Open Letter to the Lonely Mom {TRUE LIFE}

lonely mom

I know there are many of you out there who have a good group of girlfriends. You laugh and cry together. You have a group text together. You know pretty much everything about each other. You probably even refer to each other as a village or a tribe, if you’re super-trendy.

This is not a post to discredit you at all. Full disclosure — I’m really jealous of what you have and of what you are. I really want a village too.

So this letter may not entirely be for you. Maybe you can relate because you’ve been here too, or maybe you can share this with someone who needs what you have — a friend.

To the mom who feels she doesn’t have friends or the energy for friends. To the mom who schedules “dates” with potential friends and cancels them because she is afraid of actually going through with it. To the mom who feels lonely, isolated, rejected, or less-than.

I am writing this to you because I’m a lonely mom too — like, really lonely.

I see groups of girlfriends and instantly feel a tightening in my throat and burning in my nose and eyes. I picture myself standing outside on the street with my face pressed against the window looking in at them.  I wonder why I can’t have that too. Is there something wrong with me? Am I not friend material? Maybe they have something I don’t. And then I walk away feeling hurt, thinking that maybe I just don’t have it (whatever it is).

Looking back over the last decade, I feel like I did have close friends once, but for whatever reason it’s faded over time. It could be them or it could be me or it could just be kids life messing it all up. But, I’ve struggled with believing it was all me and I still beat myself up about it. I’ll never forget the conversation I had when someone I called a friend told me that I didn’t really want community. She accused me of being fake and only wanting the perks of relationships without the work. That conversation echoes in my head every time I try to build new relationships. For a long time, I walked around thinking I didn’t deserve friends because but everyone deserves friendship. Everyone.  

And then there’s that whole “being a mom” thing.  

Sometimes I think that being a mother is one of the loneliest jobs on the planet. So much of what we do and what defines us as moms is done without anyone around. We get used to taking it all on and learning to make do with the two arms we were given. But in our striving to be good moms, we forget about ourselves and what we need. It doesn’t have to be a one-woman show.

You have SO much on your plate. Mothering isn’t easy and life can be hard. You’re doing your best, pouring everything you are into being there for your kids. It’s hard to even think about enjoying (usually cold) coffee and conversation with anyone other than your toddler.

But even in your isolation as a mom, you are not truly alone.


There are other moms who are in the trenches with you. Doing their own mothering day in and day out. Feeling exactly how you are feeling. It doesn’t have to be every woman for herself.

I’ve decided I don’t want to be a lonely mom anymore. I’m still figuring this out but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with… get ready for it… putting myself out there.

I have to take the first step.

I know it’s scary for those of us who struggle with rejection, which is why I encourage you to choose one friend, acquaintance, co-worker, carpool buddy, to reach out to. Be honest and see what happens. 

I’m here. Pulling for you. Cheering you on. You are not alone. I know it’s scary. I know it’s hard. I know life, kids, fear, work, and other things get in the way but you CAN do this. You don’t have to be a lonely mom anymore.

lonely mom

This post is part of a series called the True Life Series, where we share stories written by Milwaukee area moms, but posted anonymously. By and large, these stories are more sensitive in nature or cover topics that may be triggers for some readers. Publishing the piece does not suggest an endorsement by MKE Moms Blog.

However, we want to give these writers the chance to share their stories in a safe space, in the hopes that someone else might resonate and realize they are not alone. Topics in the True Life Series are likely to draw a lot of opinions, but we want to be clear that, out of respect for the writers of these pieces, we will be monitoring comments carefully and deleting anything that is shaming, hurtful, derogatory or otherwise abusive. 


23 Responses to Open Letter to the Lonely Mom {TRUE LIFE}

  1. Sarah E. January 26, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

    Oh how my heart hurts for you and for all the other lonely mamas out there. Yes, motherhood can be terribly lonely and isolating and draining. But I don’t think any woman should go it alone (even if there is a spouse/partner in the picture). Part of becoming/being a mom is that we are transformed into a new being, while still holding on to what we were. And that creates a tricky environment in which to discover and be comfortable with this new, yet same, being. And relationships are tricky. But I’m glad you’re speaking to this lonliness and I hope and pray that you find that person or persons to be a part of. Don’t let that hurtful comment reverberate in your head any longer. Your “tribe” is out there. I didn’t find mine until I was pregnant with my fourth kiddo. We’ve been together almost 8 years now.

  2. Tricia January 27, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    I completely get it. I never had a ‘tribe’ with my oldest child. I felt so lonely. Things got better with my younger kids (my second child was born 7 years after my first, so it was a long time), but I still remember the loneliness.

