Lifestyle

You have a great family but without any friends, you can feel lonely. Here are some tips to change!

There is no question that parenthood takes a toll on our relationships with friends. Throw into the mix having to move house due to a growing family, financial constraints (kids are expensive!) and change in lifestyle, you can suddenly find yourself feeling lonely and without the same social connections that you used to have before kids.

What may feel like a personal issue is actually a universal problem for many mums. You can change this feeling of isolation, in fact, it’s the best thing you could do for your mental and physical health.

Here are a few tips on how to reduce feelings of loneliness as a mum.

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3 tips on how to stop feeling isolated

1. Out with the old in with the new

It may sound harsh but the fact is if your connection was superficial, having kids will ensure it’s near impossible to maintain any sort of friendship with old friends. Social relationships are based on similarities between two people and while it may feel like you are being left behind, you’re just travelling in a different direction to your old friends.

If they made your life better, made the effort to maintain a friendship with you and still bring a smile to your face, then these are the friends to keep in contact with and to make an effort for. If not, it may be time to branch out and make some new connections.

2. Mums are an untapped source      

You may not feel it right now but mums can be lots of fun and are extremely resourceful! And they ‘get it’- the issues you face day to day having a family.

Try to join a local mums group, playgroup, or check community notices boards or Facebook groups that have weekly meetups.

If you can’t find any of these in your area, try to look for mum’s and bub’s groups at your local swimming pool or library.

3. You are in control    

Instead of waiting for people to come into your life so you can befriend them, try to advertise your own mums & bubs meet-up. Pick a park or local cafe and print a flyer with your number for other mums to call you.

You may get lots, a little or no contact at all but if you put yourself out there, it’s more likely you’ll be able to make social connections than if you stay at home and continue feeling lonely.

If you feel your loneliness is turning into something more like depression, talk to your partner, baby health nurse or your GP about your mental health.

Are you a stay-at-home mum who feels isolated, read our tips to try and help.

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Make lifelong friends, put call-outs for mums in your area, work out together, bake together or simply have a good chat. Join our Facebook group here.

This blog was written by Shara Smith who is a psychotherapist and a counsellor with over 12 years’ experience in the mental health, life coaching and self-care sector. While she loves her husband and three kids, she also loves watching re-runs of Sex in the City and baking decadent cookies that only she gets to eat.

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