Moms, Have you Ever Felt Alone?

Moms, Have you Ever Felt Alone?

homeschool mom alone

Have you ever felt lonely or alone and wondering if you were the only one feeling that way?

I think many of us have at one time or another. We could be in a room with a bunch of other moms who we know or haven’t met yet and still feel “alone.” And we wonder sometimes if anyone else is feeling the same way?

So, to the “one” mom that has felt that way or is feeling that way now, “No you are not alone. You are not the only one feeling that way.”

To the “one” mom who has walked into a new homeschool coop or group with your child for the first time, more worried if her child will make a friend than she is about her own needs for companionship –

To the “one” mom sitting on the park bench watching her child quietly trying to blend in with the other children as they run around and play and you glance over at a small group of moms sitting on another bench talking and you hope that maybe one of them will make eye contact and offer a smile and maybe even come over to say “Hi” and introduce herself to you and invite you into the conversation. And you sit there trying to stir up the courage to maybe approach them and introduce yourself, but you continue to sit there watching your child because you lose courage at the thought that these ladies who seem to know one another may not be all that interested in getting to know you. Because you’ve tried this before in another park or play group and it really never went further than just an awkward introduction.

To the “one” mom who has been a part of a group and who has tried to reach out to a new member to welcome her to your group and for whatever reason that person wasn’t receptive to your greeting, so you don’t try as often to extend yourself anymore.

To the “one” mom, I see you. I know you. I’ve been there. I am you. We all know you. We’ve all been there. We are all you. At one time or another…. most of us has found ourselves to be that “one” mom.

Society has become very isolated, and we have become afraid to reach out to others.

This really hit home for me recently when a mom came to a coop and she was just beginning to get know people a little bit when she found out she had cancer. I had only spoken to her a couple of times, no more than that. I was usually teaching most of the day in another part of the building. Our group would pray for her, but I wanted to somehow let her know that she was not forgotten and that we “saw” her. I tried to arrange some meals to be delivered and passed around cards for everyone to sign to let her know we were all thinking of her and to give her some encouragement.

Thankfully, she had belonged to a church group and a community group that she had grown to know very well and they filled the gap. She passed away about 5 months later. I then did the same thing for her husband and kids, because I wanted them to know we “saw” them and they were not forgotten.

The funny thing is (which is sad, and it greatly surprised me and made a great impression on me) that other members of the group came up to me and told me they were sorry for my loss. I didn’t know what to say except, it is very sad and I feel very sad for the kids and her husband. But I also say I saw a Spirit filled woman who handled the most difficult trial she ever faced with only what could be described as the Grace of God. That’s really all I knew about her and all I could say.

I don’t tell this story to talk about me, but to reflect on how hesitant we have become to reach out to people we don’t know – the “one” mom who is new and the moms who used to be new but were fortunate to form some friendships. We are afraid to intrude or be rejected or don’t realize that that “one” mom could use our friendship.

So, the next time you see that “one mom” walk into your group for the first time or sitting on the park bench alone, greet them with a smile and a “hello” and an introduction. Then just ask a question – any question. Just let her know you “see” her.

8 Comments

  • Rosanna@ExtraordinaryEverydayMom Posted August 8, 2017 10:45 am

    I know I’ve felt alone many times over the years. I am naturally more introverted and thus comfortable with people I already know, but I try my hardest to push myself out of my comfort zone and include those around me. It isn’t easy, but thank you for this reminder that it is important. 🙂

    • Katie Posted August 8, 2017 11:12 am

      Hi, Rosanna, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and own experience. I used to teach and even stand up in front of 300 parents to give workshops – but I am really an introvert also. I, too, find it hard to approach people I really don’t know, especially if they are in a little group. I can push myself if it’s more of a one to one thing. But it’s still a stressor. And, yes it is important to at least try – you could meet your new best friend!

  • Michelle Posted August 8, 2017 1:01 pm

    Yes, there have definitely been times that I’ve felt alone. Not so much because I’ve been ignored, but because I didn’t feel like I had much in common with the other moms, that they wouldn’t understand the challenges that I faced. I’m introverted, but in a group of other homeschoolers I’m a little more extroverted and usually try to help others get started and make connections. That’s why, even though I’m retired from homeschooling, I want to stay connected so I can try to help others.

  • Rachael Posted August 8, 2017 3:49 pm

    I seem to try to reach out to people, but I usually feel as if there is a wall between us. I feel as if I am not seen or heard most of the time. I feel as if people these days only want a Facebook friendship with people which is not what I want. It is as if they do not want to share their lives with others or have you share with them. I know that cannot possibly be true, but there are so few transparent and open people that I seem to find.

    • Katie Posted August 9, 2017 10:11 am

      Hi, Rachael, Thanks for sharing and commenting. I think you’re right. I actually say that to my high school coop English classes when I talk to them about communicating and how it has changed. I will very rarily have a few minutes of free time at the end of class and I tell them to take advantage of it and socialize and chit chat amongst themselves. Almost everyone of them pulls out their phones and gets absorbed in them. I tell them put it away and talk face to face with one another. I really think it is because it has become such a habit to have this device occupy your time and mind that everyone has become rusty about communicating face to face. I come from the late baby boomer generation and my head spins with how different things are these days. I wrote the post to kind of address this issue and reassure moms that they are not the only ones and it isn’t them. It’s a reflection of the times and we need to break through that wall, even though it can be scary. And we might be surprised that maybe that other mom is relieved to have someone talk to her. I understand how you feel. I have made a lot of attempts to talk to people and it didn’t seem they were receptive, but the issue was not me. The issue is not you. I would move on to other people or other groups and sometimes people were receptive enough so I could at least have someone to talk to when I was at a group – not my best friend, but at least someone to talk to while there. I hope you find that too. Hugs to you.

  • Amanda Posted August 9, 2017 9:42 am

    I totally feel this. The first time i joined a homeschool group, i felt like everyone knew each other and had no interest in getting to know us. We have since moved and joined a new group of very varing people who really make an effort to reach out to anyone new.

    • Katie Posted August 9, 2017 10:16 am

      Hi, Amanda, I’m so glad you found a group that try to make an effort! That’s what we have had to do sometimes as well and it is never easy to leave one group and try another in hopes of that group being more receptive to new people. I have also found that as the kids get older the dynamics of group changes as well. As some leave and new people come in, sometimes it gets friendlier and sometimes it has more cliques. The timing of joining groups seems to matter with some groups too. I’m glad you decided to try another group and not give up. Some people give up because they don’t want to try anymore or they don’t know where else to go. I hope you continue to enjoy your new group and your homeschooling journey!

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