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.