Parenting Can Be Lonely

I’m not talking about when you bring a newborn home and the world suddenly seems very big and very scary. Or when the weight of responsibility for a beautiful helpless human lies heavy on your shoulders. You feel so alone because you think you don’t know what you’re doing (when really you do!) I don’t mean when the excitement of the first few weeks dies down and suddenly friends and family visit less and the house is quiet and looms large with its multitude of tasks. And I’m not talking about the loneliness that comes with being somewhat isolated on maternity leave when you wish after the old norm of the daily grind which included adult conversation and hot cups of tea with colleagues.

What I’m talking about is the sometime lonely and sometime empty feeling you get one year down the road, three years, maybe even ten years down the line in your relationship. It seems that when babies and children enter your lives a quietness can seep into your relationship.

Parenting can be lonely

Life Changes

It’s impossible to assume that things will stay the same when the wonder of a baby appears. We all expect and accept these changes. But this transition felt lonely to me. Gone were the nights of cuddling up beside my husband with popcorn and a movie. Evening walks in late summer, when we would spend an hour or two solely in each others company talking about the weird and the wonderful, couldn’t be done anymore. Those nights drifted off and no longer happened. Dinner dates and nights out disappeared. Random, spur of the moment outings or days in bed vanished. Being together almost felt like a privilege as time together was taken from us.

Life changed all too quickly and I wasn’t prepared for the drastic move in a relationship that was rock solid. But rock solid it was and rock solid it still is.

Lonely but together

Even though I often felt lonely as we sat in the sitting room together – both of us exhausted from the mechanics of a stressful day at work and a busy evening at home – neither talking nor sitting beside each other, doing our own thing, relaxing in our own way, I knew that somewhere in the midst of the chaos of parenting, we were together.

It took me a while to understand why I felt lonely, and why it happened. There may as well have been neon lights over the front door spelling it out for me, but I hadn’t switched those lights on. Becoming a parent is difficult. Your life changes in a million and one ways. In ways no one ever tells you, in ways no one could ever tell you because everyone is different and we all react and cope differently. More often than not, we don’t share how something as amazing as parenting can affect our lives in a negative or sad way.

Parenting can be lonely over heaven's hill parenting blog

Missing The Simple Things

I felt the sting of loneliness as conversations slowed down, time together disappeared and contact became minimal in those first days, months and dare I say years. I have on occasion missed the simple things in our relationship which became watered down.

  • Holding B’s hand as we stroll along the harbour in Howth.
  • Looking into his eyes for more than three seconds without being interrupted by a mini me.
  • Having a conversation that lasts longer than twenty seconds and doesn’t involve bowel movements or how many scoops of formula or ice cream.
  • Simple things like kisses and hugs can be forgotten about when a two year old vies for your attention.
  • Saying goodnight before drifting off to sleep because you are beyond exhausted and asleep before your head hits the pillow.

Without B, I dont feel whole. We are together fifteen years. Almost half my life we’ve been B and G. How can I feel myself when I’m distanced from an important part of me? Let me throw the cheesy line in “You complete me” B.

The Magic Quick Fix

There the loneliness sat as parenthood took over and we grew a new part of our personalities and became different people, but the same. Somethings got to give right? There is no magic quick fix for keeping your relationship on track. It’s hard work but worth it. You know it’s worth it. This is the person you love, admire and cherish. This is the person you want to grow old with. You want to watch the grey hairs dash his hair and the wrinkles burrow into his forehead. You want to see the wisdom in his eyes as he walks your daughter down the aisle. His is the hand you want to hold forever.

Patenting can be lonely over heaven's hill parenting blog

So what do we do?

How do we creep out of the silence and the loneliness that parenting can bring into your relationship? How do we regain the spark to trigger those moments you miss?

Talk – keep your hearts and minds open. Communicate. Try not to sit in silence as you both ponder the world and wonder why things are harder in your relationship. How is your partner to know how you’re feeling unless you tell them? 

Love love and respect each other. It really is as simple as that. It started with that and it will end with that. The middle is what’s important and knowing you’re loved and showing your love is a cornerstone of your relationship. 

Datea first baby takes your breath away and if you let it, your romantic life. Date little and often. Nothing major, nothing fancy. No pressure because that kills the romance and the point of having time together. A romantic home cooked meal and the tv turned off. Conversation and laughter hides any silence buried in your heart. 

Have you felt this way? I’m happy to say these feelings are not as prominent for me anymore. And I feel that closeness with B again. Tomorrow is our first date night in what feels like forever… or rather date day as we’re going for lunch and to the cinema in the afternoon. I can’t wait if I’m honest. I won’t let go of B’s hand at all tomorrow.

Getting through these early years of parenthood can be trying but once you recognise the changes and the upheaval that occurs you can refocus your relationship through honest and open communication or couples therapy if necessary.

45 thoughts on “Parenting Can Be Lonely

  1. It is hard for everything to stay the same when everything has changed! We always try to do things together on Mondays when little one is at nursery but it’s definitely hard as you’re both knackered or one of you is at work virtually all of the time!! Like you said, it’s about making sure you keep doing the little things and remembering not to call them mummy / daddy after the little one has gone to bed!!

    1. It a good idea to plan and book in time with eachother. It may not be romantic planning but it’s necessary. Definitely a good idea to avoid the mummy daddy tags when the kids are gone to bed and snoozing away 🙂

  2. I can definitely relate to this post – having children has such a huge impact on your relationship and there are many moments when we’re together in the same space but isolated from each other. For us communication is the biggest thing – when we take time to really talk to each other it makes a huge difference. I agree it’s about little and often – making the time to focus on each other without it needing to be anything major or fancy.

