Mothers working from home and feeling lonely

Mothers working from homeI want to start this post by saying that I am really very lucky to be one of the growing numbers of mothers working from home. I get to to the school drop off and pick up, be there for my daughter, set my own agenda and for the most part….feel fulfilled.

But recently there has been a growing sense of loneliness creeping up on me

and I’m wondering whether this is something other mothers working from home are experiencing too.

But the questions is, why has this been a feeling that has only come about in the last month or two? I guess some of that has been to do with my daughter moving into year 1 and the dynamic shift that has brought with it as a school mum. When she was at reception, we were really lucky to have a more relaxed drop off and pick up, and there was plenty of time for social interaction either side. Now going into year 1, the drop off and pic is A LOT BUSIER and well, it feels more about survival. By the time you have found where the heck your class line is and seen them into the classroom, you rush back to be back at your desk and get on with your day.

There is no time for pleasantries and chit chat, and even if you wanted to chat in the playground being able to find the people you want to chat to in the scrum is like trying to find the person you want to spend the whole night dancing with in a crazy busy club.

And so back I go to my desk and I work

And I am silent for hours on end, just me, myself and I…without any interaction..until pick up when it is more of the same and where I might – if I’m lucky – bump into a friendly face and have a chat.

I felt that I was shrinking and that this just wasn’t healthy. We humans need social interaction. Women need it more than anything. And so I realised I needed to mix things up. I needed to go out for a walk after lunch rather than continuing to hammer on and on at my keyboard as the world goes by outside without noticing I’m here.

Just being outside and connected to the world shifts the dynamic beyond words

Because the more I’m inside by myself, the more I want to be inside by myself. Before I know it, I’m going to develop full blown agoraphobia. Yesterday I took action and actually hauled myself to work in a co-working space and although the millennial banter totally did my head in (and made me wonder how on earth they got ONE IOTA OF WORK DONE!), I felt alive, part of society’s fabric….not just a work at home recluse.

mothers working from home and feeling lonely

I’ve realised I need to get out and connect with people

to feel fulfilled in this work at home mum juggle. And that’s severely lacking at the moment. I’m going to make a point to get out even when I have no reason to. I’m going to take myself along to networking events just so I can have a conversation that doesn’t involved number bonds, reading homework and bake sales.

I need to do this before I go stir crazy. And I’m wondering whether out of all the mothers working from home, if I’m the only one feeling this way, or if we are collectively going slowly mad and becoming more and more isolated within the confines of our four walls….

I’m going to start making an effort to wake myself up

to get out there, and make some connections. Because if life isn’t about connecting with others, what is it about after all?

Are you one of the growing number of mothers working from home? Can you relate to the above? Do share in a comment below and let me know I’m not alone!!

 

 

32 comments

  1. Hey Talya! I’m so glad you posted this because it really echo’s my feelings over the last couple of months too. It is, I suppose, why I feel like I need to go back to some kind of work place next year – so that I feel like I’m part of the bustle, not alone in a bubble while life passes me by! It can also be really stifling creatively too… If you hear of any decent networking events hit me up lovely because I too have been thinking about getting out there too… x

  2. I absolutely understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been a working from home mum for years now, and it can be so lonely. My previous job was a bit better for it, as I worked with other people, so my day would usually have at least a few phone calls, but now it’s very solitary. I still have one child at home with me, so I can’t even do my usual and head out somewhere else for a change of scenery and focus. I never thought I’d say this, given that I’m a massive introvert, but as much as I love working from home, I miss the social aspect of the office.

  3. I know where you are coming from. I work from home and even though it’s lovely to work for myself it can be very lonely. I do really like to have some human contact sometimes although this doesn’t happen often as all the work is done around children leaving very little time for anything else. Good on you on getting out to a co working space – not my scene as I think i’d be too easily distracted.

  4. I’m no longer a mom, but I do work from home. I’m actually a senior who has outlived many non-virtual friends I used to meet and talk to. I’m part of a group that meets every two weeks and from time to time I attend other meetings, but I always feel behind on things at home and although I miss the close friends that used to be part of my life and know I need to make new friends, it’s not that easy when you’re 75 and not always healthy. I’m not as socially isolated as I could be because I’m still married and live with my husband, so I don’t need to be lonely at home.

    Facebook and Twitter are no substitutes for real world relationships, but I have had meet-ups with online friends from social blogging sites. One lives locally and another passes through my town twice a year. I’m hoping to meet another distant online friend next month if it works out.

    Because don’t have children at home I am freer to pursue relationships outside my home than when I did, but it’s not that easy anymore to find those with common interests unless I join and commit to a group or project I’m not ready for. I do enjoy solitude and I don’t much like small talk. I’m happy someone I mentored forty years ago is coming from a distance to spend next weekend with us. She has alway been special to me. Most of my close friends and family live at least five hours away.

