I’m a Stay at Home Mum and My Loneliness is Suffocating Me 

Today is the day I would have been due to return to work after maternity leave. I took a year off when I had Benjamin as I knew my decision of whether to return to work or stay home would be a difficult one. 

The thing is, I like having a job. It gives me a sense of purpose, it gets me out of the house, and it guarantees at least some level of human interaction on a daily basis. 

In the end, however, I had to make the difficult decision to stay at home, to hand my notice in and turn my back on a job which maybe wasn’t incredible, but was something just for me. 

This time last year, Cameron was in school and Carly was at nursery but with her 15 funded hours, and the fees weren’t too high. My job was 20 hours, across four week days and the Saturday each week, starting at 9am and finishing at 2pm. The hours were pretty perfect at the time, and I felt I had finally found the coveted work/life balance. 

Whilst I was on maternity leave, I looked into putting Benjamin into nursery so that I could go back to work – the cost was horrendous. There was no way we could afford for me to return to work as the childcare it required came to more than my part time wage brought in each month. 

I did ask my employers if I could go back partly working from home, but this was immediately shot down as being impractical. So I’ve adopted the role of stay at home mum once more. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I hate everything about this lifestyle. It’s amazing to be able to attend school events, to witness sports days and nativities, and to be there for the school drop offs and pick ups every day for the children. 

I am well aware that some families’ financial situations are much worse than ours, and I am grateful for all we have. But being a stay at home mum can be incredibly lonely, and as a stay at home mum with anxiety, I feel isolated around 90% of the time. 

Some people in my life might be reading this and thinking, how can she complain about being lonely when I always offer to spend time with her? And I can see why it must be frustrating from the outside looking in, really I can. I’m well aware that I bring the majority of my loneliness on myself. 

My anxiety makes me shy away from social interaction, even with those I have been close with in the past. The only two people I feel 100% comfortable around currently are my mum and Ed. With them I feel safe, I feel protected and I feel stronger myself because I have them with me, but it is not feasible for them to be with me all the time. 

I am fortunate that my mum currently only works part of the week, so I will generally spend a few hours a day with her a couple of days a week and my loneliness is abated – I feel more like me again. But there are days when I won’t see either her or Ed until early evening, and those days can feel like they last an eternity, my loneliness closing in and threatening to engulf me. I hate myself for being one of those women who greets their partner at the door by thrusting the baby at them, but some days I just need to escape. 

At the beginning of September, Ed started a teacher training course. The school he is working at until after Christmas is around a 20 minute drive away. To catch a bus it would take even longer. So I’ve given up the car during the week, and this has had a big impact on my already dire social life in the week. 

Whereas before I would force myself out of the house to go for a walk by the beach, to the shops or into town, these places now require a lot of walking, and therefore a whole lot more motivation. I’ve never been a big fan of public transport, it makes my anxiety worse, so I’ve put off going out much at all lately. 

Instead I will sit in our house between the hours of 9 and 3, keeping Benjamin occupied, putting him down for naps, getting us lunch and working on my blog with the school run bookending my day. And it’s slowly making me go out of my mind. With boredom. With frustration. With annoyance at myself for not being a better mum, for not taking Benjamin out and doing more things with him while I have the chance. 

I hear of women who really come into themselves when they become a stay at home mum. They spend their days juggling play dates and baby groups, picnics in the park and visits to national trust properties. I wish that was me, but it’s not and it makes me feel a total failure to admit it. 

I do feel my CBT is helping me make sense of my anxiety, and I can see that I’m improving in some ways, but there are aspects that definitely need more work on. One of those is my confidence around others, even people who are my friends. 

I don’t know when it started happening, at what stage I felt differently, but I now have a sense of people disliking me, even if there isn’t the evidence to back my thoughts up. I’ll become convinced that people are talking about me behind my back, that I’m not really welcome at meet ups, that I’ve been invited out of pity. If I don’t get invited at all, my thoughts go into overdrive. What did I do wrong? What should I have done to make them want me there with them? 

I was invited last week to start regularly meeting up with a couple of local bloggers, after I spent the day with them at a blog conference. As soon as I was asked I was already on the lookout for an excuse not to go. What if they didn’t like me when I spent more time with them? What if they were only inviting me as they felt they had to? It would probably be best not to go to make it less awkward for them. 

Even now, writing this down I can see how crazy that sounds. If they didn’t want me there, then they could have not asked me, and yet I hide myself away, I make my excuses, because it’s easier that way. There’s no chance of me getting hurt, or of me making an embarrassment of myself by saying something stupid. 

I even avoid spending time with those I used to be close friends with. It’s hard to explain how my head thinks lately, and it’s easier to shut myself away and wallow in my isolated misery than to open up to people and let them in. I feel incredibly vulnerable, and it’s easier to stay at home and cry than to venture out, to be brave. 

