Parenting can be extremely difficult and tiring. It can cause us to feel alone, isolated, and lonely. You may be thinking that this is common and it isn’t a big deal but it is. Isolation and feelings of loneliness lead us to embrace some common traps…
- We lose perspective and believe that our kids are the only ones struggling.
- We lose confidence and doubt our parenting instincts.
- We lose gratitude and can’t see the good things about our teens.
- We lose hope and believe cynicism is the only answer.
There is so much to gain from defeating loneliness and moving out of isolation and you are the only one that can make the change. This has nothing to do with your children or teens. You have to choose to open your life to some other meaningful relationships.
Here are a few questions to get you thinking about some steps you can take to move beyond the isolation you feel…
- How engaged are you at church? For many parents, they feel isolated but they have chosen to be casual with one place where Christians gather each week to connect…church. I’m not just talking about coming in 5 minutes after service has started and heading out while the last worship song is being played. I am asking are you plugged into a group? Do you serve with other adults? Do you make time to actually connect with others at church? Are you in a men or women’s discipleship group? Your church is a great place to start looking for meaningful relationships but they will not come without effort on your end.
- Do you have a mentor? Do you have another mom or dad ahead of you that you can meet with just to ask questions and learn from? That is a mentor. You probably need someone ahead of you to help you. Think about someone you respect deeply and ask them if they would meet up once a month or once a quarter just so you can ask questions and learn.
- Are you engaging other parents around you? This is a big one. Are you working to make connections with other parents as you live your normal life? Think about the last time you actually started up a conversation at baseball practice instead of reading a book or looking at social media. There are people around you that might be great friends if you took the time to get to know them.
These are just three places to start. If you are lonely and isolated, talk about it with someone you trust and take some steps to get out of that space! If you continue to struggle with this, please reach out.
Your partner in ministry,
Family Life Pastor