feel really isolated at times.

    One thing that helped me was finding a local group that meets 2x/month for 2 hours just during the school year months, Sept. – May. It helps me meet others with kids at similar ages/stages, if I can’t attend, no worries, and it fulfills my need for a bit of adult time without feeling tremendously awkward. It also helps me keep some of my ability to socialize/chat up (which, introverted/socially awkward me has to actually practice). Even though it’s not super deep friendships (yet? maybe?), it keeps me grounded a bit and helps me feel as though I’m not entirely by myself all the time.

    Good luck. It’s hard!

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  12. I can definitely relate to this but I feel lucky that my current situation seems to have worked out in that way. For me partly it was a long process because it took intentionality about where to live. We live in a big community with lots of flats and loads of families with kids and dogs. So that helps. Also just making my own “tribe” or group of friends and being quite persistent and open about meeting up. Of my closest local girlfriends they are all in different situations but they are all people who are quite social and happy to meet up. I put them in one whatsapp group so now we all message randomly and we’ve met up a few times in different permutations. It definitely takes time to develop and also to start having time away from B (I didn’t do that really until recently) – just an hour for Zumba or maybe 3hrs for a girls evening where we stay local. Or one hour for lunch or coffee during the day when he’s at nursery and I’m working from home. But it makes a difference to how lonely or not I feel. I hope you manage to find some time for yourself.

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