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Stop the Lonely Mummy Trap – my article from “The Sun” UK Daily Newspaper

December 18, 2010

I’m delighted to have been interviewed for The Sun newspaper about feeling isolated as a Mum ….. and I can feel another blog coming on for Dads……. watch this space !

WE’VE all been there. You love being a mum, but you feel as though your whole world revolves around taking care of your baby or toddler’s needs, and an endless cycle of washing, cooking and cleaning. You’d also like to talk to someone who doesn’t just speak toddlygook sometimes.

“Being a mum can be incredibly isolating,’ says parenting coach Sue Atkins from positive-parents.com.

“But if you get yourself and your little one out and about as often as possible, you’ll meet other mums and their children. Making new friends takes patience, but you have something in common already – you’re both parents.

“Smile, strike up a conversation and you’ll build up a friendship over time.

“Don’t be shy, just relax and you’ll soon make new friends.’

Here are Sue’s top tips for breaking the isolation trap:

Get into a routine

Get up, get dressed every morning as you would if you were going to work, and make sure you have a few things planned every day – even if it’s just going to the Post Office or the shops.

And have at least three simple things in your diary each week that gets you out meeting people.

Leaving the house for even a short while every day can really help to minimise the risk of depression.

Even simple activities like taking a walk in the park or around the block can be an uplifting experience. Plus, the fresh air and exercise will help you stay fit and healthy.

Go to places where there are other mums in the same situation

For example, story time at your library, toddler groups at local church halls, activities at sports centres. And if you can afford it, try going to a paid for class like Tumble Tots or Music Bugs – you’ll soon make new friends that way.

Try to find some ‘Me Time’

Exhausted mums suffer from low self esteem trying to do it all, and being at home without the need to dress up or pop on makeup can, over time, erode your self esteem.

Being with children is great but Mums also need adult company and to keep their own lives going as kids do eventually leave home one day!

So go to the Bingo, to see a film or have a drink with a friend at least once a week – it helps you recharge your batteries, keep your perspective and your sense of humour so you come back to the hectic job of raising kids refreshed and upbeat.

And if paying for a babysitter is impossible, set up a babysitting network with your friends, neighbours and family so you can take it in turns to grab some Me Time.

Let people help you

Leaving your baby or toddler with someone else can be really hard – but for your wellbeing, and your child’s, you need to grab some time to yourself without feeling guilty.

So let relatives or your partner look after the kids sometimes so you can have a rest or meet a friend to chat.

Start something new

If you can afford it, take up a new hobby, for example a craft, a salsa class or if you have access to a computer, join an online network or create your own mummy blog (britishmummybloggers.ning.com).

Keep the glow with your partner

Going out once a week or turning off the telly to have a 10 minute chat every evening at a regular time, can work wonders for feeling connected again after having kids.

 So what’s your experience of feeling isolated – do you have any tips to pass on to us? Please feel free to share them.

Download your copy of Sue’s Ebook
How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem by clicking here

About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

Join me on these networks

 

 

Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355   M: 07740 622769

www.positive-parents.com

Gatehouse Farm
The Farmhouse
New Chapel
Surrey RH7 6LF

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2010 7:03 pm

    People never mention the NCT. It’s the UK’s largest parent support charity and has 300+ branches across the UK running groups that are aimed at getting parents to support each others, make new friends etc. Unfortunately, because the focus is largely on parents, parents seem to prefer to take their babies and toddlers to child-centric activities and some groups aren’t well attended and it takes a lot of effort to get the momentum going to get a good broad group running – and all branches are volunteer run tho some have groups run by specialist workers.

    A lot of people think they know what the NCT is aimed at a certain demographic. It’s not – it’s aimed at ALL parents. You don’t have to be a member to attend any activities and the cost is normally minimal or a voluntary donation to cover costs. Obviously, it’s great if people support the charity’s work by joining (and membership starts from £2) but it is for all, whatever people think. I’d love to see more people joining in the NCT’s activities – it’s given me some great great friends.

    • December 19, 2010 5:22 pm

      I loved the NCT when my kids were young – it’s a great way to make friends and feel supported. Thank you for reminding us of the NCT’s great work. How can people find out more about groups to join?

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