Even Strong Moms Feel the Weight of Loneliness

In some situations it is common for emotions to run wild. Loneliness can do its thing, and it's common and understandable. Discover our recommendations below.
Even Strong Moms Feel the Weight of Loneliness
Valeria Sabater

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Written by Valeria Sabater

Last update: 11 October, 2022

You’re a strong mom and no one doubts it. However, sometimes, even strong moms get tired of having to be so. And there are days when you manage to stay strong, but you feel the indefinable weight of loneliness… The one that makes you cry in secret.

You may very well be a single mom or feel like you’re parenting alone. For whatever reason, you now see yourself with one or more children around you who depend solely and exclusively on you. And you know you’re not the only one.

You know that before you, there have been many women (and also men) who’ve struggled in that day to day where you have to cook, change diapers, entertain, educate, and have a pair of eyes in the back to foresee risks and save those reckless but adorable creatures from a thousand falls and a thousand dangers.

For your children, you always try to put on your best smile and be in the best of spirits. However, you can’t always keep your spirits through the roof or tattoo radiant joy on your face. Sometimes you reach your limit. Because you can’t always be strong when, besides being a mother, you have to deal with your house, bills, uncertainties, and the physical and mental fatigue that comes with the feeling of never getting everything done.

If all of these sensations are familiar to you, you need to reflect on one aspect. Covert depression, the kind we’re not always aware of, can in many cases turn into a major depression.

The higher our emotional investment, the more exhausted we feel. If we add to this the challenge of parenting alone, the risk increases.

We suggest that you reflect on this.

Strong moms need support too

A sad mom holding her baby.

There’s a very interesting book on this very subject called “The Ghost in the House: Motherhood, Parenting, and How to Fight Depression” by Tracy Thompson. The author, a journalist for the Washington Post, writes about her own experience raising children.

She faced depression and fought to keep her children from suffering the impact of her illness. She did it with all her might for a very specific reason: She remembered what her childhood was like when her own mother also battled with every day with a depression that was never adequately treated.

The book also addresses a follow-up of more than 400 women in order to delve into fears, problems, and that feeling that often embraces many mothers more than we think. We’re talking about loneliness. However, rather than physical “loneliness”, what they really feel is the feeling that no one understands everything that they’re going through.

Let’s look at this in detail.

No mom should be alone for the first few months

The most complex moments for a mother are the months that follow childbirth. That first six months where a baby needs so much from the mother can be exhausting in many cases, especially if we do it alone.

  • You know that you’re a strong mother, but every person needs someone to talk to, someone to counsel us, to take away our burdens, to help us, to dialogue with us, etc. Family is essential. Our friendships are essential, as is going out to get some fresh air from time to time, communicate with other people, and avoid the silence of the home.

An image to ponder

An illustrated comic where a breastfeeing child gradually consumes his mother whole.

The illustration that you can see above gives us an example of a feeling that many women have at some point. In it, there’s a great metaphor and a somewhat grotesque image, we know. But Sendak, its illustrator, wanted to highlight several aspects:

  • The feeling that our identity is diluted. We become mothers, and although we’re happy about it, that very intimate dependence your baby has on you sometimes makes us “disappear” as women.
  • It’s as if every day, we lose our identity little by little, and this feeling isn’t healthy. We must avoid it by sharing responsibilities, and above all, resting from time to time.
  • You’re a mother and you will be for life, but this doesn’t mean that you stop being you. With your hobbies, dreams, passions, and customs.

Even strong moms need to build a good support network

Few things can be more beneficial than meeting other mothers in the same situation as you. The same can be said about a supportive partner or if a good family that helps you on a day-to-day basis. Also, don’t hesitate to help other moms.

Three strong moms holding their pregnant bellies.

Building a support network of women who are mothers is something that’s rewarding, enriching, and in turn, has a long tradition. Those maternal circles where we share fears, trusts, and worries, and where talking about our children is something very therapeutic that will help us not only continue being strong moms, but also gain wisdom.

So tell us, do you already have your own support network?

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.