Isolation. It's hard to imagine someone these days feeling isolated or alone in a world filled with constant interaction via social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. but I believe isolation is a real problem for many these days despite social media connections, and especially for the stay-at-home mom.
You see a mom busy running around, shuffling between playdates and grocery shopping, posting pictures of her kids throughout her day, and sharing a picture into her world. What she might not be telling you though (or it may not be clear) - is that she's lonely. She inundates social media because she's grasping for contact, for human interaction outside of the 15th diaper change and cute baby babbles, or 100th episode of Daniel Tiger, or the toddler battles she's having at home. She has thoughts and opinions that surpass her mothering abilities, and playdates with acquaintances don't quite do her mind justice. She wants the world to see her. She wants the world to know she still has goals, hopes, and dreams that transcend motherhood.
And most of all, she wants someone to talk to that wants to know about her life, her troubles, her accomplishments, and someone to laugh with or possibly cry with. LIKES on Facebook and messages from strangers are nice, but they only go so far. The meaningful people in her life are those she craves the attention from the most. Her family, her friends, those that she wants to make proud - and she wants to be a part of their lives as much as she wishes them apart of hers.
It's easy to forget this mom. She may be all over the place engulfed in motherhood and trying just about anything to create real connections in her life. She may be striving to better herself and feel accomplished, but she also may be drowning in what feels like futile attempts for such achievement. Her children are fighting like cats and dogs, her house is perpetually messy, and you know what? - she's just trying so damn hard.
Please don't write off this mom because she "seems" busy, "seems" confident, or "seems"happy . She likely feels forgotten and alone, left to manage children without the interaction and thoughtfulness she desires. We are all busy. We are all tired. And we all get a little selfish sometimes. But please don't forget this mom. Isolation is a painful place to be and we all should want to help those hurting.
I write this not as my own plea, even though I am this mom. Because yes I feel isolated and alone at times as I navigate the waters of motherhood and staying home with my children. Sometimes I feel forgotten. Sometimes I feel unseen. But I am not the only one. I write this as a reminder of just that.
Stop for a moment in your busy life and think about who you know that might feel alone, even if on the surface it doesn't seem so. Make time for that person. Make them feel seen, cared for, loved. A computer and smartphone can only go so far. A hug, a shared cup of coffee, a kind face to look into during a conversation is a cure.
And if this mom is you too, then share that with someone. Tell someone you are lonely or feel isolated. Because just as I said above, there is a cure and the people in your life, who truly care, can save you.