I Love My New Baby But Why Am I Feeling Lonely?

So nobody told you that becoming a parent can be lonely? That’s right, all of a sudden you are transported to another world of routines and nappies!

A survey of 2,000 parents found that the majority of new mums and dads feel cut off from friends, colleagues and family, after the birth of a child. Many said that a lack of money and feeling housebound were the causes. When a new baby arrives, family incomes go down but often their expenses go up.

When doing their research, Action for Children found that 52 per cent admitted to suffering loneliness, with a fifth saying they had felt lonely in the past week. Action for Children have got together with Mumsnet founder and CEO Justine Roberts and Jo Cox from the Commission on Loneliness to launch a new campaign to tackle loneliness for parents.

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Justine Roberts said, “Having a baby changes your life in many ways, not all of them as joyful as you might expect… Parents who responded to our survey told us that being out of work or on maternity leave and being short of cash contribute to loneliness, and of course these things are part and parcel of new parenthood for most… It’s a reminder that the transition to being a parent can be tough, and a little kindness can go a long way.” Experiencing loneliness can have lasting effects on your mental and physical wellbeing, contributing to stress, anxiety, paranoia and depression. Looking after a small baby can be a scary experience, especially if you haven’t got someone to talk to.

Tips To Beat Loneliness When You Have A Small Baby. • When you meet up with close friends, talk about your feelings. • Being honest about your life helps people feel closer to you. • Look in this magazine and find the baby groups that will fit in with your routine and go regularly. • Talk to someone new every time you go to a baby group to broaden your network.

• Ask other parents how they are finding parenthood, judging by the surveys you will find someone else who is feeling like you.

• Invite other parents over for coffee so the babies can play and you can have some company.

• Don’t wait for someone to call or email you – contact them yourself. If they’re busy it doesn’t mean they are rejecting you. Try again another time.

Chief executive of Action for Children, Sir Tony Hawkhead, said, “From a toddler who seldom meets people because of their mother’s anxiety, to a young man in his twenties afraid to leave his room in a homeless hostel, we know from our services across the UK the devastating impact loneliness can have on the lives of children, young people and families… Now is the time to raise the volume on this issue and ensure much-needed research, funding and support is put in place. Whilst part of the solution lies with funders and policy makers, there is a role for every one of us in addressing this epidemic in our communities.”

Indee Nest is all about building a tribe of mums and bubs that can support each other whilst staying fi t and having fun!

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If you see a new parent at a group, make the effort to speak to them, they might just be feeling lonely and it could have taken all of their effort to get to that group. Let’s all take responsibility to make sure every parent feels welcome and part of our communities.

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Author, Lucy Toleman, Founder of Indee Nest, Editor, Helen McClorry, Babies on board Magazine. 1st Floor, 24-26 High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE

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