As a Christian toddler mom, and a pastor’s wife in a rural community, I have battled feelings of loneliness more times than I’d like to admit.
I have been a very lonely mom.
I’ve thrown 2 birthday parties for my toddler. I think party planning is difficult… yet I am able to throw a lonely mom pity-party for myself easily with almost no prior notice…(complete with tantrums and snacks).
Mom loneliness is a real thing.
Have you been there? It looks something like this:
- Shallow conversations
- Deep loneliness – you can feel it in your stomach
- The need to share in adult yet lighthearted conversation
- Spiritual dryness
- Awkward or contrived attempts to form playdates
- Maybe even depression
That’s just where Satan wants us. He wants us to feel alone, desperate, and separate from God and other moms. He wants you to be a lonely mom. God, however, has designed us for COMMUNITY.
Thankfully, I’ve recently made some valuable friendships, and I’d like to share some tips with you (and to my own heart) on how to battle the feelings of loneliness in motherhood.
1. Lower your expectations
Hear me out. I know that’s not necessarily the warmest tip to start the list with, but I think that this is the biggest step I had to overcome.
I think one of our biggest problems is that we are often looking for a mom friend who meets all of our manufactured categories.
We want a mom friend who:
- pursues us and initiates conversations with us
- is about the same age as us
- has the same worldview as us
- has children the same age as us
- has the same sense of humor as us and thinks we are funny
- has kids that get along with our kids
- isn’t too busy to do impromptu mom-dates or grocery store outings
And while these would all be nice, it isn’t very practical for one single person to meet all of these requirements. The hurdle I had to jump through was that while having a friend who I perceived to be the perfect friend might be ideal in my own head – this isn’t God’s plan.
God wants us to be stretched by our friends. God uses friendships to help us grow into people that are more like Christ. So that means that sometimes if we have a friend that checks 3 of our 7 made-up list items, we shouldn’t be frustrated… we should celebrate!
2. Get involved with an existing church group
Your church might have a ministry group for women or even for moms. As a pastor’s wife, I know that your church wishes more women were involved in it! If you have disagreements with a particular philosophy, or if you think that your group is outdated… it’s even truer that you need to get involved. To state it simply: you are the change that your church needs.
If your church doesn’t have a moms group and you don’t have the energy or resources to start one, try searching for a MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) at a neighboring church.
3. Start a church group or small group
If your church only has a women’s ministry and you’d like one that’s mom-specific, request a meeting with your pastor and start one! Your pastor would be thrilled to learn of your heart for ministry and will help you as much as he is able to!
4. Volunteer in a local library playtime or toddler time
Moms should be involved in a church small group if possible, but we are also called to be missionaries in our communities! Get out there and serve others and draw them to Christ. Maybe the feeling of friendship that you need will be fulfilled by doing a little elbow-grease style evangelism in your community.
5. Invest in the friendships that you already have
As I mentioned earlier, every mom wants a friend that pursues her and initiates conversation. Be that friend for someone else. It makes you lay down your pride. And you might be surprised that the friend you were looking for was there all along.
The Cure for Mom Loneliness
Loneliness is one of the most used and most effective tools used by the devil. He wants us to feel alone, and hopeless as moms. God created us for community… for the fellowship of a church body that lives and moves together. The lonely mom was never intended to be a “thing”—it is a consequence of the fallen world we are living in.
Isn’t that how God works? He’s building us together and causing us to grow; both as individuals and as a fellowship of moms.
Allow God to work through you to not only cure your own mom loneliness but also help meet the needs of the people around you.
This article originally appeared at Christcenteredmama.com.