If you have a small child, then there is a good chance you can't remember the last time you had a moment to yourself...
When you sit down, a child climbs into your lap. When you hang out the washing your baby comes along in the sling. When you go to the fruit shop your little helper comes too. When you go to the toilet you have an audience. And when you curl up to sleep at night your bed is full of little arms and legs.
You have a constant companion, a best buddy like none before and yet it can be an intensely lonely time in your life too.
In days gone by, women with young children were surrounded by a community of other women - their own mother, grandmothers, aunties and friends. They helped each other in practical ways like sharing the household work of cooking, washing, cleaning and looking after the garden and animals. But they also surrounded a new mother with love, understanding and companionship.
You know that old saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well, that village is also pretty darned important for the mummas!
These days many of us live in different cities, states and even countries from our families. We don't all have an instant 'village' to surround us when we have children. And it can be lonely. Really lonely. Even though you're never ACTUALLY alone.
One of my most vivid memories of the thorniness of early motherhood was being in the car with my two young children, both of them crying in their carseats. I don't remember what led up to that moment. I don't remember if they were hungry or sick or just plain tired. But I DO remember feeling lonely in that moment, completely and utterly racked with loneliness. So lonely that I pulled over and joined in the chorus of crying!
But chances are, you are surrounded by other lonely mummas who would dearly like some adult company too. So pluck up your courage and say hi to that other parent you see in the playground. Or ask the person you see at playgroup once a week to pop over for a cuppa. Or turn an online mummy friend into a real-life friend. Deep connections take time to grow but they have to start somewhere...
And if you are already living in a village, surrounded by family and friends, and can't even remember the last time you felt lonely, then invite someone into your world. Offer a friendly smile, an understanding ear and the promise of an intimate connection.