Tears on maternity leave....am I depressed, or just lonely?!(18 Posts)
I was soooo looking forward to my maternity leave - when I had DS 5 years ago maternity leave was lovely, with my NCT group and loads of other babymama friends. This time it feels totally different. DD is 3.5 months now, and I often feel so damned lonely. I've got a group of girls from an ante-natal yoga group and we meet occasionally, but none of them seem very interested in meeting up more than once every few weeks. I'm going to classes in the hope of making some friends there, but so many people seem to either turn up with NCT friends already, or the babies are older and they've already collected their friends. I see other groups/pairs of women and it makes me feel really sad, like I don't have anyone to buddy up with. Have just come home from yet another class, where i hung around the cafe afterwards but no-one else came down/or they were in groups already. I feel like wearing a badge saying 'please can we hang out?' but i am not that sad! It's starting to make me feel really down, and i don't feel nearly as confident as i did even a couple of months ago. Is this depression, or just loneliness?
Do you still know your NCT friends from first time round?
Are you still an NCT member, does your local group have events?
Have you posted on Mumsnet Local (or Netmums Local, shhh!)?
Sounds like loneliness to me. I relentlessly ask others to come for a cuppa but my hit rate is not high, and if i dont ask no one else seems to. I think many people are settled, have loads of family around and just dont need it. And simply dont realise what it might be like not to be like this.
Dont give up hope, the friends i have made this way are really nice. Could you get actively involved in something like nct so people have to get to know you better?
I'll come for a cuppa with you Toni!! I feel the same, lonely & a bit invisible.
Where are you? I'm in the north west.
Keep going to baby groups. I've met lots of mums tjis way and I'm on number 2. We're not best mates or go to each others house type friends but I have lots of mums I'm friendly with and can chat to for 2 hours or so at groups which suits me perfectly.
Don't be afraid to strike up conversation or offer to exchange numbers.
Think I just need to keep going to groups....and need to be more proactively friendly! jimijack it's nearly wine o'clock, a virtual 'cheers' to you...alas I'm miles away in Oxford!
I know exactly how you feel Toni, I've been keeping busy over the last 12 weeks, taking DS swimming, walking the dog etc but realised I was lonely. I've started classes this week but as you say, friendships already seemed to be formed. I've got friendly with a couple of neighbours who have babies but unfortunately they go back to work in December.
I'm in Manchester, bit too far to meet for a coffee unfortunately!
Is there an nct coffe morning near you? They are actually aimed at parents getting together rather than child focused
A suggestion - what about starting a meet up yourself? You could do it through nct or just put a note up in a cafe saying you are looking for people to meet up with ...
It's bloody hard - I think aim for meeting adults rather than baby focused groups ....
The local nct coffee morning in my area was just set up by a couple of mums - starting one could be a great way to meet people - I guarantee there are women near you feeling exactly the same
Our culture sucks! It's so sad that as women we are isolated - and young babies don't particularly need activities it's mums who need company
Also is there a mumsnet local in your area ? They are also set up by mums so you could start one if there isn't ...
I felt like this with my second DC, having moved just before she was born. I hadn't realised how lucky I had been in my old town to meet four or five other mums I got on really well with at my NHS antenatal classes, and my first maternity leave was great. But in my new town despite trying lots of different groups I never really met anyone I clicked with. I did an NCT course but was the only second time mum and didn't really click with the others. I think I made it harder for myself as I resented moving away from my old town and missed my old friends, several of whom were also having their second DC. I did eventually make a friend quite randomly at a birthday party and that helped ... but it was much later (second DC was 3 by then!). I do feel for you. I think all you can do is keep on going to groups - eventually you'll hit it off with someone who feels similarly. I think having friends on maternity leave makes all the difference. It's incredibly lonely otherwise.
And I think that loneliness does lead to lack of confidence and depression. I know I found having my first stressful and tore my hair out at times, but I wasn't depressed. With my second and the lack of local support network I definitely was.
