The Loneliness of Motherhood

lonelinessWhen people say motherhood is lonely, they are absolutely right. But not for the reason they think. Yes, my days are sometimes lonely, having only my 18 month old to keep me company. Although we do go out together; we go to clubs and classes, for the majority of the time we are on our own. That is absolutely fine with me.  I love waking up everyday knowing that I get to spend another day with my baby girl. I love knowing that to a certain extent I am shaping her character and her view of the world.

Lately though I have felt the pressure of motherhood, the pressure of getting my daughter to meet the expectations of others, even the comparisons made with her cousins. I have been lonely not because I do not  have anyone to talk to but that nothing I do seems to be good enough. Even when I used to take my daughter to her monthly check-up at the local health clinic, I would walk away feeling like the worst mother. The worst mother for not continuing to breastfeed my daughter (even though she had a medical condition that made this near impossible). The worst mother for weaning my child onto solid food one month early (even though as soon as I placed her in her high chair that very first time, she sat there with her mouth open). I feel like the worst mother because my daughter does not always eat well at mealtimes. She is still on 3 bottles a day and for the most part, I’m still feeding her when she does eat.

I feel lonely because as a mother in today’s society I am constantly bombarded with what I am doing wrong, and not what is going right. I feel lonely because there is no one there to counter balance the bombardment. I feel lonely because all motherhood seems to be is a competition. We all have struggles in life and just because we outwardly portray collected lives does not necessarily mean that is the case.I often feel I am being punished for choosing to stay at home with my baby.

Just recently, I attended a birthday party for a family member. It was my first time away from my daughter during the evening and although it was an enjoyable night, what was less enjoyable were the sympathetic looks I got from people. One individual even looked at me with a tilt of her head and a feigned, sad smile and remarked: “you will go out again, promise me”. Not once, not twice but more than three times. I admit that I really enjoyed getting ready; wearing jewellery and make up and straightening my hair. My heart and mind, however were back home. It is my choice to stay home and everyday I consider myself lucky to be able to do so. In fact that is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I even turned down jobs and consciously held back my career pre-motherhood so I would have the freedom to be a stay at home mum. As a child, I used to say I wanted to be a housewife (I actually thought you got paid). This past Christmas, I was made to feel like a bad mother because I would not let my daughter cry herself to sleep. My husband and I both agree and are more than happy to cuddle our daughter to sleep, no matter how long it takes.

I don’t understand how and why mothers are judged for going to work or staying at home, for cuddling her baby or for letting her cry. Shouldn’t what really matter is whether the mother loves her child wholeheartedly? Answers on a postcard, please…


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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rubyslippers
    Jun 26, 2014 @ 22:04:57

    Yes, motherhood is lonely and thankless and there is always that element of comparison going on which doesn’t seem to stop no matter how old your children get. What you’ve got to keep in mind is that you are doing your best with what is right for you now and what is right for your child. You need to do what works and if three bottles a day is necessary then fine, eventually it will stop. 18 months is still very young, my children enjoyed a bottle as old as two.

    I also cuddled my children to sleep and it hasn’t done anyone any harm. You need to just go with the flow and not threat about comparisons. Your children will be what they will be and all you can do is hold their hand along their life’s journey.

    You are a good mother! xxx


  2. alphabetgames
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 11:24:11

    Thank you so much for your comment. It’s very reassuring that I am not the only one to feel this way. Parenthood is most definitely a minefield…


  3. C Roshanzamir
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 11:47:17

    I think you are doing the right thing. These years are the most precious and will set your child on their path as happy, well adjusted people. To know you are always there can only make them feel loved and secure. Some people have to return to work, but I am sure most Mothers would stay at home in the earliest years if they could. Don’t listen to adverse comments, just look at your happy daughter!


    • alphabetgames
      Jul 02, 2014 @ 21:08:17

      Thank you for your comment.I definitely consider myself one of the lucky ones being able to stay at home with my baby. It’s hard work but it’s worth it. I just wish that we, as mothers, would remember that we are in it together, regardless of our lifestyle choices.


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