SAHM Isolation and Loneliness

Updated on April 22, 2015
A.M. asks from Brookline, MA
27 answers

Let me first state that I love being home with my 15 month old daughter. She is an absolute joy to be around. And, when she naps, I get to do my consulting work, so for at least a couple of hours a day, I get to do “intellectual work” without the emotional intensity of mothering. The worst part of being at home is trying to meet other SAHMs. I am very lonely and can’t seem to find other women to be with during the day. I have been to new moms groups and have reached out numerous times (too many times) and women are interested but then flake out at the last minute. Even worse, there are those who reach out to me and want to get together and then flake out or don’t follow through! And I’m trying to find more than just someone who has motherhood in common with me— I am looking for potential friends. It just doesn’t come so easily. Is it my imagination, or are mothers not the easiest bunch of people to get to know? People have said that now that the weather is warmer, I would meet SAHMs at the park, but I go and no one says hi—even when I say hi to them! Today, there were about 6 mothers with kids and no one was talking to each other! Same is true at playgroups. I’m just so frustrated and lonely and don’t know what to do. I’ve always been very good at occupying my time and not needing many friends— but one would be really nice. Either my friends work during the day, don’t have children (it does change things) or don’t live nearby. Thanks for the space for letting me vent--I don't even know what I am asking here.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks, everyone, for your responses. A rundown of what I have done: after we aged out of new moms groups, I organized and hosted weekly playgroups this winter when all of our babies were up between the afternoon nap and bedtime and it was too dark and cold to meet anywhere else. no one else reciprocated or offered to host. once my daughter started going to bed earlier, I needed to stop the group— I offered other times but no one responded. I have one friend who is a mom in our building, but she works full-time and is super-busy— but both of us are dedicated to finding time to go to dinner, etc., so that's good. I’ve tried to set things up through our local synagogue but without luck due to red tape. The library has wonderful groups but so far no one goes beyond a smile, and there are mostly nannies (who have a different experience). I wanted to take some evening art course— I’m so not against meeting non-moms, but the two courses I wanted to take are not being offered until fall. And I’m sure most people would be working during the day. 1 out of 5 has taken me up on that offer. There doesn't seem to be much action on the local online moms group: every time I see an email from someone who is moving to the area and looking for advice, I’m the first one to offer help and to meet up with them. I’ll take another look on meetup, but haven’t found a group yet, and I don’t have the energy to start a new group. I know this sounds like a lot of whining and "but I’ve already tried that!"s, and I apologize— it's just where I am right now. The good thing is that I know it’s not me—I have enough self-esteem to recognize that :)! Thanks for the encouragement— I’ll keep trying!

Featured Answers



answers from Boston on

Hi Adm!

I hope this finds you well.

I am sorry that it has been so hard, but I COMPLETELY understand what you are going through. I have felt so lonely much of the first year of my daughter's life and don't know what I would've done without the one friend I have nearby, who I am blessed to see and/or talk to every day, who also has a daughter close in age to mine. I wish you lived closer to us as it would be fun to get together. If you're ever in the area, send me a message and maybe we can meet up at a nearby playground or set up something. I can even let you know when we're planning an outing in the city if you'd like to join us.

One other thing I have found really helpful is even just talking to friends/family on the phone. It does take some of the loneliness away for me. Also, going out on walks, grocery shopping, etc. with my daughter seems to take some of the loneliness away. I know one needs to have conversation with adults, though, so maybe talking on the phone would be more helpful if you cannot meet in person?

I've found classes and playgrounds unhelpful, too, which is too bad. As moms we should bond and reach out to each other!

Good luck and I hope something works out. Take care!



answers from Chicago on

I don't have time to read all the other posts, but have you tried to find a meet-up group?

