To the Mom Who Feels Alone

mom alone

It’s the lie we all believe: No one understands. No one really cares. Sure, we have friends… but at the end of the day, we are an island. I’m not entirely sure why we fall for this every time. Do we cower in fear to the idea that there is no one in our corner because we are afraid to let anyone in? Or is it that we secretly hope it’s true because we feel so painfully isolated, our only comfort in the lonliness is believing that perhaps there is no one to comfort us. Regardless of why we believe it, the reality is that we do. It is a lie that the enemy has spun around mothers for centuries, and this Mother’s Day I want to set the record straight.

The mom that hides.

The exhaustion filled every ounce of my body as I battled through one last tantrum with my toddler. Just get to bedtime is a mantra I find myself chanting far too often these days.  Put on the smile at the playdate, pretend the screaming and fighting and irrational throwing-of-ones-self-onto-the-floor-in-protest doesn’t shake me to the core. Just push through with a smile so no one knows how terrified you are inside. I don’t know how to parent this child. I need help; advice – support. But I could never be that vulnerable. Around here we fake it till we make it; don’t show weakness- always be the one that doesn’t have the drama. I’m good at hiding my fear, but it still consumes me. And every time I find myself slipping on my mask, all I can feel is the pain brewing behind it. Expertly, it pokes at my tender spot, the proverbial underbelly of my nearly indestructible armor: my insecurity. Defeated, I accept the premise and surrender to the lie – I’m alone.

The mom that’s lonely.

I don’t like to acknowledge it most times, but let’s just state the obvious: being the only adult in the house for 8+ hours a day is lonely. My kids are amazing, so fun and pleasant to be around {most of the time…}, but they are still only children. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat- they all just accentuate the insecurities I already feel as I see everyone’s Instagram-filtered snapshot of life and inevitably compare it to my own imperfect reality. The superficial ‘relationships’ we practice day in and day out consist of grading someone’s photo on a scale of ‘thumbs up’ to ‘love’. We mean well, but we can’t really believe that these passing interactions qualify as the basis of our friendships, the daily dose of fellowship. We crave the very vulnerability we are terrified to give. And in that impasse we find ourselves accepting the false reality that if we are so lonely amongst so many friends, they must not really be friends at all. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is to believe the lie that we bought in our fear: I’m alone.

momalone2.jpg

The mom that’s insignificant.

From the very first moment that our sweet babies cry, announcing their arrival to the world, a deep, unshakable need begins to form in the core of our being: we need them to need us. Perhaps it was there all along, now rising to new heights as the nurturing heart of motherhood kicks into overdrive. For those first few months it can be overwhelming: you are always needed. But as your children grow you begin to feel less like their world and more like their chauffeur; their personal guide to Disney World. No longer the main attraction, you begin to lose the identity your role once held. Now what are you? Without the mantel of their greatest needs and desires resting on you, who have you become? We see other moms with babies still in the throes of their ‘needy’ stage, and although we don’t miss the diapers and sleepless nights, something in our hearts longs for the purpose their lives possess. For now that we have begun to slip from our place as the center of their world, we are afraid our worth has also begun to deteriorate. If they don’t need me, I’m not needed. And if I’m not needed, what is my value? Unable to hide from our own insignificance, we concede to the lie: I’m just another mom at church, play group, soccer practice. I am lost in a sea of faces – I am alone. 

Understanding motherhood: the journey.

I believe one of the biggest reasons we buy this lie every. single. time. is because it appeals to us on a level many of us would rather not admit to. We don’t want to be alone, but we definitely don’t want to be found out for posing imposter that we are: the mom who is barely making it, just trying to keep her head above water, has no idea what’s she’s doing – is out of her league. If the price of companionship is vulnerability, we’d rather be alone. Our greatest fear is becoming realized. We can’t afford deep, intimate friendships, because the price of giving up our protective walls is far too steep.

But what if there was another option? A master plan by the Creator to give His daughters everything they needed for this season? God gave us each other. A gift, an oasis, in the desert of motherhood. He never intended for us to walk this road alone. Had it not been for the fear of judgment, perhaps we would have seen this long ago. His perfect plan didn’t include the labels, stereotypes, and assumptions we operate on every day. He never meant for the gluten-free mom to feel judged by the whatever-you’ll-eat mom, in the same moment that the whatever-you’ll-eat mom is feeling looked down on by the gluten-free mom. He never intended for us to base our relationships on what we agreed on, or for our friendships to be limited by our political views. The enemy knows we as mothers desperately need companionship: open, vulnerable relationships with other moms to succeed and flourish in this season. That’s why he spins these webs of deception around us, making us believe we will never be understood or known; that we could never be vulnerable with someone we disagree with. What I would like to propose, dear friend, is that this is simply untrue.

momalone3Our progress in this journey is dependent on those around us. The friendships in our lives that lift us up. You were not meant to do this alone – you were not intended to have every answer to every question, to never have a bad day, to always be self-sufficient. Where does God get glory in that? No, just like the Body of Christ, the sisterhood of mothers was ordained by God to provide deep, life-giving fellowship. Vibrant, God-honoring relationships, even with people we might not necessarily have everything in common with, give us LIFE. Within the safe walls of these relationships there is room for vulnerability – for honesty, brokenness and grief. We can admit we don’t know what we’re doing and we desperately need help. We can find comfort in hearing that there are others in the trenches just like us. The bitter sting of our loneliness dissolves as we realize we are only alone of our own choosing – there is love waiting for us, if we’ll only reach out and take it. Our fight for significance becomes an exploration for growth as we learn from those who have gone before us, and come to understand there is more here than meets the eye.

To the mom who hides, suffers from a lonely heart, desperately fears insignificance – to the mom that feels alone, know this: you have no reason to hide, feel lonely or fear insecure – because you are not alone. Whether it’s easily apparent to you, or not, God has placed you in this season with warriors ready to rise up. Look around you. Those women aren’t your enemies, they’re suffering from the same fears as you are. They are longing for real, true friendship, a companion on this journey, just like you. In order to embrace growth on our journey, we must first understand we have been given these women as a gift. We are called to encourage one another, lift each other up, carry each others’ burdens, share each others’ sorrows and joys – we are called to walk this road together. Which is why it feels so wrong to only engage in superficial companionship. Social media has got to be the biggest counterfeit scheme anyone has ever fallen for. Search for life. For truth. For the blood, sweat and tears that let’s you know their alive. Embrace your differences – let iron sharpen iron. Understand that not being understood does not mean you are alone, it means you are an individual. Individuals can enjoy companionship even if their not understood – mothers have been doing it for centuries. Find that security and like-mindedness in your relationship with your husband and stop looking for it in your friends. These are hard times to be a mom. We need each other. Stop putting up your walls because of your fear. Stop buying the lie. You’re not alone.


Today is Mother’s Day. I got up before the sun to write down my scribbles to you, and now I’m second guessing myself and wondering if I should have gone the Tribute route instead. I have endless material, my mama is the most amazing mom and taught me so much by her own sweet example. She would be the first one to say that we cannot live in submission to our fear. The lie will eat us alive if we let it. She’d tell you to take your thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), walk in love (1 Corinthians 16:4), and to persevere in fellowship (Hebrews 10:25). We need each other. We were created that way. We are the best version of ourselves when we journey together.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you, sweet, precious mamas. You are superheroes and I have such love and respect for you! Press on, don’t give up, you can do this! You are a gift to so many, you are one in a million – and you are not alone. ♡

jmsignature

One thought on “To the Mom Who Feels Alone

  1. Pingback: How To Survive Postpartum | JOY FOR MOM

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