Motherhood is lonely.
There, I said it.
It’s wonderful and joyous and full of new experiences, but it’s lonely. It is actually one of the biggest reasons I wanted to start this blog.
Soon after the birth of my daughter, spending night after night alone in her nursery struggling to get her back to sleep, I knew I could not be alone in how I was feeling. I knew there had to be other moms that were having the same thoughts and struggles I was. Creating a motherhood support team seemed vital.
While there are lots of important self-care practices for moms, having a group of mom friends is crucial to the mental health of a new mama. Up to 80 percent of women experience a form of baby blues, and forging friendships with other mothers is one way to make this journey into parenthood an easier transition.
Most women enjoy having other women to lean on. It takes a village to raise a child, and the only people who know exactly what we go through after childbirth are other mothers who have been there themselves.
The most comforting thing to have as a new mom isn’t necessarily your partner or your blankets or that long sausage pillow in your bed (although those things might be nice). It’s having other mothers around you who know exactly what you’re feeling.
It’s knowing that while you are all in a position of no sleep and dealing with a baby who has decided to bite your nipples just to make sure you remember they are there, that there is someone else feeling the same things you are.
In those moments when I thought I could not go on, a simple text from a mom friend, or a conversation to let me know I was not the only one having these awful thoughts, was more helpful than anything. Your sisterhood is a bond that you cannot break.
Whether you meet in a labor support group, a post-partum yoga session or a mommy and me class, connecting with other moms is so worth it. It may be hard to put yourself out there to meet new mothers, especially in those early stages of motherhood. But we all can benefit greatly from this network, and here’s how to build it:
Connect With Friends Who Already Have Kids
How many of your relationships with women changed when they had kids and you did not? Well, now you do, and these women who have been there and done that are going to be invaluable for you.
Get To Know Your Neighbors Who Have Kids
Do your best to connect with the people who are already around you. Not only are they nearby in a pinch, they’re also somewhere else to go in the day. Get to know the neighbors by being the first to reach out and host a little get-together. You can really get to know people by extending a hand of friendship first.
Join a Mommy and Me Play-Group
This is such a great way to connect with a new set of moms who have kids at a similar life stage as you. There are plenty of mother and baby groups that meet up at the park for walks with the stroller.
This is a good way to get some exercise post-partum, breathe in some fresh air and drum up conversation with other mothers with the same interests as you. Mother and baby groups can be wonderful for your mental health, and once you make some friends in these groups, you can cement your bonds for the years ahead.
Jmore parenting columnist Talya Knable is a psychotherapist who lives in Lutherville with her husband, Stephen, and their two children, Jack and Leigh. Her website is tkpsych.com/ She is also the assistant clinical director of Shalom Tikvah (shalomtikvah.org/), a local non-profit organization that supports Jewish families facing mental illness and other challenging life circumstances.
More In The Parenting Place
- Talya Knable talked with eight of the best moms she knows about the moments of motherhood that they hate. read more
- Talya Knable looks back at some of the advice she was given prior to becoming a mom, and discusses how it played out in real life. read more
- Talya Knable on the challenges of navigating the return of daylight saving time with two toddlers. read more
- Talya Knable says making sure all public men's restrooms have a changing table in them is not just about men -- it's about women, too. read more