I was having similar problems connecting, and we had three classes a week! But once I joined a meet-up group, we quickly found an amazing group of friends.



answers from Boston on

I completely agree. I have two young children and moved right after the first was born. I do work but it is out of my home so there is little opportunity to meet other adults. Then, when I am not working I'm with the kids. I hang out with a few other mom's but between everyone's schedules and then always trying to work around nap times we only have play dates every other month or so. It is a pretty slow way to build a friendship. I am really hoping that it gets easier when the kids are older like the other mom's say.

More Answers



answers from Boston on

I have to say I feel the same way. I find it hard to make friends as I get older and feel lonely most days. Perhaps we are all tired moms or preoccupied and come off as unfriendly. I am not an outgoing person, so I figured that is why I don't make a lot of friends. I do make small talk at the park, but it never turns into a friendship. I think moms maybe are more cautious who they try to befriend nowadays. Maybe try meeting friends in other outlets or groups non related to kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm just adding one little thought since you have so many other responses and have tried so many things. You mentioned that your synagogue gave you some red tape. Maybe that's about organizing something yourself and there is liability about people using the building? My synagogue organized many groups for 1 year olds and caregivers (usually moms, rarely a nanny or grandparent, but there was one dad and he became an honorary mom with the group!), and another group for 2 year olds & caregivers. The temple preschool director set everything up and provided a teacher/supervisor to organize a snack & play time. They met once a week and called the group Temple Tots for one and some other cute name for the 2nd group. They did it as an "entree" program to feed into the preschool as well as provide just the sort of outlet you are looking for. Then the preschool fed into the regular religious school at kindergarten time. It was a great service to the membership (although it was open to everyone, partly as a community service and partly as a way to expose potential members to the synagogue family and caring atmosphere). There was a small fee to cover the teacher's salary but it was very modest and affordable. Also, once people pay for a program, they are less likely to "flake out" and abandon it.

It ran for a series of 8 or 10 week sessions, depending on the calendar. Kids 'graduated' out and others came in. It has run for many years. There usually was a topic to discuss too - given the distractions of little kids, it was a little loose and not too heavy. But it would engage the kids too if it dealt with a holiday, and sometimes there were handouts to take home. Simple, relaxed, created a social group, met a need. If your synagogue does not have a preschool, why not meet with the religious school principal or rabbi and suggest something for members and non-members as a way to bring people together and invite in those who might like a weekly look at the synagogue? Don't make it a heavy recruitment program - just a friendly "here we are, come join us" program! Besides, every synagogue is looking for more income - maybe there is a market for a preschool or even a story hour program, and they could start one!

For others reading this - the same thing would work for any church or mosque or community center, any group with a commonality of religion, ethnicity, culture, etc.



answers from Boston on

I completely know what you're going through, I've had the same issues. I don't think you can do much about the flaking out, I've had that happen to me a lot. A friend of mine with 3 kids is constantly canceling our plans to meet up, but I don't blame her because she's just so busy and is pregnant again so she's exhausted. And one of her kids always seems to be sick. I also have trouble finding the right time to do things, its tough to get me and my 2 kids out of the house before 10 am. But then after 11 is too close to lunchtime, so there is a small window in the morning for going out. Then the afternoon is naptime, then its getting ready for dinner. So although I'm home all day there just doesn't seem like enough time to do everything, and I've definitely flaked out a lot on playdates. I've really enjoyed Gymboree classes for my daughter because I see the same mothers there every week and get to chat with them, but don't feel bad if I skip one week, there is no obligation to any one person. I also do storytime and see a lot of the same moms. The playground is great but you're least likely to find moms in the same situation, sometimes its grandparents or babysitters, and people don't go on a regular basis. I'm one of the few of my friends who is married and has kids, so it does feel lonely sometimes, I feel like no one even invites me out because they assume I can't leave my house or something. You're not alone in your feelings.



answers from Chicago on

Sometimes it takes going to the mom's group a few times, and try to see the same small group of people. Many mom's groups are too big, and I hardly ever see the same person twice.
A church group was the best for us. Have you tried hosting a playgroup? If you can, then you call the shots. It might help make mommy friends. Worth a try.



answers from Hartford on

I couldn't agree more. It's really hard at times.

