A month or two after I became a mom, I was walking my new baby in a stroller around the block. We must have circled that block hundreds of times a day during those fussy days. This day – it had been A Day. I remember the exact house I was standing in front of, when it hit me (choking back tears).
I was lonely.
Horribly lonely. Sure, I saw people every day. I still had “friends.” But inside, I was crumbling under the weight of the stress, worry, and work of being a mom. And no one knew.
I’ve always thought of “lonely” like the women in the nursing homes, the widows in dusty old houses. You know, lonely = no people.
Since becoming a mom, I’ve realized this isn’t the only kind of Lonely. There is an equally painful Lonely: The Lonely where No One Knows.
No one knows how anxious you are.
No one knows that Awful Thought you keep having.
No one knows The Thing keeping you up at night.
I’ve felt it many times over, since that first one pushing the stroller. It hasn’t gone away, but I’ve learned two cures for the Mom Loneliness.
- Telling yourself The Truth.
- Other people telling you The Truth.
The cure look a million different ways. And here’s one.
Ruth Schwenk, who runs wildly popular The Better Mom blog, and another of my co-contributors there, Karen Ehman, have written the book “Hoodwinked: 10 Myths Moms Believe And Why We Need To Knock It Off.” I laughed when I got it in the mail, because I was in the midst of my “31 Lies” series. (In fairness to the book, I didn’t crack it until I was done the series.)
Though none of the “myths” are quite the same, the book shares the same themes that my readers seemed to enjoy in my series:
- Releasing of our expectations of what a “perfect mom” needs to do
- Trusting God for our children
- Seeking wisdom – not from the world – but from wise women, and the Bible
- Demonstrating humility towards other moms
These women are down-to-earth, honest, godly, and wise. I liked the part where Karen shared how her son got in trouble with the law. (Is that horrible that I liked that?) I LOVED the chapter called “Myth #8: Everything Depends On Me.” Every single word of it just ministered to my soul, as my son has been battling a terribly stressful asthma attack this week. I carried this book around with me, and huddled it by lamplight in bed.
And I LOVE that there’s a DVD and study guide. You know, so you can READ WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
Because Moms, we are all lonely somehow. We need THE TRUTH – the truth of God’s word, and truth-speaking friends.
I didn’t tell you the end of the story. The one in the beginning? about me crying in the middle of the road when I realized I was lonely?
Well, here’s the end. I went home, and wrote an email to all the moms I could think of. I told them I realized I’d been missing friends who knew how I was really doing. And I invited them to my home for a Bible study.
I was terrified no one would understand. That no one would come.
The first week? We had eight women. And six years later? Many are still some of my Real Mom Friends. If I were doing it again, this is just the sort of book I’d use. If you’re carrying the weight of loneliness, if you need real encouragement for real motherhood, grab this book. Get the study guide. Because this? It’s exactly the conversation we moms need to be having.
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