Isolation in motherhood

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  • #5892
    liz
    Member

    HI mammies im doining a course at the mo " FAMILY STUDIES" and im doing a project on "isolation in motherhood". I would appreciate some feedback on the subject. i know when i had two small children at home i struggled with the isolation i felt i had these two amazing little bundles of energy and i felt so traped in the house hoping someone would call or praying it wouldnt rain so i could get out of the house and meet some other mammies. i was very lucky i had great neighbours and we had a toddler group which i lived for but it was just a drop in the ocean.Lots of things have changed since then i have two more kids,i drive,the country has changed the internet is main stream lots of baby and toddler groups exist and mammies are really starting to become empowered just look at mumtown i suppose im asking does isolation still exist in motherhood in this day and age :?:

    #80732
    trixiebell
    Participant

    Hi Liz

    When I first moved to Drogheda 6 years ago and knew no one really, its only through mumstown that I have met some lovely people, and also through DH who built up friends as he would have went to poker a few nights, and then we got to meet some lovely couples,
    It also helped I suppose when DS started school, and you would have a natter with the other mums in the school yard. Its just nice for someone to say, "Hi trixiebell, how are you today".
    We lived down in Enfield co Meath beofre moving to Drogheda, and it was so rural, I hated it, as I knew noone down there, that helped in our decision to move to Drogheda, bigger town, closer to both our familes, more amenities etc etc.

    So in answer to your question, about 7 years ago I would have felt so isolated, but that has changed for me so much, and i would say that the internet has eliminated that for me!

    Good luck with your course!

    #80734
    hjs
    Member

    I think a lot of it can be about mental isolation, you know, state of mind. There is that saying isn’t there, that a crowded room can be the place you feel the most lonely? Can be like that at times in motherhood for a few reasons, outlined below:
    1) We can feel out of touch with the "real" world where people (other women is usually what we are thinking of) are power dressing, commuting and having their intellectual worth valued while we are in sicked/snotted/shat on tracky bottoms, doing no more than the school run and being about as mentally challenged as Balamory will allow
    2) Secretly, we think every1 is doing a better job of mothering than we are but feel it’s a taboo never to be raised unless someone trots off to social services and our kids are rermoved cos we confess to having occasionally given them a jar instead of our own harvested, organic ,perfectly nutritionally balanced home cooking
    3)We can get depressed, withdrawn and racked with self-doubt as a woman, partner or parent
    I only occasionally felt like any of the above, but have listened carefully enough to other women over the years to know that many feel this way for a lot longer than I , fortunately for me, ever have…

    #80735
    Babs
    Member

    I have no doubt that isolation still exists!! You can be living in the middle of an estate surrounded by people yet be isolated! People don’t look out for each other anymore so many of us don’t even know our neighbours…even if you do have family nearby that doesn’t mean they will be of any support…I think isolation can also be a state of mind…if you’re struggling or if you’ve lost confidence (especially when you become a mam and loose your identity!!) you can find it so hard to put yourself out there to meet people…thats why mumstown is such a vital lifeline to so many, I think! Why don’t you come to one of the coffee mornings to talk to mams about their experiences?

    #80754
    Corinne9
    Member

    I agree that isolation in motherhood still exists. It’s something that definitely deserves looking into and discussing. sometimes i wish that we could go closer again to a certain level or sense of community.

    #80765
    liz
    Member

    Thanks ladies getting some great feedback here, from the research ive done so far its seems to be the pink elephant in the room most women i know have at one time or another felt extremely isolated and with social isolation being one of the major factors causing post natal depression its well worth talking about, i think it would be great if expecting mothers were aware of how their social needs change so much when they have a baby they could be prepared.as you say its hard to go looking for support when you have lost your confidence i used to think that if i told people how lonely bored frustrated i was at home that they would think i didnt love my children its funny how that baby brain works, i think it ties in with what babs was saying in her artical we all need support sometimes that support should be their from the start for all social classes so we dont get so isolated in the first place. i usually go swiming on a fri in bettystown so might bring it up then thanks 😀

    #80794
    Jedt
    Keymaster

    Liz,

    Great post. It’s good to talk about these kinds of issues, that although we are not ‘supposed to admit it’ do really exist.

    When I was made redundant after I had my first baby I was a wreck. My self worth was crushed because I had been forced in to taking the redundancy (they actually said that as I was now a mother, it would be better for me to be at home with my baby and that really, it was a blessing in disguise).

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved being at home with my son but I had worked hard for my career and had gone to college for 5 years and all that was no longer relevant it seemed, when I was stuck at home all day.

    I was living 30 miles away from my parents and I was lonely and miserable. None of my friends had babies so I did not have anyone to talk to about how I felt. In the end, I persuaded my husband we needed to move house to be closer to family. I was so unhappy, he agreed for my sake.