Have you looked at Netmums (eeek, sorry, rival site!)....I think their chat section is shit, but there information about local mum and baby groups is much better than on here.
in particular they seem to have good listings of the mum and baby groups in church halls etc....I am not religious at all but have found a couple of really nice, friendly mum and baby groups at church halls near me via Netmums local pages. Might be worth a try. It's somewhere to go, if nothing esle...
Toni I know how you feel! Most of my friends from school have children in primary school and we don't really talk anymore anyway.
I've also just moved at the beginning of the year to. New area where I don't know anyone and the neighbours are all elderly couples.
I am trying to get my head around having a newborn and getting a routine with feeding times etc so find it difficult to go out sometimes and DD will often be really unsettled after a feed and I've been very embarrassed about having to give up BFing.
I always feel like other people have their groups and they don't want me to be a part of it. I've met one woman who is really nice although her LO is toddler so can't really play with my baby.
Last week I went to a new mums group but there were only two women there, plus two women giving demonstrations on different slings you could rent from them. Once I said I had a sling they seemed to ignore me and have their backs to me a bit
I'm right in the South so sending you a virtual cuppa and
I definitely found my second maternity leave was much less social than my first. I had an amazing NCT group with my first and we did stuff together every day so I never felt lovely. With my second, on some days I had the toddler, so lots of new baby groups didn't work. And on other days when my friends with toddlers were free, I couldn't do the activities focused at older children as I had a newborn baby in tow!
Remember also that new mothers are often knackered and distracted so what you see as people having buddied up may be them simply talking to people they know because it's easy. Or in my case, as I knew I had a short maternity leave, I tended to stick to known people at baby groups as I felt there was no point people getting to know me as I wouldn't be around. Whenever I did meet new people, they had a year stretching in front of them and I felt new people would discount me when they knew I was only around for a short time.
So don't hold back. The worst that can happen is people think you're very proactively friendly!
I ended up feeling a bit like that with my firstborn. I was 26 and at waterbabies, baby sensory etc everyone seemed to be 10 years older than me and not really interested in me. I'd feel really sad when they all went off for coffee afterwards. I'm now kind of in the same situation at the school as my son came in at reception level fr another nursery so there are already mum bonds! During Mylar recent pregnancy (no2 is 3 weeks) I even tried to join nct but they told me it was more for first timers and a waste of time for me. Even at nhs antenatal there was probation one lady I could have maybe been friends with and she ended up swapping numbers with someone else. Maybe it's me! Ha ha. I'm hoping to get out to some baby groups next week and make a conscious effort to talk to people. I think I'm a. It shy at first x
I think this is fairly normal after the excitement of the a new born - I've had this issue countless time - but I think part of it because I wasn't in a good place so i didnt feel confident enough to go the next stage which was to invite folks for a coffee. I also was socially excluded from my group of antenatal class. we all met up weekly prior to babies being born and then they all met up after babs were born and didnt invite me (i know because one of them was my neighbour who ive always had a funny relationship with. She invited our group of folk for coffee and saw them all parading in and didn't include me). I then saw them EVERYWHERE. The trick is to realise there are probably like minded folk who are probably not socially confident. A girl started speaking to me in soft play and we exchanged numbers and are friends to this day.
The important thing is to keep going to a class. Rhyme time or jo jingles is always good as the focus is on the singing but the trick is to keep going. Swimming is good as well. I met loads of folk in the baby pool with their little ones and would often chat to folk. As the kid are getting older, it is getting easier as if you goto the same class, people start to recognise you. I think your friendships are more likely to last if you build it over time (slow burn I call it). When the signs are good, put yourself out there and ask someone over for coffee. Good luck!
Thanks so much ladies, you've inspired me to keep going to classes, seek out some mum&baby groups and to talk to other Mums...I'm clearly not the only one who feels like this! I might even start up my own gathering...
Willthisworknow that's absolutely awful, how can people be so unkind?
newmum0113 please don't feel embarrassed....as a breastfeeding mum i want to say that people really aren't judging you (only a minority of cowbags who you really shouldn't give a shit about)
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