“But are your children being socialized?” It’s the absolute #1 question I am asked when strangers find out we homeschool. Of course, of course. They’ve got neighborhood friends, church friends, friends from co-op/ music lessons. They’re so socialized, they can’t get over themselves. But what about their mommy? What about that adult that is running around ragged, trying to cram them full of knowledge and fun and lots of love? Is SHE being socialized?
If someone were to ask me what the hardest part of homeschooling is for me, it would definitely be this. Loneliness. It’s something that can be experienced by any person in any walk of life from anywhere in the world. And if you think that being a stay-at-home mommy, surrounded by tiny persons can’t possibly feel it, think again. There is a huge difference between being with like-minded mommy friends and being with my babies. I love them to pieces & wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, but they cannot possibly meet every need for human interaction I could possibly have. And they shouldn’t! What a burden to have to bear for them. They need me to have friends about as much as I do.
Our personal situation is compacted even more when you throw in that we have moved a TON. New neighborhoods, churches, co-ops, etc. Starting over and over again can be so hard. Children somehow bond immediately with other children, but it’s not always so with adults. So what’s a mommy to do?
Here are some great ideas.
- Pray. Pray that your relationship to God meets the deepest desire of your heart. No human relationship will ever fill the void in you like God can. He created you to love him, and He will bring the joy you long for. Pray also that He will send people into your life to be friends.
- Go out there and meet people! Attend the “Mommy’s Night Out” programs, talk to people at church, co-op, the park, wherever! Exchange names and numbers with your kids’ new bestest friend ever that she JUST met five minutes ago and plan (and follow through!) with meeting up again. Sign your kids up for an activity where you know you can also hang out- baseball, gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer
- Invite people to do things with you! Have them over at your home, meet at a park, catch a movie together, whatever- all with or without kiddos.
- Call up an old friend. Don’t just text. That’s too impersonal when you’re feeling blue and want actual human contact.
- Do stuff- attend a MOPS group (mothers of preschoolers), join a book club, volunteer at your child’s coop, take an art or cooking class.
- Get a part-time job.
These are just a few ideas. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t stay home and wallow in the loneliness. We mommies tend to sacrifice a lot for our little ones in order to meet their needs. This shouldn’t be one of those things we neglect. Life is hard. We need each other.
What are some ways that you combat loneliness?