Open Letter to the Lonely Mom


I know there are many of you out there who have a good group of girlfriends. You laugh and cry together. You have a group text together. You know pretty much everything about each other. You probably even refer to each other as a village or a tribe, if you’re super-trendy.

This is not a post to discredit you at all. Full disclosure — I’m really jealous of what you have and of what you are. I really want a village too.

So this letter may not entirely be for you. Maybe you can relate because you’ve been here too, or maybe you can share this with someone who needs what you have — a friend.

To the mom who feels she doesn’t have friends or the energy for friends. To the mom who schedules “dates” with potential friends and cancels them because she is afraid of actually going through with it. To the mom who feels lonely, isolated, rejected, or less-than.

I am writing this to you because I’m a lonely mom too — like, really lonely.

I see groups of girlfriends and instantly feel a tightening in my throat and burning in my nose and eyes. I picture myself standing outside on the street with my face pressed against the window looking in at them.  I wonder why I can’t have that too. Is there something wrong with me? Am I not friend material? Maybe they have something I don’t. And then I walk away feeling hurt, thinking that maybe I just don’t have it (whatever it is).

Looking back over the last decade, I feel like I did have close friends once, but for whatever reason it’s faded over time. It could be them or it could be me or it could just be kids life messing it all up. But, I’ve struggled with believing it was all me and I still beat myself up about it. I’ll never forget the conversation I had when someone I called a friend told me that I didn’t really want community. She accused me of being fake and only wanting the perks of relationships without the work. That conversation echoes in my head every time I try to build new relationships. For a long time, I walked around thinking I didn’t deserve friends because but everyone deserves friendship. Everyone.  

And then there’s that whole “being a mom” thing.  

Sometimes I think that being a mother is one of the loneliest jobs on the planet. So much of what we do and what defines us as moms is done without anyone around. We get used to taking it all on and learning to make do with the two arms we were given. But in our striving to be good moms, we forget about ourselves and what we need. It doesn’t have to be a one-woman show.

You have SO much on your plate. Mothering isn’t easy and life can be hard. You’re doing your best, pouring everything you are into being there for your kids. It’s hard to even think about enjoying (usually cold) coffee and conversation with anyone other than your toddler.

But even in your isolation as a mom, you are not truly alone.


There are other moms who are in the trenches with you. Doing their own mothering day in and day out. Feeling exactly how you are feeling. It doesn’t have to be every woman for herself.

I’ve decided I don’t want to be a lonely mom anymore. I’m still figuring this out but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with… get ready for it… putting myself out there.

I have to take the first step.

I know it’s scary for those of us who struggle with rejection, which is why I encourage you to choose one friend, acquaintance, co-worker, carpool buddy, to reach out to. Be honest and see what happens. 

I’m here. Pulling for you. Cheering you on. You are not alone. I know it’s scary. I know it’s hard. I know life, kids, fear, work, and other things get in the way but you CAN do this. You don’t have to be a lonely mom anymore.


  1. I’ve had some very lonely years friendship-wise, for sure. I’ve been hurt. (women can be so mean!) It’s hard to put ourselves as there and open up for something that could be really good or may be hurtful. I could have written this blog post.

  2. I felt like this for years… Until my son convinced me to just show up at a neighbor kid’s mom’s fire pit gathering. “All the other parents are there! Can’t you just come and say hi?!” I brought my own bottle and glass of wine, meet my new bestie, and it’s been sweet ever since. I hope you find your match soon!

  3. I feel so alone. My family and friends are in other states and I work FT. The few hours I do have each night I want to spend with my son and then the weekends are filled with catching up on being a mom and wife. I do crave the coffee time with a few friends … I love being a mom and would not trade it for the world, but it can be overwhelming for my perfectionist self, who fears rejection greatly.

  4. This resonates with me so much! I too am a lonely mom struggling to find a “tribe” I feel like I fit in with. I have social anxiety which makes it really hard to put myself out there, let alone get by with day to day life. It’s always comforting when you realize you aren’t alone. Thank you for sharing your story!

  5. This hits home for me too! My husband and I were a bit behind the curve in getting married and then having kids (not for a lack of trying). The mom friends I was close to now have older children and other friends from school, music class, their neighborhoods, etc. I work, while they are stay-at-home moms.

    My husband works out of town and I telecommute. It does get lonely. I just hope that my lack of mom friends doesn’t impact my daughters. I want them to have friends and be included in play dates, birthday parties, etc.

  6. This is so true. I live in a rural area and I was so lonely when my kids were little. I work from home and there just aren’t many people my age in my town. I tried joining a mom group but they were all stay at home moms and didn’t approve of my working and I didn’t click with any of them.
    I finally met the parents of some girls in my oldest daughter’s class. We clicked and it was an amazing 3 years as I had my “tribe” of women to live, love and laugh with. Unfortunately, their husbands’ jobs took all three of them away one by one and they moved out of state. I found myself tribe less again and so lonely.
    I’ve tried putting myself out there again by going to school events but now that our kids are older it seems everyone has already found their “groups”. Sometimes I wish we could wear a sign letting people know that we need a friend so we know who else is lonely too.

  7. I can relate to this article so much! As a mom and a full time working mom, I am exhausted and always feel “tired” or “scared” to put myself out there! I used to have close friends but they all seemed to vanished after I had my first.
    I do get blue often about this and think of this often as well!

  8. This was the read I needed! Mamahood can be so lonely – I am one of the lonely moms but looking forward to the day that I make a true mama friend that just gets me! I tell my husband all the time, that I miss my friends from a decade ago. The ones that knew me from the beginning, knew all my faults and failures, but still loved me! Now I feel like having kids, people have a new level to get to know you on. I feel like they need to like you as a mom first…they need to like your kids and how you have raised them thus far….then and only then, they can decide that you are worth the work to have friendship with.. Thanks for this article!

  9. How funny the timing of this. I was just standing in my kitchen looking out the window with tears in my eyes thinking these things while breakfast cooks.
    I feel like I’m terrible at friendships. They fail. I don’t put into them enough and people get hurt.
    But honestly? I’m just extremely vested in what’s in front of my nose. And that’s the kiddo. And my work. It doesn’t mean I don’t love the people in my life. I want to find someone who’s values and goals and aspirations are on a close level with mine. I want someone who is highly empathetic, who gets it, who forgives.
    Best of luck to all of us. May we find out Who, and not worry about IT. As Mr. Rodgers says, “I like you just the way you are.”


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