Loneliness in the Wakes of Traditional Motherhood and How to Cope
Life as a mom can be incredibly tough. You are responsible for not just the physical wellbeing of your children, but the emotional as well. There are a million decisions we, as moms, need to make daily for the sake of our families. So, where do those of us who choose traditional motherhood fit into today’s society?
We are in the age where our traditional values and natural instincts are often forsaken in parenting. We are living in a society that tells us to go against our intuition and our natural maternal instinct. A society where children are a nuisance and not a blessing. A society where large families are not only abnormal, but are mocked and ridiculed.
Those of us that live this way often feel completely alienated. The traditional family model of a working father, a stay at home mother and lots of children running around is obsolete and almost forsaken. Those who choose tradition are the black sheep of society and it can be so lonely.
What happened to instincts? When did wanting nothing more than a house full of children become not enough? I have been referred to as one that loves being “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen” as if either of those things are a bad thing to be. When did the announcement of a fourth, fifth, sixth, or even tenth pregnancy become any less exciting and any less valuable than the first and second baby?
We have replaced tradition with vanity as a society. We have replaced our families with “things” instead. We are so busy keeping up with the Joneses that we have stopped seeing traditional family models for the blessing that they are.
I don’t write this to shame working moms or moms who only want one or two children. I wote this to relate with those of you who feel isolated because of your desires. There is nothing wrong with wanting a simple life filled with lots of babies with dirty bare feet running through your yard. There is nothing wrong with wanting to fill your home with children rather than objects. There is nothing wrong with your only hopes and dreams in life being a cabin in the woods with lots of farm animals and lots of babies running around barefoot (guilty, that’s totally my dream).
So, what do you do when you feel like the outcast?
Become a member of a church. Go church “hunting” if you need be with your husband. Find a church that has moms your age and moms a season ahead of you in your parenting that can be a mentor to you. Pray for God to lead you to the church you’re looking for that is filled with the people you’re looking for.
Our prayer before we found our church this past December was a church filled with young couples with lots of babies like us. A church that was a little bit more modern that had a lot of youth. The Lord laid on our hearts what exactly we wanted in a church and then He lead us to the church of our dreams. Chances are, there are dozens if not half dozens of mom in a local church praying for a friend to walk through the church doors that is like them. They are probably lonely too.
Join a local MOPS or homeschool group. There are tons of moms in homeschool groups that have your similar values, I can almost guarantee it. Find them and cling to them. You may just meet your best friend.
Make sure you’re taking some time for you. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean go out and ditch your family for hours on end, but make sure you are doing something a few times a week that fills up your cup. My favorite thing that I do for myself is getting up before my family in the morning, enjoying a hot cup of coffee in silence while I read my bible. I like to enjoy a hot shower in the early morning without anyone yelling for me to get them juice or throwing Legos into the bathtub (who can relate?!)
The best advice I can give you from someone who has heard it all is this. Take the generally well-meaning comments about your family size with a grain of salt. Or, allow it to motivate you to have 10 more babies (kidding). But do not allow it to get to you. In the eyes of the Lord, you are doing the most important job there is. Those little people need you, mommas. You’re everything to them. None of us are even remotely perfect moms, but we are the perfect mom for our families. God chose YOU for all of these babies. Even on the hard days, they love you unconditionally and they need you.