I feel this post has rambled a lot, and I’m sorry for how incoherent what I’ve written may be. It’s just been one of those days when everything has piled on top of you for so long, that eventually the cracks start to show and it’s not long before everything comes crumbling down around you. 

For the time being it doesn’t make sense for me to return to work, I know that, but I’m hopeful that one day in the not too far future I will be able to again. 

Blogging is amazing, and being able to write about everything I’m passionate about, to have the time to dedicate to my blog, is brilliant, but I was never suited to working at home alone, it just isn’t for me. 

More about evenangelsfall89

19 thoughts on “I’m a Stay at Home Mum and My Loneliness is Suffocating Me 

  1. blacktulipbeauty

    It is important to have your own space, your own friends and work environment so I can understand why you’re feeling the way you do. I really hope you find a way to cope a little better soon!
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

    Reply

  2. ofbeautyand

    A friend of mine is a single and stay at home mum and she’s always trying to make time for herself and friends which is so important x

    http://www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk

    Reply

  3. Taylor Jane

    I can totally understand where you are coming from in my point of view, as I’ve had friends and family feel the same way. I really hope things change in time for you xx

    Taylor Jane ox | http://www.taylorjane.co.uk

    Reply

  4. Gemma

    Not only am I a stay at home mum but I work from home too and it’s sure as hell stressful, especially single parenting too! I definitely get lonely at times but thankfully I live with my sister and have a lovely family who are always visiting so it keeps me sane! x

    Reply

  5. ellieedx

    I can totally see where you’re coming from and why you’re feeling this way I think it’s totally normal with the situation. I hope you manage to figure out a way to make it a bit better for you

    Ellie x

    http://elliesbitsofbeauty.com

    Reply

  6. Jenny Tan

    May i suggest you start a hobby like knitting or crocheting. The finished product may be given to your friends or donate to charities. If you dont know how, go to youtube for tutorials. You will be amazed how time passes quickly and productively. You will have a great sense of achievement with your creation and gift. I am not a mum but a retiree and thats how i fill my day besides doing other things. Good luck.

    Reply

    1. evenangelsfall89

      Thank you. Blogging does give me something to focus on but perhaps something more hands on and tangible would be a good idea too x

      Reply

  7. Olena

    It feels so painful( I also work from home and sometimes feel desperately lonely, so I grab the kids and go for a walk. I’m “lucky” enough, my kids usually start conversations with strangers, so I have enough communication))
    Hope you’ll find what’s best for you and your family

    Reply

  8. Olena Rudenko

    It feels so painful( I also work from home and sometimes feel desperately lonely, so I grab the kids and go for a walk. I’m “lucky” enough, my kids usually start conversations with strangers, so I have enough communication))
    Hope you’ll find what’s best for you and your family

    Reply

    1. evenangelsfall89

      Thank you for your kind words x

      Reply

  9. Otilia

    I certainly know how you feel. When I had my youngest i become a stay at home mum too. That was almost 5 years ago. I can’t believe how fast the time flew by 🙁 But a mum has to do what a mum has to do for her kids. And thankfully I also started working from home more seriously a couple of years ago. Take everything as an opportunity and try and meet friends at least once a month even if only for a coffee and things will be better.
    The fact that your write how you feel should help too. Whenever you need to talk just pop over my facebook messenger and I will be there x

    Reply

  10. Joyce

    Sending lots of ❤️

    Reply

  11. Cindy

    It took a ton of courage to write this but it was definitely well said and I’m sure a ton of people can relate! That’s always been something on the back of my mind – if/when the time comes that I have children, will I stay at home or continue to work? I’ve never seen myself as a stay at home mom, even though my mom was one. I love the social aspect of working and I can definitely understand where some of those struggles would apply to me too. Hope you can work through it over time and eventually go back to work part time 🙂 But in the meantime, putting energy into blogging and sharing your passion is a great past time!

    Cindy | http://www.cindyhyue.com

    Reply

    1. evenangelsfall89

      Thank you. I truly do think I will be better when I manage to go back to work. I am enjoying having some extra time to blog though x

      Reply

  12. charlotteannelane103

    I can relate to making excuses to not to go out with friends, etc. I do it the majority of the time too and then wonder why I have no social life.. I am starting to say Yes more, rather than No and it feels really good xo

    Char | http://www.charslittleblog.co.uk

    Reply

    1. evenangelsfall89

      Saying yes More is going to be one of my New Years resolutions I think!

      Reply

  13. Mummy Mondays – Benjamin Turns One!  | evenangelsfall

    […] will be lovely for us to get out of the house a bit more, as I’ve written before about how lonely I’m finding it being at home all the […]

    Reply

  14. Mummy Mondays – Why Working from Home Works for Me  | evenangelsfall

    […] whilst on my maternity leave, I handed in my notice at work. I’ve mentioned before how hard a decision this was for me, and that perhaps it might not have been my first choice had […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *