How to Find Peace in the Loneliness of Motherhood

Emily Wieranga

Kasher’s been so sick this weekend it’s infected all of us, our spirits mostly, and it’s hard to stay up when your children are so down. You try and read the same Curious George book over and over, with as much enthusiasm as you can muster but the laundry is obscenely high and you wonder if maybe you could just bury in beneath the colors and sleep, because there’s “no rest for the weary,” or for the mother.

And I find myself Saturday night with a cup of tea and the boys asleep, finally, Kasher all drugged up and the ear of his bear in his mouth and the humidifier on and me begging God to let him be well enough to attend church the next morning.

Because I need community.

Motherhood is lonely. It’s not for the faint of heart. It requires courage and sacrifice and time, it means wiping snotty noses with your fingers because you have no Kleenex, it means sitting up with your son when he won’t sleep and watching movies with him, or just holding him by the open window so the cool air can soothe his lungs, it means praying over their heads, over their beds, over their bodies and then crawling weary into your own to make love to a husband who misses you.

And you miss yourself.

You wonder how you got lost inside this frizzy-haired woman with the bags under her eyes and does the housework never end???

But strangely enough, it does. Your house is never clean, no, but you come to a point of making peace with yourself. Of collapsing within yourself and deciding, it doesn’t matter.

Not in a depressed kind of way, but more of a surrendered playing on the floor with your children while the laundry piles high kind of way. Because you’ve suddenly noticed how long your son’s legs, and you’re letting hems and sighs and cries for the way you both need him, and the way you want to be alone.

And connection.

We were made for adult companionship. We need each other. So I’m begging God to let me go to church but then I’m finding him, in my loneliness, too. Because he is there. So in our loneliness, let’s not turn automatically to people.

Because we won’t always be able to go to church.

But we can always be church for our children.

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EmilyWEmily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, and the author of six books including the new memoir Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity and Purpose (Baker Books, 2015). Proceeds from Emily’s books benefit her non-profit, The Lulu Tree. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and three children. For more info, please visit Find her on Twitter or Facebook.