“I got sick, bad cold, and was off to the hospital in an ambulance.
Even though I felt sick, I was a little bit happy. I was living the hospital fantasy that mothers dream about. Time alone!
No kids to argue with to be put to bed.
I was asked how I was doing constantly; I was doted on. ME! Even though I was feeling like crap, I enjoyed that I could put the bed up and watch TV uninterrupted. Didn’t even have to open my mouth to drink water, as I was jabbed fifty times to get an IV drip in.
But eventually, sadness crept in. I realized that although I’m never alone with kids, I’m lonely… and this hospital room felt like the four walls were closing in.
Who could I call? To say I was sick? That’s not already preoccupied with their own kids or life. I was dismissed at 1am, my husband and kids asleep. The hospital told me I could stay but I wanted to leave, and the thought crept up again… who could I call?
‘Hey Mary, haven’t spoken to you in a few months but you wanna pick me up from the hospital?’
Every day is busy, I wake up, I clean, I drive kids to kinder, I drive kids to football and dancing and music classes. I spend all this time doing and being things for my household, for my husband, for my kids and subsequently I’ve isolated myself.
Social media shows what all the other mothers are doing better than us.
If we work, we feel guilty, if we stay at home, we feel judged. We are never doing it right, so we feel this enormous pressure to do and be the perfect mother but in turn, we neglect ourselves.
I once read that lack of socializing can kill you. Loneliness can kill you. More than smoking or obesity. Loneliness can literally break your heart. And in that article, I read that women report less life satisfaction and more loneliness than men.
I thought about that in my lonely Uber drive home from the hospital with a silent driver.
We spend more time holding a broom or driving our kids around than building relationships. More time proving ourselves at work than taking lunch. Our circles are smaller, and our social media friends are huge, but we don’t communicate with people face to face, we ‘like’ their pictures or their words, but we don’t connect anymore… and it’s killing us.
Anxiety makes it hard to get out, but anxiety builds when we choose to stay at home over going out.
Motherhood is exhausting, overwhelming and lonely.
And you never understand loneliness until you have to drive home alone from the hospital.
So, the solution? Socialize. Get out of the house at any opportunity. Over sweeping the floor, over the dishes.
After the kids go to bed, call your friend, ask her about her day. Bitch about life, friends are the best therapy, and they’re free! Connect. Make your village. Loneliness shouldn’t be in a Mother’s job title. We deserve more than that.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run, where it originally appeared. Follow Laura on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.
Read more encouraging words from Laura:
‘She’s not broken’: To the man whose wife or partner has anxiety
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