I don't think I realized how stuffy and uptight we "New Englanders" can be. I grew up in CT, college in Boston, back to CT for 11 yrs...and then moved to Pennsylvania for 2 years. Can I just tell you, it was completely different. Random people hold the door for you, make eye contact, say hello. We moved to PA and had our second child 3 weeks later. We came home to a giftbag outfit from a neighbor we hadn't even met yet! Cookies, cards...hellos on the sidewalk. It felt so different to me. One of my best friends there...we met at the park, noticed our kids were about the same ages (actually only a few weeks apart for both) and we hung out a lot. Since moving back to town, I've found it hard again. I've been in this new town 2 years long as I was in PA, and feel less connected.

So, enough ranting because you're probably not moving, but just know that it's not you, it's stuffy cliquey New Englanders. I think you should keep doing all that you do. To some New Englanders, it might come off as being forward, but I think it's appropriate and nice and fun to set up situations for others to connect. Keep saying hi, making eye contact, maybe plan to do something after synagogue or library. Sign up for a music class or mom/tot gymnastics or something and go for coffee or to the park after. I have to tell you that it does get easier once preschool starts. Your daughter will want to have playdates with her classmates and the moms will come too. Hang in there. Stay close with your other friends, family, hubby...and keep reaching out to new faces.


answers from Boston on

Hi Adm, So very sorry to hear of your feeling lonely and frustrated. I really do remember that feeling many years ago when I moved to a town where I didn't know anybody. My husband had just died, and I had 3 little children and needed to start a new life and make my children strong and happy and able to move on. I was visited by a Welcome Wagon lady who left me many goodies & coupons, and she invited me to a Newcomers' Meeting to meet some other Moms in town. It was the best thing I did! I also turned in all the coupons at the local stores, which also helped me to meet the folks who worked in the local area. Little by little, I began to feel a real part of my town and met lots of other Moms. Perhaps you could call your local Chamber of Commerce or look up Welcome Wagon on the web to see if there is a chapter near you. You don't have to be new to the town; they will come to visit you just for having a new baby. I really hope this helps. Also, have you ever thought about starting your own home business part time? It would bring in some extra money and would be a great way to start meeting other people. If you are interested in taking a look at what I do at home, please get back to me - [email protected] or ###-###-#### I promise you that things will get better - you have already taken the first step by reaching out for ideas. I wish you the best and would be happy to follow up if you want to contact me. Take care. E. Taft


answers from Austin on

When my son was that age, I joined the Mom's Club in my area. It helped that my next-door neighbor was in the group and had a child the same age. I also had my husband invite his co-workers' wives to join, which meant we had something more in common. I never went out to dinner with them because of my schedule, but I did go to all the playgroups. The playgroups worked because the rule was they had to invite all the moms with kids in each age group. So no one got left out, and I would see the same people each week. We took turns meeting at each others houses so it was easier to chat without losing track of the kids. I don't know how deep the friendships really were- there came a point when the group dissolved and I lost touch with most of them. My fault for not picking up the phone and calling them.


answers from New York on

I didn't start to make friends until my kids were in pre-school. When you start having playdates, the mother will usually stay for tea or coffee. I have made many friends through my kids playdates. It gets even easier once they are in elementary school. Friendships develop over time, the more you see the other mothers the more common ground you will have with them. You will not end up being friends with all the mothers of the kids that you have over for playdates, but you will start developing more aquaintances and gradually good friendships will develop with some of the mothers.



answers from Denver on

I'm in the same boat. I have found that if you are willing to serve people, they flock to you. Eventually you might find something reciprocal. Most Mothers do not have the time or energy to devote to others outside the family. Sex helps and talking to spouse. Friendships tend to occur through familiarity ...proximity. I meet people through in laws or church. Honestly, development of *new* friendships with young children is virtually impossible.



