Even if parents are rarely completely alone, since their children are never far away, some of them can feel isolated from time to time. In fact, this feeling of isolation is quite common given the unique challenges of parenthood.
Why Do We Go Through Periods of Isolation?
Parents may feel isolated for several reasons, including:
- Having the impression that parenting responsibilities are not equally shared, or that our partner isn’t supportive enough.
- Not having other parents among our friends.
- Having the impression that our loved ones don’t respect our family choices and decisions, that we’re being judged, or that we’re not being understood.
- Lacking the time or availability to maintain relationships with loved ones.
- Living in a single parent family in which we have to make all the decisions on our own.
- Going through a move.
- Immigrating and living far away from our family and friend circle.
Isolation isn’t always a negative experience. Some people need to be alone and spend time by themselves. However, when solitude starts weighing us down and causes sadness or anguish, then we can try to break out of our isolation and try to expand our social circle.
How to Break Out of Isolation
- Try meeting other parents in your neighbourhood by going to parks, the library, a nearby coffee shop, a community centre, etc.
- Get in touch with your neighbourhood’s family community organization or Family Association.
- Find out about local community service centre activities for young parents (breastfeeding stops, workshops, etc.).
- Getting involved in your children’s daycare or school.
- Participating in recreational activities or sports with your kids.
- Staying in contact with your extended family, even when they’re far away.
- Taking time for yourself and to do things you like.
- Getting in touch with LigneParents when you need to talk.
- Asking for help when you feel like you need it. Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but when the feeling of solitude or isolation starts to change into distress or anxiety, then it can be useful to get in touch with a professional.