For those you who have been following this blog for any amount of time or know me, then you’re familiar with my story. At 23 I became a mother, I was the only parent among my friends and had also recently relocated back to Los Angeles. I learned firsthand that sometimes being a mom can be very isolating. Compounded with being an entrepreneur, and whew chile – it is a lot. There’s one thing no one talks about when it comes to motherhood and entrepreneurship. Rather than just talk around or ignore it all together, I want to dive in.
I wouldn’t call myself a lover of astrology or someone who is well versed in the in’s and out’s of the stars. I will say however, from what I’ve heard I think I am a true Pisces. Being alone is something I enjoy and I comfortable in my own world often. Shutting people out isn’t hard for me and I don’t think I was aware of how much easier that would become when I had children. Having my eldest daughter made me reclusive. I stayed to myself, let very few people come visit me, honestly I barely told my friends when she had finally arrived. It could have been the feeling of not wanting to burden people and also some fear, but what it did reveal to me was that motherhood can be isolating.
As a new mom you’re going to spend a lot of time at home, naturally. Getting to know your baby, sleeping if you can, and taking the quickest showers you ever have in your life. In the midst of all it is easy to become settled in your bubble. I mean giving birth is no easy feat. And postpartum life can also be difficult. The thing is if you allow yourself to get comfortable there, it may be tough to get out. I remember my mother having to force me leave the baby and get some air.
Feeling alone is something that people don’t warn you about when it comes to motherhood…
We talk of birth and postpartum care, but what we don’t mention are the moments you’ll feel like no one is there. When it’s just you and a person who can’t talk or do anything else on their own. It’s lonely. Straight up. Even though I was obsessed with my daughter, we spent countless days out and about together; at the park, the pool, or the beach it would have been nice to have a friend along. Ten years later, a few of my friends are starting to have children and it feels nice. I’m glad to not be in the minority now, sharing stories and being able to offer my expertise and experience makes me feel good and certainly less alone.
Some people may know instinctively to seek out camaraderie but I didn’t. I had no idea there were groups of moms that I could reach out to. In total transparency, I joined my first mom group last year and I still only know about two or three people in it. Some of that stems from having a large family and not always witnessing my own mother or aunts have many outside friends. Another reason is because these days I’m just busy. I want other moms to know that I see you, I’ve been there. My suggestion? Find a friend, even if it’s just one. Reach out to someone who you can go to lunch with who won’t get finicky when you’re baby cries. Or who will hit the park with you and chill on the weekend, because that’s life these days.
Funny thing is loneliness isn’t just a part of mothering, as an entrepreneur being alone is a key component to the lifestyle. I used to call the people at the Starbucks I would work at; my co-workers, because I saw them daily even if I didn’t ever speak. I find that people will talk about reasons they want to be an entrepreneur; like not having a boss, being able to work from anywhere, the lack of office politics. The flip side of that is there is no reverie after hours because it’s just you. You can work from anywhere but an office would be nice sometimes. Sure, there’s no forced holiday parties but honestly it doesn’t sound so horrible come Christmas time.
I love my life as a mom and I definitely prefer working for myself to working for anyone else. But I realize now I need to schedule work dates and co-working sessions because it would help. Not only with my creativity but also so the only other time I see adults isn’t just my husband or on the weekend. The life of a working, stay at home mom is interesting; no I wouldn’t trade it but I’m certainly going to figure out how to make it better. As I continue to grow my businesses I’m working on adjusting to find the best way possible to succeed. Because the truth is, they may have been right when they said there’s no “I” in team.
How do you combat feeling alone?