Lonely Moms Club

Lonely mom reaching out on her phone while holding a baby

Technology has evolved rapidly, putting us in a position to connect with anyone anywhere at the touch of a button. But even though social media can foster connection, keeping us in touch with friends and family, it’s certainly possible to feel socially disconnected. Like outside observers. Like we don’t belong. Lonely. Especially for tired moms, caring for busy little ones.

Life as a mom is a 24/7 job, and can be a lonely business.

Scrolling through and seeing others getting together, going to parties, adventuring in exotic places, succeeding in new endeavors can leave us feeling left out and left behind. And I will be the first to admit that when I’m tired, my limited attention and time for myself can get eaten up with mindless scrolling. TV, social media, and games are fun but can take the place of real connection or paying attention to our little ones.

It is especially true of social media. Sites like Facebook and Instagram can be harmful when scrolling replaces in-person interactions, monopolizes our attention, or reduces our quality of interactions. Just like the old saying, “comparison is the thief of joy,” another person’s best day on social media can make our own day seem a little less. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

We interrupt this blog for a quick video…

Now that I have said all this, it seems almost ridiculous to share a video, but go ahead and check out this video comparing what it’s like for a little kid seeing her dad on the phone versus off the phone. What a amazing difference for this baby and toddler when dad puts down his phone!

The difference between giving attention to your phone & your kids


So how do we give our attention back to what matters?

According to the Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation report published by the office of the Surgeon General, the highest medical office in the USA, there are certain things that make media use more harmful. But there’s good news too! There are concrete ways to use media that help us stay connected in real life.

What’s harmful?

Multiple Hours of Use.

Using social media for more than 2 hours a day can double the odds of feeling isolated and alone when compared with using social media for less than 30 minutes. We’ve all been there, scrolling endlessly trying to reach the bottom of the videos. Truth is, there is no bottom! The videos go on and on, feeding algorithms.

And staring at videos of people we don’t know takes us away from the real people in our lives, including ourselves! Give some time back to yourself and put down your phone. Try saving scroll time for a specific time each day (preferably not before bed). Or try setting a timer for 30 minutes.

Online harassment/embarrassment/trolling/triggering.

We all want to be seen, heard, and understood, but social media is often not the way to find that empathy. Posting our deepest hurts is often unrewarded. And cyberbullying ruins anyone’s day, even adults!

It happens to everyone: we end up with “friends,” on social media who are not able to see our behind the scenes lives, our hurts, and they don’t respond with kindness or give faithful advice. The real people in our lives – our family, our friends, counselors, people at Church – are better able to give us the kind of heartfelt encouragement and deep-listening attention.

Having conversations face-to-face is better for our feelings of belonging and safety. Use your phone to give a loved one a call, plan a time to get together, and get real about how you feel!

What’s good?

Online support groups like mommy groups or outside play groups.

There are ways to connect with real people online to get information, advice, events, and yes, even, friendship. Mothers can find groups that specialize in breastfeeding support or supporting moms of kids with medical diagnoses like down syndrome or autism. Other mothers can find nature-oriented play groups and homeschool meet-ups.

The bottom line is that there are ways to get more connected online. No mother must go it alone, whether she is in a rural area, isolated in a new neighborhood, or simply feeling alone in a new situation.

Special interest groups.

The internet is FULL of groups that want to engage on specific topics, sharing information, recipes, and skills. Moms can find their own personal niche and meet like-minded others to learn more about sourdough, gardening, hiking, breastfeeding, and homeschooling to name just a few. Some special interest groups are local and some global!

Free stuff, free resources!

There are lots of swap and sell pages, garage sale events, and the Facebook Marketplace for finding affordable baby items, toys and furniture. Prices are high for new items so having places to buy gently used baby goods is a lifesaver!

Check out these Facebook groups to meet real moms in our area!

Eureka Birthright

Birthright of Hillsboro

Breastfeeding Support – La Lèche League St. Louis

Breastfeeding Support – La Lèche League Franklin County

Breastfeeding Support – La Lèche League Jefferson County

Eureka Mom Squad


Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation

Franklin County MO Yard and Garage Sales

Jefferson County MO Kids Buy Sell and Trade

Parenting and Social Media

Introducing our kids to the internet is something each parent must use their best judgement on. So many things factor in: time spend in the car, work schedules, online school to name a few. Here are a few ideas for how to include mental well-being, connection, and family time into the equation.

Model healthy social connection in the real (IRL as the kids say)

Spend time talking without phones nearby, eat together without phones, get together with family and friends. Model manners in public. Teach your children to say hello and greet and talk with adults like teachers, counselors, grandparents, coaches and yes, even strangers.

Encourage your children to be a good friend.

Your child is eager to make friends, but sometimes things don’t go to plan. They aren’t sharing, won’t put away electronics, or they don’t know how to play together. Help your child learn to put away the phone or tablet and show them a game to play. Find games that are meant to be shared with two players. Encourage them to talk it out with their buddies. Then listen in while the kids play so you can hear what they say. Offer suggestions of how to share and be kind. They will make friends in no time!

Make a Media Plan and Limit Screen Time.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under 2 cannot learn from media programming and should not watch TV or use screen devices alone. As for the older ages, 30 minutes a day of screen time (TV, tablet, and gaming) is a good limit for any age. Then it becomes a treat to see a screen! Use it as a reward for doing homework or a chore.

There are further recommendations at each age and a very cool online tool exists for parents to make a Family Media Plan with a specific plan for each child. The main message here is that children need to learn from hands-on experiences in the real world and cannot learn the same way from video content.

Co-view social media and TV programs.

Anytime a child is watching an electronic device, an adult should co-view the content. Always know what your child is watching so you are able to remove the device if something inappropriate comes up. Limit what channels they have access to with parental controls (click for more on this!).

After watching something together, spark a conversation and talk about what you saw! Some other ideas: Let your child facetime a loved one, or watch a kid show together and talk about it after. Point out what is kind and good and what isn’t so good. Helping your child be discerning about content is a life skill for our modern age. With educational programming, try out the songs and games together after watching.

Delay Social Media Use.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram should only be used by children 13 years and older because 1. The type of content on these sites is adult oriented and 2. These apps give adults access to your children. Additionally, for girls especially, these platforms can use face and body filters that impact self-esteem and body image. As for mommas, those filters can effect you too!  ​​

A Word on Bullying.

We all know that bullying can occur on social media. If your child tells you they are lonely or bullied, find an interactive activity for them. Take a look at the messages and posts together, and help your child to identify the bullying language. Give your kiddo a real hug and then help them get back to what’s good in their real life. Call their friend, play a game, or go find some new kids at the park together.

Connect youth to helpers like counselors, educators, and health care providers if they are struggling with loneliness, isolation, or unhealthy relationships. This goes for adults too! Anyone, no matter their age, can use help from time to time.

To get in contact with a parenting counselor stop by our office or contact

Lutheran Family & Child Servcies of MO

Missouri ParentLink


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