answers from Hartford on

awww I am sorry to hear this, i know what you mean I m a sahm and same thing I am super friendly and say hi and invite everyone to play but most just dont, i find that so odd!!!! I gave my # to one person and she never called, then at the library our kids were playing and I said do you go on a lot of playdates and she said none I dont know anyone and I replied duh you know me!!!! then she finally called me, she said that she felt funny calling me...but why I gave you my # LOL. so from her I learned to try try again, if they think you are nuts then they are not right for you! LOL. so dont give up keep on trying. I read what you said about meetup and I just started one (w/ that person I was talking about above) and it is going great! we have 19 members and we started in March...we want to keep it small so that we are friends not just a big group where no one knows anyone and so far so good. yeah there are 4 of us that are at every event and the others 'pop' in but it is great and we have formed good friendships, kids and moms. It really really is not that much work it runs itself if you have it set up right. questions? just contact me. good luck xo



answers from Washington DC on

A lot of women are finding friends at Zumba events actually. The YMCA here in town has Zumba classes and I know a lot of the women meet new friends there. Maybe try taking some sort of exercise class. I don't know why moms aren't talking to each other at playgroups. That sounds weird. Most of my friends are from the homeschool gym playgroup here in my home town. I've also met friends at library story time etc... Just go to these things for a few weeks and see which moms are always there. Then you know which are dependable. Then strike up a conversation. Just keep talking about daily stuff for a few weeks when you run into each other. Then suggest a play-date. Do that for a while, then suggest a moms' night out or kid-free pedicures or something. You have to start with what you have in common.

And yes, SAHMs are hard to get to know because we are generally at least as busy as working moms (I know, I've been both). Try to get to know your neighbors. If there are any SAHMs in your neighborhood they may be as lonely as you and their close proximity makes getting together more likely.

Best of luck!



answers from Austin on

My daughter is only nine months old, but I have had a hard time with the loneliness. For one thing, I am used to being very busy and active in my career, which is currently on hold indefinitely. Like you, I LOVE my daughter and wouldn't trade being a SAHM for the world. But it is hard.
Lately I have been attending story hour at the local library to meet other children and mothers, and it's been a nice time. I live in the smallest town in the universe, so if our library has a story time, yours probably does too. :)



answers from New York on

its so funny that a lot of moms here compared it to dating. i remember the first time my son came home with another kids phone number from school and asked me to call his mom for a playdate. i was stammering and all hot in the face, i hung up and looked at my husband and said jeeez! i feel like im trying to hook up. funny. and not. im not good at it either, im kind of quiet and although i like to talk, im really not good at small talk. all i can say is keep at it. join things with your baby, and if you can, try to join things where everyone isnt already friends. sorry to say that the click thing persists. so find stuff with other new moms. library, gymboree, whatever. playground is great, but nothing really seems to stick. joining things with other regulars is better. and dont take it personally when someone flakes out, its just how it is. someone is always coughing, runny nose, puking, new-mom-brain forgot i had this appt, whatever. just keep at it, smile, and it will happen. a great conversation starter is to ask someone about their baby, or to ask for advice about something. nothing too heavy on the first date though, please :)



answers from Las Vegas on

I had a hard time making friends with other SAHM when my children were younger also. Same situation, same problems. Now that my children are both in school, I've made some amazing mom friends. Ironically enough though, they all work either full or part time; a number of them are self-employed. I don't know whether it is easier for me to connect with moms who out there in the job market or if these moms are just open to developing new friendships or whatever.

I know how frustration this situation is but keep on putting yourself out there and being the friendly one. Someday soon you will hopefully you will meet someone who has the same interests that you do, that will appreciate the friendship that you have to offer.

