The loneliness of parenting
- Posted by:
- Michael Grose
Who would think you could be lonely raising a family!
A report just released by The Australia Institute found that one in three Australians have experienced loneliness in the past decade. Surprisingly, the study revealed that the highest rate of loneliness of people aged 25 to 44 is when they are living as a couple with children.
And it’s women who are more likely to be lonely having children. Perhaps, it’s best explained by the demands on your time and energy raising a young family; or maybe it’s due to the isolating effect that parenting can have.
It’s easy to be isolated when you are raising children. Your days are taken up with the world of kids, or even with the world of work and then kids. You can be surrounded by people at work and never connect, because your gaze is fixed firmly on your family.
Whatever the cause, the cure for loneliness is community. Connecting to other people face-to-face is probably the best way to overcome feelings of isolation. Social media is one way to connect with others, but it’s a poor imitation of the real thing.
Volunteering, dropping in on friends unannounced, casual visits to neighbours, friends and family are simple ways to get the human connection that overcomes loneliness.
For some people this type of connection comes naturally; for others it needs to be prioritised and worked on. So be it, if it brings a meaningful cure for loneliness.
- loneliness, lonely., parent, parenting