Last Updated on September 5, 2023 by Sarah McCubbin
Are you trying to figure out how to overcome loneliness as a stay at home mom. Over the years, I have seen many women silently struggle in this area. A common problem when people first choose to stay home…or perhaps begin homeschooling is a feeling of being very isolated or apart from other people.
I’ve found that it is often unexpected by families who have always had their kids in school. So much social interaction is centrally located at the school when your kids go to school, that families often struggle for a bit when they start homeschooling.
Suddenly mom is home 24/7 with little to no adult interaction compared to life before children or as a working woman.
Some women step into that role with a solid support system and may transition easier. Other women may find themselves feeling completely alone.
It can feel very isolating especially if you don’t have safe people to talk to. After all, being a stay at home mom is what some women dream of so expressing your struggles may be met with varying responses from people who may or may not understand that you are grateful…but also lonely or tired or whatever.
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I grew up with a mom who stayed home and had every expectation that I would do the same. I was pretty introverted so staying home wasn’t a problem…but being on call 24/7 was much more challenging.
I began to feel more of the loneliness when we became foster parents almost 9 years later. Suddenly, I was in a position that very few people could understand. I had a houseful of kids, social workers in and out all the time and all kinds of rules to follow about who could watch my kids. I struggled to know who to trust with how I was feeling with a fear that if I said or did the wrong thing, Children’s Services might thing we were unfit.
I felt that extreme sense of loneliness for several years until I found other moms who had also foster and adopted and who could identify with the highs and lows that I was going through without passing judgement.
That experience became my grounding point where I realized that when trying to figure out how to overcome loneliness in our situation we all need people who are our safe people…who won’t judge us for the learning curve we are on.
Table of Contents
So What Is the Solution to that Loneliness?
As with many things in life, there are different pieces to this puzzle. After all, you can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely.
So the approach I am going to suggest is a tri-fold approach where you look at the causes of loneliness from physical, emotional and spiritual causes.
I believe this holistic approach is the most successful because loneliness can be caused by many things. I still occasionally have days where I feel very lonely…even though I am always surrounded by people and have a lot of friends. In that case, the loneliness is not caused by a lack of people or a lack of a support system. On those days, it is often a lack of connection to God so my spiritual wires are a little loose!
So lets look at all 3…tips for overcoming loneliness related to physical, emotional AND spiritual causes.
1. Do you PHYSICALLY need to be around more people?
If you are struggling with loneliness, you may simply need to be around more adults. Physically you are isolated for most of the day so finding a way to connect with more adults may fix the problem.
Of course, that is much easier said that done! I remember the days of having a zillion small children and babies and feeling slightly jealous of my younger sisters who didn’t have kids yet and who could just go do things with people without much planning. Now our seasons are flipped and they have young children and most of mine are older.
If you need to find connection with other women, I have a list of places to look, but I will say that this will need to become a priority for you if you truly feel lonely. It will mean prioritizing being with a group of other moms…or just one other mom regularly. It can’t be the thing you always cancel on or it won’t work!
Great Places to Find Mom Groups:
- MOPS International Groups – for mothers of preschooolers
- Churches – have Bible studies and women’s groups
- Meetup- great place to find people with similar interests
- Libraries – will often have great connections to groups in the area
- Your Local Community Facebook group is a great place to ask about what is in your area.
This step can take time and you may have to try different groups to find the right one. Or if one doesn’t exist, consider starting your own. It’s not as hard as you might think!
Start Your Own Mom’s Night or Mom’s Group!
2. Prioritize Dates With Your Spouse
When we were foster parents, it felt like we were parenting in a war zone sometimes. Life was hard. And rules meant that we couldn’t leave our foster kids with just anyone…so we rarely left the house together.
Maybe you don’t need more mom friends in your life, but you really wish you could spend time with your spouse. If a babysitter is not an option or money is tight, here are a few simple and inexpensive date night ideas.
Free or Cheap Date Ideas
- Go for a walk in your own neighborhood
- Order carryout and enjoy that with a movie after kids go to bed
- Look through old pictures and enjoy the memories
- Cook something together
- Play games or video games together
When we were foster parents, we used to order carryout and lock ourselves in our room to watch a movie. We had teens at that point so staying up to eat and watch wasn’t a great option unless we wanted to eat at 10pm or later! It’s funny because now we never do that, but for that season we did and it met a need. It was a chance for us to just stop for an hour or two in the middle of the busy and sometimes chaotic life we had at that time.
Meet Your Emotional Needs as a Stay at Home Mom
As moms, we give…and give and give. We are experts at putting aside our own needs until another day and time when its more convenient. We are emotionally resilient and can give the appearance that we have it all together…until we are alone and feel the weight of our responsibilities.