    Since moving to Bettystown I am much happier. I have made lots of friends (many through Mumstown) and my life has taken a direction I never thought it would as I now get to work at bringing parents together, which is really great thing to do.

    I know how it feels to be in a community where you don’t have family or friends and it can be hard so thats why we put to much time into events etc. for Mumstown. Meeting new parents and seeing people connect and make friendships is extremely rewarding.

    Hope that helps in some way….
    Siobhan

    #80795
    Jedt
    Keymaster

    Liz,

    Great post. It’s good to talk about these kinds of issues, that although we are not ‘supposed to admit it’ do really exist.

    When I was made redundant after I had my first baby I was a wreck. My self worth was crushed because I had been forced in to taking the redundancy (they actually said that as I was now a mother, it would be better for me to be at home with my baby and that really, it was a blessing in disguise).

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved being at home with my son but I had worked hard for my career and had gone to college for 5 years and all that was no longer relevant it seemed, when I was stuck at home all day.

    I was living 30 miles away from my parents and I was lonely and miserable. None of my friends had babies so I did not have anyone to talk to about how I felt. In the end, I persuaded my husband we needed to move house to be closer to family. I was so unhappy, he agreed for my sake.

    Since moving to Bettystown I am much happier. I have made lots of friends (many through Mumstown) and my life has taken a direction I never thought it would as I now get to work at bringing parents together, which is really great thing to do.

    I know how it feels to be in a community where you don’t have family or friends and it can be hard so thats why we put to much time into events etc. for Mumstown. Meeting new parents and seeing people connect and make friendships is extremely rewarding.

    Hope that helps in some way….
    Siobhan

    #80869
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    hi liz,
    isolated- that sums me up….
    i moved from drogheda 2 years ago to the west and to this day i still dont have any friends here!
    I am living in a lovely big house surrounded by fields and no one in sight to talk to, the nearest town to be is a 5 min drive away, but they is never any spare money to do anything there where i could meet friends. To top it off myself and my other half dont always get on so there is never much chat between us! if i didn’t have my 2 kids i would have cracked up by now!!

    so i like this mumstown i get to chat to people to keep me sane!! ha ha

    #80894
    super minder
    Member

    us sane are you mad lol

    many friendships have been made and many stories sad and happy told.
    even if its just a quick rad or a long email to other mums and some dads on this its fun and helpful xxxx

    were lucky to have sabbi and her partner to keep us all sane xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    #80903
    liz
    Member

    who knows law maybe you could set up a nice parenting group out your way lots of good things seem to come out of isolation, sure your not the only mum feeling it and i think lots of people looking for outlets for themselves and the kids that are nt so expensive. thanks for all the great feedback its really great to here peoples storys i can identify with so much 🙂

    #80976
    MUMMY5
    Member

    Just another angle on this topic. I was working part-time until the birth of my 3rd child. I intended to return to work part-time again but she was born with special needs and I did have to be at home with her. Childcare wasn’t an option as I needed to do so much work with her, physio, speech therapy, feeding etc. I needed to know her inside out and then some to ensure she got the best care and support. I couldn’t have left her with someone else and known all this.

    Motherhood can be isolating at times but i found when I had a child with special needs it was even more isolationg.Don’t get me wrong, people were helpful and did their best but through no fault of theirs they just didn’t know what I was going through. The responsibity was huge and I had no background in medical care or physiotherapy, speech therapy etc. I had to learn as I went along. Looking after my daughter was far more time consuming than looking after other children the same age as she was much more dependent on me for basic needs as feeding, drinking, moving, nappy changes etc. (she wasn’t able to toilet train), I had to try to balance looking after her with appointments and stays in hospital and also continue having enough time for my other 2 children. This was definately one of the most isolating time in my life.

    The second time I was very aware of the isolation was when my 4th child was born when my daughter with special needs was nearly 3. I couldnt physically push a buggy and a wheelchair. I had the baby in a baby sling as long as I could but eventually it got to the stage where I couldnt do this. I could only bring one child out at a time on my own or else have someone else with me to push the buggy or the wheelchair. I didn’t get out much the first year and craved the freedom other mothers had.

    In my case, I also didn’t ‘choose’ to stop working outside the home, but the decision was made for me, which is hard in itself. I loved my daughter so much and didnt begrudge her any of my time. But I was very isolated. I also found I didn’t socialise much outside the house as I they were so few people who could and would be able to mind her for me. I didn’t go out at night either for the same reasons.

    Even simple things like going for a swim with the children became a no,no as she was prone to aspirating (swallowing liquids into her lungs) and couldn’t go into the water. So because I couldnt do it with her I never really did it with any of the children so she wouldnt feel left out.

    I would say to any mother now though, to try to meet up with other mothers who are at a similar stage in life. If you’re a stay home mum meet up with mums at toddler groups etc. They really are a life line and give people a definate date when they will get out and meet people.

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