Being vulnerable isn’t always easy, but I want to write this for the girl who’s going through it. You may be the first one out of your friends to have a baby. You may be the first sibling or cousin to have a baby. Your pregnancy may be unexpected. You may be going through it while the world is in a pandemic. Or like me, you may be all of those things.
Some form of loneliness during pregnancy is inevitable. You are the sole carrier and provider for your baby for 9+ months, and sometimes that can feel isolating. It’s a lot of pressure and responsibility for one person.
And then your baby comes and you are head first in this thing called motherhood. Motherhood is a huge life transition and I wasn’t ever told that it was also going to feel lonely. There’s obviously so much joy and love for your new little baby, but there are also feelings that are unfamiliar. Let’s normalize the feelings:
Feeling alone in your body after sharing it for 9+ months.
Feeling alone working through the postpartum hormones.
Feeling alone in recovering from birth.
Feeling alone trying to feed your baby from your body.
Feeling alone in your changing identity as a mother.
Feeling alone being in a different stage of life than some friends or family.
And to add to it all, feeling sleep deprived and exhausted.
There is not much you can do to prepare for loneliness, but my hope is that it will make you feel less alone knowing that women who have came before you felt the same way. No matter what season of life you’re in having a baby.
The first few months after I had Blakely, I often played the comparison game which only fed into the lonely (& yes comparison IS in fact the thief of joy). I scrolled on LinkedIn seeing graduates from my class post about their new awesome job in their new city. I saw my friends taking spontaneous trips and going out together on the weekends. I saw Instagram influencers with their big beautiful homes and a gorgeous dream nursery. For a while I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I continued to turn to social media and continued to stay in my pity party of 1.
I scrolled and scrolled and got hung up on how I thought my life “should” have looked. College –> start career –> marriage –> THEN have a baby. Getting pregnant at 21 wasn’t a part of the plan… MY plan.
I don’t share this to receive pity, and I also don’t share this to be insensitive to those who have struggled to get pregnant. I share this to be real and raw in case anyone else feels or has felt the same way.
When life feels hard, I sometimes turn to reading. There’s a book I love called “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way” by Lysa Terkeurst. It’s an incredible book for those who are in a season of loneliness, confusion or disappointment, and it’s about how to find your strength in this time.
She wrote something in the book that has stuck with me I want to share. It is written in the perspective of God about you.
“She most certainly will question Me. Her favorite question of all will be ‘Why?’ And it will serve her well. For in the incessant wrestling she will come to learn something most people never learn. She will see I didn’t do these things to her. I did them for her.
Though it broke My heart to give her the opposite of what she wanted, she will watch me eventually turn all that bad into good. I will turn it all upsidedown, and in doing so she will live rightside up. She will be a beacon of light in extreme darkness. She will be a voice of hope when others feel all is lost.“
This quote is absolutely everything. Read it again and just let that truth soak in!!!
After reading this, I could understand more clearly what God was doing in my life. God didn’t intend to make me feel loneliness, but it’s through the lonely that He knew I would gain so much strength, knowledge, and purpose. He was preparing me for the challenges of motherhood that lay ahead. In the past year, I’ve learned to surrender to God’s timing and trust that His plan is above my plan.
I hope this was a reminder to you as it was for me that we were created with a purpose, for a purpose. You are exactly where you are meant to be, even if it isn’t how you imagined. This season you’re in may be lonely, confusing and hard, but find comfort in the fact that God walks with you and hasn’t left you. He won’t lead you astray. Like the quote above, what you’re going through now may be “a voice of hope” to someone in the future.
And I highly recommend you check out the book I mentioned earlier, “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way” if you find yourself in an unexpectedly hard season.
I hope this brought you a sense of encouragement, no matter what season of life you are in.