Loneliness can set in as we look around us and think that no one else must have the struggles that we have. That is a lie…but it can feel very real in the moment.
Here are tips to dealing with your emotional needs:
1. Find Your Safe People
When my husband and I became foster parents, I found myself experiencing an emotional crisis. It was MUCH harder being a foster mom than I thought it would be.
I didn’t have anyone I could unload on who wouldn’t judge me. I had my parent but they had never been foster parents. So I had a sense of loneliness. When I finally met other foster and later adoptive parents, I remember feeling “safe.” I felt like I could let my hair down and admit that I was a hot mess.
You need that in this season of being a stay-at-home mom. You need your safe people who get it. It could be moms of toddlers or moms of teens…or moms who have been there and done that. You are not alone!
2. Build “Me Time” Into Your Day
While not really related to loneliness, I have found that having time to decompress is very helpful for regaining perspective. Me time can be a 20 minute “nap” while kids watch a video or a 2 hour stretch early in the morning. “Me time’ can be reading a book or sitting on the porch with coffee. Or it could be a 30 minute walk around the block.
When you build time some downtime into your day, you a building in time to rest and regroup.
3. Find Wise Counsel Who Speak Life
I believe it is very important for all of us to surround ourselves with wise people who give us perspective beyond our experience. Being a mom often dredges up junk from our own childhoods and we find ourselves repeating negative patterns.
In order to break patterns, we often need to have someone who will help us identify the things we are trying to get free from and make a plan to change.
Many people advocate that you find this “wise counsel” from professional counselors. And while I don’t doubt that they can be helpful, I always caution that just because someone has a degree doesn’t make them wise and doesn’t mean they have the same values. I tend to be more cautious with professional counselors than I am with a friend who is willing to call out my junk in life.
As a follower of Jesus, it is the most important to me that the person who I am trusting to give me wise counsel will ultimately point me to the word of God. If they do not, they are not wise counsel…whether they are a friend, family member or a paid counselor.
Spiritual Loneliness Can Be the Worst of All
In a world full of self help answers, its easy to find “solutions” to our problems in books or online. But sometimes those practical tips don’t meet the deep needs in our soul. Despite being around people and having a support system of people who love us, we can still feel very much alone.
Stay at home moms give and give and give and in that place comes the realization that if we don’t refuel or replenish, we will eventually run out of anything to give.
What is the source of life pouring back into you?
The answers are found in the word of God…the Bible. I’m not talking about a cliche, religious answer that puts a happy face on everything either.
In, John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
In that passage he his talking specifically about coming to a relationship with God. Jesus it THE WAY.
There are tons of spiritual “guides” in the world who are full of nice sounding answers. But Jesus is the only way to life.
So how can you go about filling that sense of empty spiritual loneliness?
1. Ask God, Elohim, the Creator of the World who made YOU…for help.
I’m so over religion…so over it. But once I stripped all the traditions and rules away, I found God standing right there saying, “Hey, all I really wanted all along was a relationship with you.” That is truly what the Bible is about in a nutshell.
And He is saying that to you to. God wants a relationship with you. Even if you aren’t sure whether you believe that…or if you believe He is real, I invite you to pray and ask God to show Himself to you and to ask for help.
We were not created to do life alone…not as moms…and certainly not as people. If you are feeling lonely, ask God to come alongside you and become REAL to you.
2. Meditate on The Word of God and What it Says ABOUT YOU and ABOUT GOD.
If often have conversations with people about God and they will tell me all kinds of things that they THINK are true about God. But when I ask them questions, they don’t tell me where this is in the Bible…just that they think its true or heard it somewhere.
If you want real transformation in your life, you need to go to the source of truth and meditate on that directly….not what you think is true. I’ve been a Jesus follower for 40 years, but this is something I am still learning and growing in.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12:2
3. Listen to Teaching from the Word of the God and Read it For Yourself
I grew up in church, Christian schools and university but I didn’t experience real deep transformation until I stopped trusting Bible teachers. That sounds terrible. But I had to stop believing everything without reading it in the Bible for myself.
I had to develop new habits. I would listen to a Bible teaching with my Bible open…checking verses and pausing the recording to check and reread what they said. I became an active participant in my own Spiritual walk.
The Bible says, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We need to hear the word….that is so important.
Learning How to Overcome Loneliness Leads to Joy, Community and Encouragement
We all go through seasons in life where we feel alone. And some people allow that to become their identity. But overcoming loneliness is so worthwhile. When we take the time to work through this problem…like many others, it can lead us to new relationships, a better understanding of ourselves and the opportunity to encourage others!