  3. Leslie January 27, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    I swear you wrote this about me! I know the feeling oh to well. I tell my husband all the time all I want is a friend/friends. But….feel that what’s wrong with me feeling because I just can’t seem to find my “tribe”. I sometimes can’t even look at Facebook because it hurts to much to see pictures and posts of friends together. I’ve tried so many times to put myself out there and your right the rejections is really hard!
    Thank you for the article it was really nice to see someone else feels the same way.

    • Kim March 13, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

      Your response is ME. I even thought I found my “tribe” a few times but it always fizzles even with my effort. And feels one sided. Some weeks I feel ok with it and other weeks i feel oh so lonely

  4. Stefanie January 27, 2017 at 10:35 pm #

    Most likely the person who made that comment to you about only wanting the “perks” without the “work” has some problems and insecurity issues of her own. People who lash out like that are usually projecting or are enduring some serious issues in his/her life. Don’t let that comment darken your attempts at establishing new and healthy relationships with other moms, or people in general. I have been a shy, introverted person most of my life and am only now (at 34 years old and with an almost-two-year-old) feeling comfortable enough in my skin to reach out and nourish some friendships. So, indeed, you are not alone. And neither am I.

  5. Heidi January 28, 2017 at 9:14 pm #

    I love this post and how real it is. I think we’d find a lot more moms feel that way you (and I) do. They just need someone to reach out. You’ve motivated me… I’LL be the mom to reach out to those around me. Best of luck in your journey!

  6. Honey January 28, 2017 at 10:51 pm #

    My heart breaks hearing this story. Trust me please; there is nothing wrong with you. I didn’t find my first adult friend until I was over 30. Truly good things take time. I found my true kindred spirit when I was 40. Your friend is out there. Please know that there is nothing wrong with you. God doesn’t make mistakes. Remember God loves you, and He will always be your best friend. Take time to get to know Him.

  7. Allison January 29, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

    I feel like I could’ve written this. I find myself struggling with how to even put myself out there. Between weird work schedules, spouses, kids, etc., it’s hard to make friends as an adult. I feel like all I ever do is take care of other people. At work. At home. I have no energy to keep up relationships. My close friends before I had kids don’t have kids and don’t get it. They think I’m blowing them off and don’t get why I can’t just get a babysitter and hang out. Or just bring the kids along, like it’s fun to manage two toddlers in someone else’s non-childproofed house. I tried explaining why that isn’t fun to my best friend but she just thought I was being dramatic. So slowly we’ve drifted apart. I’ve tried going to mommy and me classes, library story times, and parks but I have had no luck in connecting with anyone. I feel pretty lost in the friend department. I’m glad I’m not the only one in this situation but I’m also sad there are others in this situation.

  8. Liv January 29, 2017 at 11:16 pm #

    I hope that this comment brings some perspective, but I’m one of those 30-something girls with a “tribe”. I’m not married and I don’t have children, but was subscribed to this blog through a mom friend of mine. I happened to stumble on your post and I feel the need to tell you that the grass is not always greener. Do not look at those Facebook posts and instagram filtered pictures as purely wonderful. No one posts the hard and lonely times. You’re totally normal. It’s hard not having a family to come home to, and I often find myself feeling the way you decribe. The only thing I can deduce is that we’re all responsible for our own happiness…single, married, mother, not a mother. I’m sure you’re a lovely person, and very deserving of a great friend. Invite some ladies over! Go to a workout class with someone as a routine. Pretty soon, I think you’ll start feeling less blue.

  9. Sara January 30, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

    How many times can I take that scary step and put myself out there? After trying so many times and getting zero in return, I really am pretty convinced that I don’t have IT.

  10. Natasha January 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

    I was struggling intensely yesterday because of this!!!!! When I did have friends, I never had a one tell me I was fake or not pulling my weight, but I have been burned by people l thought were close friends in the past. I think that’s why I have low socializing confidence. Thank you for this. When I get in my lonely state, I’ll think of the other lonely moms, and hopefully not feel so alone.

  11. Gretchen January 30, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    I’ve had some very lonely years friendship-wise, for sure. I’ve been hurt. (women can be so mean!) It’s hard to put ourselves as there and open up for something that could be really good or may be hurtful. I could have written this blog post.

  12. Michelle Tamasa January 31, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    I felt like this for years… Until my son convinced me to just show up at a neighbor kid’s mom’s fire pit gathering. “All the other parents are there! Can’t you just come and say hi?!” I brought my own bottle and glass of wine, meet my new bestie, and it’s been sweet ever since. I hope you find your match soon!

  13. tanya February 1, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

    I feel so alone. My family and friends are in other states and I work FT. The few hours I do have each night I want to spend with my son and then the weekends are filled with catching up on being a mom and wife. I do crave the coffee time with a few friends … I love being a mom and would not trade it for the world, but it can be overwhelming for my perfectionist self, who fears rejection greatly.

