I think like most of us I’ve come out of the pandemic kind of used to all of that isolation and I now have a lower tolerance for being over scheduled and too social. I really like to be home in my bubble and in my routine.
Here I am in my late thirties and although I’ve never had a really big friend circle, I’m finding that there’s been a shift for me lately. A lot in my life has changed which has inevitably impacted my friendships and shifted some dynamics.
But something great has happened too. I have made a lot of new friends lately… through work, and my kids’ schools and in my neighbourhood. I think that has been important to branch out and have some new “fresh” friends that only know me as Joanna now, not Joanna before.
During the summer I would get together with my new friends and although I would have an amazing time and feel truly connected, a loneliness would sometimes creep in.
It took me a bit to pinpoint what that was and then it hit me… it’s the four kids, solo mom and entrepreneur thing. I don’t know anyone who is living life like I am. Being a solo parent in a sea of coupled up parents can feel a little isolating.
I know I am not single, I do have a partner Ben. But we live in our own houses and go through life day-to-day separate from each other.
Every chore, grocery shop, grass cutting, kid emotional cup-filling and being the referee is on me.
It took for me to acknowledge that this is my (our) choice. I know I love being solo right now with my kids and to blend both families wouldn’t be the answer at the moment.
So taking some time to acknowledge what that lonely feeling was, be okay with it and prepare myself for conversations of husbands cooking meals and the stories of shared life experiences will inevitably happen and to be happy for them and okay with my friends not one hundred percent getting what life is like on this side of things.
So then I was thinking… I bet this is a similar feeling that women who have lost a child or have miscarried feel. Mothers who have lost a spouse or partner. This feeling a little like you are a square peg fitting into a round hole navigating conversations full of unintentional minefields.
Since that epiphany I have really been able to work through those lonely feelings and truly enjoy my friends in this phase of life.
And the friends that truly seem to accept me and see me as a strong determined woman and mom and never make me feel bad for having extra limitations are those relationships that I am happy nourish to pour from my very limited cup of energy into which in tern fills my cup back up where I can go back into my little bubble happy and so much less alone knowing I have my own little village there for me.