A new baby. It invokes pictures of joy, love contentment and…… loneliness?
A study in March this year by Channel Mum found out that 92 per cent of mums admit that they feel lonely – with 54 per cent feeling more friendless than before they had children.
Other research also shows that being a new mother is one of the most isolating and stressful times in a woman’s life. Yet there seems to be little support or understanding for mothers at this most significant time in their life – and critically their babies life too.
The huge change from often being someone who lives in a world of adults and often has work responsibilities; to someone who spends large parts of the day at home alone with a baby and little social interaction can be shocking and often goes unacknowledged.
This isolation can lead to other problems, with over half of respondents of the Channel Mum survey saying they suffered anxiety as a result of their loneliness.
Not only are you dealing with being alone for much of the day, you are also re-adjusting your whole life in terms of relationship with your partner, closeness with your women friends and how you view yourself. Your relationship with your partner perhaps comes under the biggest impact. You are together – but you are never alone!
It is important to recognize that this is time of huge upheaval with both parties often operating with very little sleep and sometimes a lot of worry about the well being of a new little person who has huge demands and is very vocal about it!
The new research found 70 per cent of current mums with dependent children say their generation is the loneliest ever. A way out of this isolated situation is to talk about what you are going through with other mothers also in the same situation.
Channel Mum www.channelmum.com has created the ‘You Are Not Alone (#CMYANA) campaign
#CMYANA challenges mums to perform five daily activities to widen their friendship circle, meet new mums, and offer and feel support.
The activities are:
1. Go to a toddler group or baby class and sit with a mum who is there alone.
2. Go to the park and chat to another mum who is there by herself.
3. Smile at every mum you meet.
4. Get the phone number of one of the mums you meet today.
5. Text them and arrange to meet for coffee.
If you are looking for more support and space then consider the Mummyshock programme one of the Take Action Counselling services giving support to women