For the Mom who feels like a Hermit

If you received this post via email subscription, this post has been rewritten and re-posted. I apologize for the post you received earlier with the same title. It was incomplete.

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When I first had children, I was so lonely and broken. Oh, that anyone would notice the pain in my heart! I left a job that did not satisfy, but at least I interacted with adults every day. Because I didn’t know anyone with children my kid’s age and because it can be hard for young moms to invest in other moms, I often took my littles to the library for story time. I did this to make friends and get out of the house.  Often, women came with other women with kids their own kid’s ages. They already had their own tribe.  Honestly even though I built some relationships, it was slow, and nothing lasting came of it. Was there benefit to it? Definitely! I was learning how to get out of my comfort zone, and I was allowing my children to be near other children. My kids learned a respect for the library, and we got out of the house. It was worth the investment to do it. But it did not fulfill my need for mommy friends.

I even had little mommy cards made up that I could give out if I met another mommy. I gave out one, and we actually met together, but only once!

Our church started a MOPS group, and after I worked up enough courage to go to one of the play-dates, the group disbanded. Oh no!

I joined online mommy groups, but it was too easy to stay home and not actually go to meetings with strangers. I needed to know somebody.

Frankly, I starting blogging and some days that’s the only reason I survived.

Now my children are a little older, and the problem has changed. I know women to hang out with. I know women who have children who like to play with my children, but it still comes unnatural to call them and set up play times together. Even as God as taught me so much and changed and shaped me so, I’m still weak in relationships. How is it that I can crave relationships and  yet not open my eyes to make them? I still fail to invite others into what I am doing sometimes. For example, recently I went to the McWane Center and the Big Springs Splash Pad all in the same week, and you know what? I didn’t invite a single person to come along with me. {Perhaps the fact that I thought about it is progress, but I’m not sure.}

The plus side to allowing my children to go places unhindered by a core group of friends is that they make friends with others easily. They join in and are not alienated by differences. I actually initiate conversations with strangers some times, which if you’ve known me for any length of time, you know is huge.The negative side is that I don’t teach my children how to value community and form deep and lasting bonds with friends, and I want to foster that in them. When you have three, they are their own community, but I want them to grow relationally with others as well. Even though, it is difficult for me, I need to learn to step outside of myself and my comfort zone for my children.

For the mom who feels like a hermit, there is hope. There are two types of moms who fall into this category. Moms who are home bound for various reasons and moms who make themselves hermits. For this second type of mom, I encourage you to get outside of your comfort zone. The first five are not fail-proof and are trial and error suggestions. The second five are tried and true.

  1. Look for mommy groups at your church.
  2. Join a discipleship class at your church that has moms of kids around your kids ages.
  3. Go to story time at the library, zoo, or grocery store {our Whole Foods has a story time.}
  4. Notice who is in the nursery with your child at church. Invite the family over for a play date.
  5. Be patient. I know this is not the most encouraging thing to say when you are lonely, but over time, you will make other mommy friends, and your kids will make friends too.
  6. Pray.
  7. Listen to the Holy Spirit, and step out of your comfort zone. Keep letting God guide you on friendships.
  8. Meditate on Scripture.  Some suggestions are Psalm 25, 63, 57, 70:5, and 86:1-13.
  9. Know that God has a heart for relationships. He sets the lonely in families, and He wants to provide community for you. Trust that He will.
  10. Recognize that friendships often come in seasons. Be mindful of God’s provision for you when you notice a change in season.

For the first type of mom, the mom who is genuinely home bound, her problem is different. This is a time of leaning and pressing in for her. This is a time to be still and reflect on the wonderful gifts and abilities the Lord has given her during this season of slowing down. It may be a time to find new gifts and abilities that she didn’t know she could do. But rest assured, mom who does not get out much, God has a great plan for you. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

To those of you who have plenty of mommy friends, stop, look, and listen for the moms who need an extra nudge and a gentle offering of friendship. Step out and be the first to speak outside of your circle and invite new people into your tribe. You will encourage and bless. Also, remember the moms who are genuinely home bound. Think of ways to encourage and uplift them. You will be blessed.

What are you doing to develop mommy friends?

What are you doing to develop your children in this area?

In which area are you the weakest in and how does God want to use it to glorify Him?

Ask Him to speak to you today through your weak areas.

Lord, for the woman who feels too weak to make friends, give her the strength and courage to leave her house today with her children that sometimes overwhelm her and leave her haggard. Give her opportunities to form lasting friendships. Help her to trust You and trust that You will bring people into her life at the appropriate time for her. Lord, for the woman who has plenty of friends, open her eyes to how you want to use her to love on another.

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Comments

  1. I LOVE this! I struggle so much in the area of relationships. Just desiring to have true, honest, deep, friendships. It’s always been hard for me. I have one of two close friends but that is all. Sometimes it feels like other girls have a whole group of close friends.
    Love that you shared Psalm 68:6 – that verse was in my quiet time this morning! :)

    • Jennifer,
      This is one of my all time biggest struggles! You said it – I desire true, honest, deep friendships too. Sometimes I feel like a leper in this area. It is the way though in which God works most in my life. I am the neediest and poorest in spirit in the area of friendships and I lean heavily on Him in that way. I am so glad that Psalm 68:6 was repeating to you yesterday. I think that was His way of letting you know that He sees and cares for you. I’ll be praying for you (in so many ways) but especially in regard to the need to connect.

  2. “But rest assured, mom who does not get out much, God has a great plan for you.”
    thank you for this, my friend. that whole para, in particular.

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