    Relationships take effort. Making new friends takes effort. I guess the social life we have depends on how far out of our way we want to go to develop and maintain it. Someone once said we will always make time for what’s most important to us. I know moms with children at home don’t have full control over their schedules, so it is harder to be spontaneous and grab opportunities for extra interaction when they present themselves. But if you really miss socializing, I think you’ll find a way to get it, but maybe not where you used to find it.

    • Thank you so much for your comment Barbara you are so right the answer is in face to face interactions I’ve already made some changes since writing this and feeling a lot better for it thank you!

  5. Yes it can be very lonely working from home. I retired last December from a very busy office based environment so it’s taking a bit of getting used to being at home. However, I make sure that I arrange to meet up with friends during the day at least a couple of times a week.

    Also as I’ve started blogging about Zero Waste and Sustainability and I’ve found a couple of groups that hold regular talks so it’s great to go along to those each month and connect with people in person as well as just online.

  6. I am not a mama but do work have the option to work from home most days and I refuse because sometimes I feel so lonely wihtout anyone to talk to. I crave human interaction sometimes, so I can understand how you feel

  7. I’m really torn. On the one hand, I’d love to work from home so I can have more flexibility around the kids, but on the other hand I have been self employed in the past (before I had kids) and I really did not enjoy the solitary side of it. I craved being in an office and having colleagues.

  8. When I work from home I tend to get more work done than in the office. And yes, it’s nice to have a bit of banter and a laugh with people, but I make sure that I get out of the house at least 3 times a week – mostly it’s to exercise at the moment, but I’ll have coffee with a different friend every other week and that’s always nice – think it’s important to have something to look forward to…

  9. totally agree but i just look at my pjs and candles and realise i am actually very luck not to have to trudge out to work lol

  10. I love being at home, but I’ve only been at home a year. One thing I do that helps though is go to a sewing group once a week. Even just that couple of hours of real interaction is refreshing! #coolmumclub

  11. When I get the opportunity I love working from home and ultimately it’s my goal to be able to do it full time. However I can imagine that if you don’t get to go out and see others it could be quite isoloating. I guess the school run does have it’s advantages! 😉 #coolmumclub

  12. I totally get this. I saw this on insta yesterday and I was like – this!! My girls have just started nursery and now I suddenly feel a bit lonely when I am working. We should start a group…. Glad to have finally had time to start linking up again #coolmumclub

  13. I can relate to this. It’s definitely the biggest drawback to working from home. I wouldn’t want to trade it in and get a ‘proper job’ again though so, like you, it’s about finding ways of getting out there and networking. #coolmumclub

  14. Great post Talya!
    I was part time last year and blogging took a lot of the rest if my time. I like the balance but must admit, didn’t like the blogging days as it was really lonely! I’m now teaching full time and I love the interaction with the children and my colleagues so much! I realise that, although full time teaching is a killer in terms of stamina, I’m loving the interaction with everyone where I work. Blogging has taken a back seat but I don’t really miss it at the moment! My advice to you is…..get a dog! They are amazing company, need a walk so force you to get outside and are really great for children. #coolmumclub

  15. I have been a working from home mum, and recently have gone back to working in an office – is it better? On some fronts yes, on others no. There doesn’t seem to be a right answer! #coolmumclub

  16. Yes it’s so important to get out there to connect with people. Is there any way you could take your laptop to a coffee shop and work from there sometimes? #CoolMumClub

  17. I know when I had to go back to work last year I was devastated and acted like the world was ending, but now I have to admit I’m loving the balance of a part time job where I see people and part time blog to be on my own. I hadn’t realised how much of a recluse I was becoming, so you are definitely not alone! #coolmumclub

  18. I hear this and I understand where you’re coming from. I am at the point of potentially giving up my job to work from home but the lonliness does scare me. I think as you say making more of an effort to socialise is key. Add it as one of the things on your to do list each week so you don’t end up working too much and forgetting #coolmumclub

  19. You are absolutely not alone here as you can see. I spend the majority of my day in the house and I realised quite a while ago how unhealthy it was for me. I sat down and discussed it with my husband because I really wasn’t feeling good inside myself at times. So like you I have made a rule to leave the house every day (or as much as I can) even if I have nothing in particular to do. It is so vital to get a change of scenery and try to be around other human beings. Great post! #coolmumclub

  20. Milennial banter Good on you for recognising the need to get out! I always find being able to have a cit chat in the playground can really make al the difference to your day. I can totally relate to this xx #coolmumclub

  21. Most of my work is done at home which I like but find it frustrating having to chase people via email (so much easierface to face!) and don’t mind being alone (peace and quiet, yay!) #coolmumclub

  22. I can empathise so much with this. As a Mum that had a school phobic child, life can get very lonely. The best tool by far that I have found is EFT (tapping) therapy, it has helped me no end over the years and I have now become a therapist and author of EFT children’s & teens books Happy Tapping with Mia & Charlie & Energy EFT for Teenagers. Tapping is a tool that can help us all to self regulate, feel calm and happier in general, it can also help with depression and low mood and low self esteem.

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