Got The Parenting Blues? Here Are Some Affordable Ways To Overcome Loneliness

Parenting isn't easy. In the past, people lived with extended family, and they had their support to help take care of their children, raising them together with other people doing the same. Now our world is so spread out, and parenting can feel incredibly lonely and isolating, especially when the kids are younger and we feel more trapped at home. For me, one of the biggest things to help me feel less alone as a parent was finding my parenting "tribe" through the internet, people with whom I could commiserate and ask advice. Here's some other ways, suggested by a reader, on how you can overcome loneliness as a parent.

Many parents say that nurturing their little ones is one of the most rewarding things that they could do in their lifetime. However, as most of their time and effort goes into caring and providing for their children, some parents tend to ignore the fact that they’re struggling with loneliness and isolation. New research indicates that 56 percent of parents with children under the age of five experience loneliness most of the time, and it’s even worse for low income parents. It’s true that parenting takes commitment, effort, and a lot of time, but it’s also equally important to acknowledge these feelings of loneliness and find ways to cope with them to avoid depression, feelings of resentment, or relationship fall outs. If you’re experiencing the parenting blues, here are some affordable ways to overcome loneliness.

Make time for friendships

Your social life undergoes a drastic change once you welcome a baby into your life, and many new dads and moms have experienced losing friends soon after becoming a parent. But others have also managed to make friends with other parents, as they’re able to relate to everything that’s currently going on in their life. Whether you’re still in touch with your old friends or you’ve made new acquaintances, it’s important to nurture these friendships in order to reduce isolation. This means making time to chat with your buddies, even if it’s just an hour over a cup of coffee in your living room, or even a quick catch-up on video call. If there are important events in your friends’ lives such as weddings or baby showers, make an effort to be there, unless it really is impossible for you to attend. Whether it’s a simple backyard barbecue or an online party to welcome a baby, be there, enjoy yourself, and do your part to make your friend feel celebrated and honored.

Revisit old hobbies

Perhaps you have a few puzzles lying around, or you’ve got a guitar that’s been gathering dust in the corner of your bedroom. If you’re feeling lonely or bored, why not revisit an old hobby? You might think that you don’t have free time for hobbies as you’re constantly doing chores or looking after your children, but if you think about all those hours spent on social media or watching Netflix shows, you’ll realize that you actually have some time to engage in a creative pursuit. Fun diversions can be good for your well-being, and active leisure can break a monotonous routine. If you don’t have a hobby, find the right one for you. For instance, if you’re creative, you may want to start reading, writing or drawing. If you want something that’s more of a challenge, try learning a new language or play an instrument. If you just want something fun, maybe create something out of duct tape or your child’s Legos, learn songs in a new language, or follow along to choreographed dances on YouTube. You may be surprised at how these activities can lift up your spirits when you’re feeling blue.

Be kind to yourself

Sometimes, you just need to pamper yourself a little when you’re feeling down. Make sure to schedule some “me time” at least once or twice a month, and ask your partner to look after the kids while you take some time for yourself. It can be as simple as a luxurious, uninterrupted soak in your bathtub, two hours of playing your favorite video games, a walk around the neighborhood, or perhaps a few hours just browsing in your favorite stationery shop or bookstore. A little alone time can do wonders for your soul, helping you to feel happy, energized and refreshed.

Looking after your mental and emotional well-being, as well as pursuing your passion and happiness, shouldn’t take a backseat once you become a parent. Make time for your friends and interests, and give yourself a break whenever you need it. By doing so, you’ll be a happier and healthier individual who’s ready to take on the joys and challenges of parenting anytime.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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