Lonely Moms: Will You Be My Friend?

Dec. 1, 2000

Christina Duff's piece on stay-at-home mothers (page one, Nov. 17) is an unfortunate commentary on our frequently alienated society. What have we come to when new motherhood brings such inherent loneliness that women feel they must resort to desperate tactics to find friends in other mothers?

My children are teenagers now, but I too left the work force to start a family. I was living far from the home of my youth, as many younger women do today, and was compelled to find "adopted" family members in the form of friends. It was even more difficult for me to reach out because I was dealing with major depressive disorder, exacerbated by post-partum issues. While I met the occasional acquaintance from outings to the park or the mall, I certainly didn't feel a need to troll for friends in such a casual manner.

I found my friends in my neighborhood, at church or at the YMCA, where I took my little tykes (15 months apart) for a class with other toddlers. There are plenty of such opportunities for moms. And if those available aren't appealing enough, I'm sure the average former working mother has the skills to start her own group.

What would our ancestors think if they could look upon our plight today? Would they think we had it pretty easy with fancy gadgetry, disposable diapers and only one or two kids? They'd no doubt laugh at the silliness of it all and wonder what ever happened to the sense of community that once was the glue that bound us together. We've lost something essential to our emotional health.

© 2000 Deborah M. Thurman