    1. Communication is so important and yet it can be difficult to remember to just open up with each other and the days and months move on. Little and often is the way, less stress and easier to focus on each other without making big demands out of a tired mummy or daddy! Thank you so much for reading and commenting

  3. Beautifully written post, it’s a tough subject that a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge and try to just keep muddling through. I agree that communication and appreciating every small thing can help you maintain balance between parents and partners.

  4. I hope you have/had a great date ; so important to do but so difficult to find the time! I guess tiredness is the main cause of it all, for me anyway. I just have nothing left to give by the end of the day and partners probably get taken for granted . I think being aware of it is enough to begin with, if you’re too tired to take any action. Just be aware so that it doesn’t become normal or accepted. #fortheloveofblog

    1. You’re right, it can become the norm if left for too long. For us it’s tiredness too and life can just take over. It’s amazing how simply talking can bring you close together again.

      We had a great day today. Dropped A at her grandparents and went to see Star Trek Beyond with a lovely lunch and walk afterwards. Long long long time since we’ve done that!

  5. We do the little and often as well- even just a movie at home with all the junk food snuggled on the sofa. We have a rule with no phones and it really helps to engage us in conversation and not just the dirty nappy kind 😊 #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. We try and have our evenings to ourselves which was working quite well until baby number 2 joined us a few months ago and we are back to square one again. I know we will get our mojo back again as we did before. Although going off to gigs and holidays on our own is definitely (and sadly) a thing of the past for us now! #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Life changes and sacrifices are made but it’s worth it. The changes can be much more dramatic than we realise though. It’s good that you’ve been on the other end and know that you can get the couple side of your life back. Is it easier the second time round?

  7. It can be hard on both when a baby comes along, you do tend to drift a little. Especially for a woman. You have to consciously make an effort to keep all parties HaPpY like you say small actions can have a big impact. I’ve been trying to arrange a date nite for me and hubby for ages, sometimes it seems impossible. We do have one now booked for August, a picnic at an outdoor theatre watching midsummer night’s dream #fortheloveofblog

  8. This has definitely stuck a cord with me . We now have 2 kids and my husband is presently working away from home Monday – Friday so trying to find time for ‘us’ is near impossible.But it has to be done !! #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. I often find that my husband and I spend our evenings on our respective computers instead of interacting with each other – we need to shut the screen off and spend more time just enjoying each other’s company. Dates are few and far in-between, but we may attempt a trip to the cinema tomorrow afternoon – fingers crossed! #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. The phone, tablet and ps4 is our problem. But it’s how we like to relax in the evenings. We just have to book time away from these things and be together. Balance it all out. We went to the cinema today finally in years! I missed holding Bs hand and I didn’t let it go all day! – and cinema popcorn i missed that too hah!

  10. Definitely lonely. Someone is always coming in between you and your spouse, and it does take a toll. But it makes us stronger in some ways too. What a great post!

  11. I can relate. For almost 4 months life has been much different and suddenly we can’t just go out for the heck of it, or stay in bed or not worry about other things. We’re still going strong, but it is tough. Thank you for joining us at #fortheloveofBLOG!

  12. This is so true and I’ve seen a lot of people’s relationships be affected by having a baby. I never understood the “our relationship is on the rocks. Let’s have a baby!” logic. It’s so important to make time for each other and have date night, even if it is at home. And talk to each other- no use bottling things up for it t come spewing out later on. #marvmondays

  13. Fantastic post; I can totally empathise. Our wedding night this December will be our first night away from our daughter – she’ll be almost three by this point! Sometimes it feels like we inhabit the same home but don’t communicate, which is sad because he’s my best friend! Really great post and so true. #MarvMondays

    1. I married my best friend too. It’s strange because it’s easy to take advantage of the close relationship you have and let things slide. It’s amazing that something as simple as talking can make you feel close again. Congratulations on your wedding, I hope it’s anot amazing day! Cherish it 🙂

  14. Wow. This hit home. But once again – reading blogs by other parents works wonders and it is refreshing to know that you’re not alone. My husband and I really need to start dating again! I’ll get something in the diary pronto…! Thanks for sharing 🙂 #AnythingGoes

  15. You’re so right. We always eat dinner at the table without the TV but conversation revolves around our daughter or work. You’re so right about dating little and often. If you wait for an uninterrupted evening or an entire day together then you’ll be waiting forever.

    I used to ask myself why I would ever send my daughter to nursery for the day if I were off for the day…haha. Now I ask myself why wouldn’t I. Those rare days when it’s just the two of you and the small people are at nursery…wow they are freeing!


    1. We used to try and get out together at least once a month but that stopped very early on. I’d love to back into the swing of things and have time with B on a frequent basis but life does tend to take over. You do tend to feel guilty when you have time on your own haha hopefully I’ll get over that!

  16. It is such a difficult one that I’m sure we all experience – I know I feel the same especially now with baby #2’s arrival imminent and with our first having chickenpox. It seems as if we go weeks without a real conversation or affection! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  17. Such a heartfelt post, I don’t think anything can prepare you for the change in your relationship. I found that in the early stages being so exhausted after a busy day, stunted conversation in the evening as all we wanted to do was sleep. It was difficult to constantly feel the need to catch up with Hubs when before we were always in the know. We have now found the new and improved us, the us that is meant to be with two muchkins in tow and I love it! So glad you and your other half are close again, love conquers all!


    1. I suppose there will always be ups and downs and plenty of sideways moments. I can’t expect everything to be the same with a toddler running rings around us. Love conquers all though as they say

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