  14. Alyson February 1, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

    This resonates with me so much! I too am a lonely mom struggling to find a “tribe” I feel like I fit in with. I have social anxiety which makes it really hard to put myself out there, let alone get by with day to day life. It’s always comforting when you realize you aren’t alone. Thank you for sharing your story!

  15. lindsey February 2, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    This hits home for me too! My husband and I were a bit behind the curve in getting married and then having kids (not for a lack of trying). The mom friends I was close to now have older children and other friends from school, music class, their neighborhoods, etc. I work, while they are stay-at-home moms.

    My husband works out of town and I telecommute. It does get lonely. I just hope that my lack of mom friends doesn’t impact my daughters. I want them to have friends and be included in play dates, birthday parties, etc.

  16. Lindsay September 22, 2017 at 6:14 am #

    This is so true. I live in a rural area and I was so lonely when my kids were little. I work from home and there just aren’t many people my age in my town. I tried joining a mom group but they were all stay at home moms and didn’t approve of my working and I didn’t click with any of them.
    I finally met the parents of some girls in my oldest daughter’s class. We clicked and it was an amazing 3 years as I had my “tribe” of women to live, love and laugh with. Unfortunately, their husbands’ jobs took all three of them away one by one and they moved out of state. I found myself tribe less again and so lonely.
    I’ve tried putting myself out there again by going to school events but now that our kids are older it seems everyone has already found their “groups”. Sometimes I wish we could wear a sign letting people know that we need a friend so we know who else is lonely too.

  17. Laylin December 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

    I can relate to this article so much! As a mom and a full time working mom, I am exhausted and always feel “tired” or “scared” to put myself out there! I used to have close friends but they all seemed to vanished after I had my first.
    I do get blue often about this and think of this often as well!

  18. Ellie December 22, 2017 at 7:39 am #

    This was the read I needed! Mamahood can be so lonely – I am one of the lonely moms but looking forward to the day that I make a true mama friend that just gets me! I tell my husband all the time, that I miss my friends from a decade ago. The ones that knew me from the beginning, knew all my faults and failures, but still loved me! Now I feel like having kids, people have a new level to get to know you on. I feel like they need to like you as a mom first…they need to like your kids and how you have raised them thus far….then and only then, they can decide that you are worth the work to have friendship with.. Thanks for this article!

  19. Cat December 29, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

    I’m next to you at the window. Let’s have coffee!! I have lived in multiple states and have still not connected.

  20. Kim March 30, 2018 at 11:18 am #

    How funny the timing of this. I was just standing in my kitchen looking out the window with tears in my eyes thinking these things while breakfast cooks.
    I feel like I’m terrible at friendships. They fail. I don’t put into them enough and people get hurt.
    But honestly? I’m just extremely vested in what’s in front of my nose. And that’s the kiddo. And my work. It doesn’t mean I don’t love the people in my life. I want to find someone who’s values and goals and aspirations are on a close level with mine. I want someone who is highly empathetic, who gets it, who forgives.
    Best of luck to all of us. May we find out Who, and not worry about IT. As Mr. Rodgers says, “I like you just the way you are.”

  21. Joyless June 25, 2018 at 3:21 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to be remembered as a person who was “always there” for people, so I’ve always tried to reach out to friends, acquaintances, neighbors, to meet their needs in some small way (letting them know the parking ticket person is in the neighborhood, reaching out to someone with a serious illness, a death in the family, providing a ride, a meal etc.) but somehow, it is never reciprocal. When I had cancer, back surgery, shoulder surgery, etc. I heard from no one….I finally had to post a caring bridge to get a little encouragement. I meet people and get the usual, “you’re so nice, you understand, and let’s get together!” but even when I try to reach out, it never pans out. I don’t want to try anymore, I’m exhausted from work, my parents failing health is draining me, and my one and only daughter just told me she wants to stay overseas and live there the rest of her life! Great……:( Unfortunately, my husband just doesn’t get it.

  22. Nicki July 28, 2018 at 8:35 pm #

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this blog and the comments from other women who are mothers who feel lonely and isolated. I have 2 neighbors who I am friendly with, but they are older than me and have grandchildren my kids’ ages so they’re on a different path than I am. I’ve had girlfriends, but then we moved out of state, I found two women in our new state (6 years ago), but both friendships faltered over time and I. Now find myself lonely and depressed. I tried the PTA thing, chatted up moms at school and the park, but nothing pans out. Most recently, I befriended a few moms at my youngest son’s preschool and we all began texting to arrange play dates, but that went downhill fast as everyone kept cancelling on one another and one of the moms just wanted to have me in her life for free babysitting—needless to say, I quickly left that group for self-preservation. It’s been an 11 year, difficult journey and I’ve just about given up hope that I’ll ever have a group of girlfriends that truly care about me like I had before I moved. Just focus on yourself and your families and find a hobby or something that brings you some amount of joy!!

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