Why 90% Of Mums Feel Lonely
- Parents Only
By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
Helping mums deal with loneliness and isolation is one of our main goals here at ellaslist: we're all about giving mums great things to do and places to go, to get them connected with their local community, having fun, and out of the house! We know that even a few hours down at the local pool for a great class or awesome mother's groups means hours that you're not at home alone with a baby or toddler, with your partner at work and childless friends nowhere to be seen.
That's why it comes as no to surprise to us, that a recent survey showed that 90% of mums feel lonely. Shared by ChannelMum.com, this disheartening result comes from a survey of 2,025 mothers, which also revealed that 54% of new mums feel more "friendless" since giving birth, as well as 38% admitting that these are feelings with which they haven't shared with their partners.
Seriously Disheartening Stats
Whilst 80% of mums claimed that they wanted more friends who are mums, only 30% say that they have initiated a conversation or the like that has lead to a new friendship. Channel Mum has a major focus on the silent issue that is loneliness and isolation in new motherhood, and founder Siobhan Freegard told The Huffington Post UK: “We all know having a child takes a physical toll on your body, but it can take a mental toll too. It’s terrifying that in our connected ‘always on’ society, nine in ten mums still feel isolated and lonely, often with deeply troubling consequences.”
Some more stats, according to the survey:
- 55% of mothers shared that these feelings of loneliness has lead to feelings of anxiety
- 47% feel "very stressed out" by their loneliness
- 37% of mums say that they regularly cry
- And guess what the greatest cause of loneliness is caused by? According to the survey, it's "cliquey and bitchy" groups waiting to pick their kids up from school, at mother's group or the like, leaving 51% of mums feeling excluded
- 68% of mums want to slow down the fast-pace of their lives with little ones and take the time to talk to other mums
- 55% of mums said that they wish other mums weren't so judgemental, and that this a roadblock for them making new mum friends
- 33% of mums compare their bodies to other mums on social media
- 42% of mums feel bad when they look at the 'perfect' lives of many social media mums
Coping With Loneliness
So, mums seem to be pretty lonely. Here's a list of some steps to take and moves to make to cope with the loneliness, particularly in those fresh stages of motherhood. Thanks to ROMPER for the awesome list:
1. Get Involved On Social Media: join a forum for new mums and get support!
2. Get Out Of The House: with or without your baby!
3. Let Go Of Your Phone Phobia: use FaceTime to watch TV programs at the same time as a friend or family member who can't be with you- it's like having someone sitting next to you on the couch!
4. Keep Up With Your Friendships: Organise family days for your family and your friend's family if they have kids, and try to keep up with as many friendships and plans as possible so that you create a support network from early on during motherhood
5. Focus On Something That Makes You Feel Like You: Loss of identity in parenting is a common feeling! Take care of yourself, and regain control of who you are, and your 'me' time.
6. Don't Compare: Loneliness will only be fuelled by comparing! This comparison trap usually stems from social media, so stay off it if you have to.
7. Read Real Books: About motherhood, and something that speaks to you! Many women love Constance Halls' Like A Queen.
8. Get A Hobby: And one that doesn't involve your child (like story time at the library). Join a gym or class, organise a mum's night with non-kiddified activities, or get back into an old passion.
9. Ask For Help: Don't feel guilty, it makes you NO less of a mum!
10. It Doesn't Last Forever: Thanks to ROMPER for the reminder that the first 6 months are the hardest! Things get better!
11. Is It More Than Loneliness?: It could very well be that the fog you find yourself in is more than isolation. Talk to your doctor or a seek help from a trusted friend or family member!
You Are Not Alone
Take the Channel Mum's You Are Not Alone Challenge, and do these 5 simple things each day to help you and other mums with this sense of loneliness and isolation:
1. Go to a toddler group or baby class and sit with a mum who’s there alone.
2. Go to the park and chat to another mum or dad who is there by themselves.
3. Smile at every mum you meet.
4. Get the phone number of one of the mums you meet today.
5. Text them and arrange to meet for that coffee.