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lonely - kids growing away and husband works long hours

Posted by on Aug. 18, 2014 at 4:17 PM
  • 9 Replies


I need some advice from other moms out there.  My kids are ages 16 and 17 years old and I have been a stay at home mom for 16 years....not by choice....I love teaching, but due to my husband's traveling on business and working long hours...and my son's adhd diagnosis at 6 years old...I pretty much have dedicated my life to raising my kids and spending time with them....

I do have friends...but they are busy with their is busy taking care of an elderly relative.,another's husband is home a lot (8 weeks vacation a year!) and another is raising her grandchildren since her daughter is a drug addict...another friend has a husband that is a teacher and wants her home whenever he is home....she works part time so she is free sometimes....

I really never thought that I would be in this situation....I've always had friends to do things with...and I've always done things with my kids...and they really don't want to do things with me anymore....

I do substitute teach during the school year...but summer is one girlfriend told me that you have to start doing lots of projects around the house, etc.. and I know that I need to learn to like spending time alone...that is my biggest challenge....that I don't like spending a lot of time alone..and that is how my life is set up kids are busy with their own husband is busy working a lot of long hours...and my friends have been busy with family obligations this past summer and i have been pretty lonely..,and facebook makes me feel worse...when I see all the families and friends doing things together...

We used to have friends that we went out with socially before, when the kids were little...their kids were friends with our kids and we were all my husband is not really interested in going out socially he says that he is too tired....

I guess I just feel like I don't have a life....and I had really hoped that this would not happen to me when my kids got older....I do take painting classes, and guitar lessons....I just spend a lot of time alone...and I dont' like it.....but somehow, I need to learn to like it....because it's hard at 53 years old to make new friends when you're not in school (I dont have any desire to go back to college) or work fulltime....I don't want to go back to teaching fulltime....been there...done that....I just thought that at this point in my life that I would be having fun with girlfriends...and having more of a social life......

I would appreciate any advice at all...thanks for listening.


by on Aug. 18, 2014 at 4:17 PM
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by Susie on Aug. 18, 2014 at 4:27 PM

I made my own life but always have.  I scrapbook once a week with friends.  Belong to 2 ladies groups that do things during the day and also evenings.  One group we have something with our spouses once a month too.  You just have to hunt for things.  It takes work. I move around a lot and believe me it takes work to make friends and find things to do.  I am 53 too and my girls are 23 and 20. 

by Gold Member on Aug. 18, 2014 at 5:07 PM

 See if your local library has a book club. See if your town has a Newcomers club- while you are not "new", they could help you find clubs or organizations you might be interested in.

Sorry I'm not much more help- I like spending time alone.




by on Aug. 18, 2014 at 5:20 PM

I can relate somewhat only because lot of time I find myself with whole weekends or weeks to myself (kids are at their Dad's house and my husband works a lot too).  I really love my free time now but sometimes I wonder "what am I supposed to do with myself?"  But there are so many things and now you can do exactly what you want to do.  Some suggestions:

Get a job, even part time

Volunteer (there are websites that you can sign up for volunteer opportunities)

Babysit (if you really enjoy spending time with kids)

DIY projects around the house

Take a class (cooking, gardening, art, whatever)

Exercise (if you enjoy group settings, go to a gym and take classes).  I alternate either walking 1 hour a day, biking, swimming, or group excercise class

Oh, and you WILL make new friends.  It just happens.  They may not be your besties but you will meet tons of people who are doing the same things you are.  This is a normal transition time that all parents go through.  And it is OK to feel lonely once in a while.

by Susie on Aug. 18, 2014 at 7:21 PM

I always join a newcomers club.  Heck, I have been the "resident president" for 6 years now, ugh.  lol

Quoting wakymom:

 See if your local library has a book club. See if your town has a Newcomers club- while you are not "new", they could help you find clubs or organizations you might be interested in.

Sorry I'm not much more help- I like spending time alone.




by Silver Member on Aug. 18, 2014 at 11:04 PM
Volunteer, take a class, start projects....
by Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Hi. I hear you completely. When I was a SAHM, I was very lonely. I didn't want to clean my house or do projects while the kids were in school. Fortunately, I had a friend who was also home and we did lots of morning coffee. However, fast forward in time, I got busy with a lot of volunteer work. And I went back to work. I never feel lonely as I get socialization through work, meet girlfriends out here or there (maybe a couple times a month, not a lot), and I am a volunteer in two different organizations (actually three now). You have to find a new group of ladies who are available to socialize. Working part-time is a start, but add to that with some volunteer activity (a local shelter, they always need people; you can volunteer with your children's high school PTO). Whatever works for you. My family never does anything together. Hubbie works a ton, we haven't taken a vacation in two years, so don't let all the FB stuff fool you or upset you. And hang in there with your friends, they are going through some things that will change and ultimately become available to socialize again. Hang in there.

by Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Volunteer.  There are lots of charitable organizations out that that would love to make friends with you.

by Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

I'm so sorry you are struggling, and I can totally relate, though I am a year or two behind you! My daughter started high school and also is now playing competitive softball. She is gone all the time! I have friends who have children that went off to college this year, and it hit me that this is closer than I'd like. When I am home by myself hour after hour (hubby works a lot and travels, like yours), I am lonely. And I have started to think about what the heck I will do with myself when she leaves for college.

First, your kids are not gone yet! I know they get busier and less interested in family time, but do make an effort to enjoy some time with them. Lower your standards a little- don't think that you have to have a fab night out, just plan dinner out, or even a shopping trip where they leave their phone in the car so that you can just chat and catch up. Find enjoyment in mundane things because you can find some joy in the small, quiet times.

Love that you are taking classes and sub-teaching. Those are things you can continue. If you don't want to go back to work, even part time, then consider volunteering. Endless opportunities there. Also maybe find a social group through a church or meetup's website. Like you, I am finding that my friends lives and mine don't exactly jive right now, I spend some time with them, but we all have different things- different ages of kids, jobs, etc. So it's not a reliable source to keep out the loneliness.

Great suggestions posted by others so far, and what I'm learning from these and my own experience is that as the kids get older, finding a meaningful social life is a JOB! When the kids were in preschool it seemed easier, moms in the same boat and we were always busy with something, albeit kid related. Now everyone has varied time and circumstances. So we can't expect opportunities to fall into our laps as easily. It's going to be harder. But there are so many people in your shoes, you just need to find them!

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you!

by on Aug. 20, 2014 at 3:41 PM

You should literally take walks around your neighborhood and start saying hi. After a while, people will get used to you and you can start making friends. I know that seems like a big leap, but thats literally what my mother does. It starts with her saying hi, and then the people start saying hello to her. She'll casually invite them over one day, and BOOM. Instant friends. She has a huge posse of friends and we moved to this area a week ago.

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