Wish I could be of more help.



answers from Boston on

Hello there,
Boy do I hear where you are coming from. It's very tough to make "friends" now a days...we worry about our kids and them making friends but all along it's very tough for us as adults. Have you tried joining any online SAHM groups? has a TON of groups that you may be interested in. I wish you the best of luck in finding someone that has something(s) In common with you, it's tough to feel lonley and isolated. I am a SAHM of 3, my oldest goes to school so I am mainly at home w/ my 3yr old and almost 7 month old...we are usually always out and about but I've definitely joined groups online and I've met some wonderful people.
Best of luck.
J. :)



answers from Pittsburgh on

I remember that horrible isolated feeling. Have you tried a MOPS group? They seem more gear to the moms having time to char together while the kids have supervised play.
All I can tell you is you will meet many moms and while that is great, very few might become what you would consider genuine friends.
All I can tell you is be open to requests, follow through right away--call & set something up.
It gets better when your child goes to preschool, etc because you will see the same group of moms at drop off & pick up. It does get better, trust me!
Hang in there. Best wishes!



answers from Cincinnati on

I hear you! I have had NO luck with mom's groups, and although I find women to chat with at the pool and at the park, but it's really hard to ruffle up a lunch date after one meeting (I feel like I'm trying to find a girlfriend instead of just a friend sometimes - ug, and I thought I was done dating!) For me, the best way to find friends has been to volunteer. I'll admit that most of the women I've met through volunteer work aren't parents, but a couple are, and they've turned out to be my best friends in the area. Even so, I have only a few friends, and I'm always on the lookout for more. So keep talking to women at the park, and maybe you'll eventually find someone like me, who is also looking! I'm afraid we have to date a lot of men to find a good husband, and a lot of women to find a good friend. Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

I know, it's hard and lonely without a mom friend. You can start by just getting together with other moms and not trying too hard to find someone with whom you have more in common that mothering. Sometimes you don't find out how much you have in common with someone else until you get to really know them. I found some good friends by taking classes. I couldn't really meet people at the parks or playgroups who were more than people I recognized- but when my son and I started taking classes, I met other moms who had kids the same age as mine, and it took awhile, but it was a lot easier to get to know them since we were always together at the same time each week. Sign up for a couple of different ones that interest you and your daughter. Even if you don't meet someone through those classes, you might have "leads" for other things through the moms you meet there! Good luck!



answers from Bangor on

I am having the same problem. We got pregnant with our first child one month after moving to a new home/town. Not so easy to meet people when you are exhausted, sick and growing bigger by the minute. Then all of my time was taken up with our baby. Then I got pregnant with our second child. Now we have a three year old and a six month old and absolutely no social life! What I wouldn't do to talk to a real live woman about ANYTHING at all! The other mothers in our town with small children seem to be about 10 to 15 years younger than I am, so not so much in common with them. I just keep my eyes open for potential Mommy friends and am enrolling our oldest in a pre-K program with great hope for other Moms with a similar station in life. Good luck!


answers from Houston on

Well too bad you don't live in the Houston area bc I would definitely chat;) I feel the same way, like it is so hard to really meet other moms bc everyone is just so caught up in the craziness of life. I have reached out to a couple and it has never been reciprocated. We have been visiting a new church for a couple months so I hope to meet some people there and hopefully some fellow mamas! Lately I have just been looking around at who needs some encouragement. My SIL just had a baby, tonight;), and she needs help and support. Another young girl I know is prego and feeling really overwhelmed. Lately I have just sort of thrown myself into helping these younger and less experienced moms out by simply being happy for them and supporting them as they have their babies. It makes me happy to be able to just be there for others and do the little things that can get overlooked. So maybe think of something you really like doing for people and throw yourself into that a little, since you sound like such a people person. Lately if I think of a person I haven't talked to in a while, I just write them a note. I enjoy getting a cute card, writing it up and sending it. I like to think of how much they will love getting a special card out of the blue. It just helps me feel more connected to others without needing them to connect back. If they do reach back, even better. Anyway, I know I still need friends, but this has been helping me a lot lately. Best wishes, and hang in there, you are so not alone!!


answers from Pocatello on

Boy do I know how you feel! I have two kids and have moved around a few times (my hubby is in the army) And to be honest lots of Moms are like you said, act like they want to make plans and then flake out. But with all the moving around i have done I think I got the friend making down to a science. LOL So for me I really just have to reach out to EVERYONE! It does get annoying at first but then you will meet some Moms like you who want to hang out. For me when I go to a new play group I just always start making private playdates with other moms from that. If one flakes out then the next week I ask someone else. I will also be the one to speak up and see if other Moms are interested in a girls night out. Like just to dinner without the kids. It's a great way to relax and start building friendships. I have lived in my newest house now for almost a year and I have lots of friends but it did take a lot of work on my part to put myself out there. Also I have even found community groups to join like Mommy and me swim classes which is what I did when I just had my first daughter. It helped give me something to do and another way to meet people. Also sometimes I think you just have to be a little persistent to get the ball rolling. Like when I lived in Oklahoma for a while I met a Mom at the park one day. She told me after nap time she was taking her daughter to the mall and asked if I wanted to come. I gave her my number and really didn't think she would call me. But sure enough around 3:00 she called to see if my daughter was awake and if she could come and get me. From that we started a great friendship and I took notes from her on how to just be upfront and take charge. I am sorry that you are alone a lot. It really isn't fun. Just keep trying and I know you will make some good friends. Us stay at home mom aren't all bad :)


answers from Milwaukee on

It is hard... I am guilty of not talking very much when at the playground or library groups and I consider myself outgoing. Even with my daughter going to Pre-K 3 she made some friends, and I reached out to the moms to get together for a playdate (after 8 months nothing has ever come full circle, even after e-mails, me saying free the day and time). I think there are a few factors:

-- Moms are protective of their child and family. Even if you seem like the nicest friendliest person there is still a wall up and it may take MANY meetings and talking with the mom before getting on the other side of the wall.

-- Moms might fear that parenting styles might clash which then after a lot of work trying to make a mom friends end because of that clash. (same with different religious beliefs).

-- Time... everyone is so busy and many just do not have the time or do not want to take the time to figure out a time that works for both moms.

I would just keep reaching out at the park or I have found a place like gymboree (sp?) gym or other local kids places that offer classes are great places because it is more intimate and many of the moms come at the same time each week.

My daughter is 3 (almost 4) years old and I have never really made a friend outside of the friends I have from college and church friends. I was part of a weekly moms group but it fell apart for a few months then started back up but the day picked was during when my daughter had school.

At parks I do try to say hi to everyone well I am sitting or chasing my daughter around. Most of the moms just mumble 'hi' back and kind of turn away. I move on and keep going, on rare occasions I actually hold a good size conversation with another mom at the park but have never created a friendship outside of meeting at the park several times since we seem to go at the same time each week.

The whole process reminds me of dating... putting yourself out there, getting shot down, but picking yourself up and trying again :)



answers from Springfield on

I so know what you are talking about here. I experienced that same thing and same feelings. I don't really have any thing wise to say to you right now, I am getting ready to leave the computer to do my daily duties. But I totally understand your situation. The one thing I can say is to try to keep your livelihood options open as a SAHM. I failed to do this, for different reasons, but mostly because soon I feel so much in love with my children and even fell to love the many little things in life - like standing in lines with them, going to the dentists, and staying home with them when they were sick. However, then I got a divorce and my ex was not helpful in my transition. So it has been difficult for me now that I am trying to establish a new life as a single mother with elementary aged children. The other thing I can say is enjoy it as much as you can, even while this is so difficult. I put time into creating life books for my children and pursued other creative activites, like taking art therapy classes, yoga classes with and without my children, etc. All these things you are doing right now will come back to strengthen you later and soon too. Good luck, I trust you will do well.


answers from Hartford on

I wish u were closer. I am in Ct! I love play groups. I work from home and I do meet many moms that way plus it keeps me busy! LOL! It is tough I have been home for 6 years, I am so busy now though! Good Luck!


For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions