Friday, 3 May 2019

Loneliness in your 30s

Loneliness in your 30s

I've been fully self-employed/working from home for four years now and I can hand on heart say that I've never felt lonely. I'm part of a few online communities, I'm always busy with work and its just something I've never felt. Something has changed these past few months though and I don't know what it is. It could possibly be linked to Steve's shift change. He has less time off during the week now and works longer days so I do feel like it's just me or me and the kids a lot more and also feel more lonely in the sense that its mostly down to me to care for the kids/attend parent's evening/organise their lives now (where as before it was more balanced between Steve and I or at least we could make a joint decision as he was there).

I also think I'm no longer challenged at work. I used to feel like every day was a school day with blogging and social media and I was constantly learning new skills but recently that's plateaued. I've been doing this for 7+ years now. I know how to do a good job, get a good result for clients and steadily grow my accounts at the same time. It's no longer challenging and perhaps the monotony is setting in? Plus there are other factors like I don't think I see my mam as much as I used to as she is working weird shifts all of the time and because Steve doesn't get home until 7:30pm each night, it's a struggle for me to get out in the evening with my friends.

My typical day is very samey. I wake up at around 6am. Play on/work my phone in bed for a full 2 hours (very unproductive), get up at 8am, sort the kids out for school. Steve takes the kids to school at 8:35am, I shower, get ready for the day, clean the kitchen, do the washing and any other chores and then sit in front of my computer from 10am-3pm (with a little lunch break). Then I walk to pick the kids up, get their bags/school stuff sorted, make their dinner, do the dishes and then work a little more before Steve gets home at 7:30pm.

I have tried to combat the loneliness by making a point of getting out of the house a bit more and making an effort to make lunch dates with people but the loneliness (and dare I say it a bit of boredom) is still there. A few people have mentioned co-working to me but I don't think this would really work for me or my work pattern at the moment (it will in a few years when I no longer need to do the school run). I already volunteer a bit but had to leave one of my volunteer roles as it was all becoming too much and overwhelming trying to squeeze everything in.

I can't really take up a hobby or do anything else during the day as I still need to work and sometimes my workload goes beyond my working day already and night working has started creeping in again. I don't really want to add to that. I just don't have enough hours in the day to fit everything in.

I wonder if this is a 7 year itch with blogging? Whatever happens, I'm going to just power through as there's no way I'd go back to an employed job while the kids are still in school. I need the flexibility too much (plus my earnings would significantly drop and my lifestyle would not be as good) and of course I still do love what I do and I'm very fortunate to be in the position to work from home.

The plus side to all of this is that I now REALLY look forward to my weekends when Steve and the kids are home and we always have a lush time. I savour them now and I think in the past I've been guilty of taking them for granted.

Steve and I often joke that what I need is for him to quit his job and work for me. I would LOVE for that to happen but my income is far too inconsistent to support our whole family and I don't think I could take the pressure so that's a bit of a pipe dream.

I think I might just need a new challenge. I might look into activities that I could do with the kids after school as a starting point. What do you think? Have you ever suffered from loneliness? I know this is just a blip in my self-employment journey but I'd love it if you had any tips for me.

5 comments

  1. This is a really interesting read as it's just hit me how little time I have for my friends now compared to in the past. I am also self-employed, and although I love what I do, and it involves interacting with others ( I'm a private tutor and also run a baby and toddler music franchise), I still miss having banter with collegues, and have little time for friends as I work several evenings a week and need to spend weekend evenings with my husband. As your kids get older , the mummy friends you make when they're babies work longer hours, and it gets harder and harder to see each other. I'm looking into getting into some sort of exercise class once a week , partly for health but mainly for the social aspect. It can be really isolating being a parent, and being self employed! x

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  2. Funny you should post this today, because I was out with a friend last night, who admitted she was really struggling with loneliness during the school week. Her eldest daughter is in Secondary school now and is much more independent, and her youngest is at nursey now, but will start school full time in September. Her eldest has a heart condition, so she hasn't worked for 13 years, and she's a single Mum too, so it's a very challenging situation. She does do a lot of fundraising for the Children's Heart Unit Fund, but she would actually be worse off financially if she went back to work, because of the dreaded Universal Credit.
    A few of us went out last night for a couple of drinks, and we're going to try and meet up once a month if we can, but it is hard to get together often, because everyone has work/family commitments. Really felt for her though.
    My husband was retired on ill health a few years ago, so I'm lucky because he's always around, but he did used to work shifts (day and night) and it was really hard going when the kids were little, and I often felt lonely.
    Anyway, hope you enjoy the Bank holiday weekend, and please don't give up your blogging... I get all my ideas for days out from you!

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  3. Bless you! It's funny how working from home for yourself seems like the dream but really it's just like any other job and has its downsides including being bored! I'm always happy to meet for lunch if you ever want an escape x

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  4. I work at home, am single, have no family (immediate or extended) and recently moved to the area from down south. I can go days without speaking to anybody and am very isolated. I have been thinking about volunteering recently as a way to interact with others. Grateful if anybody has any tips on how to find places that need help.

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  5. I’m sorry to read you are struggling a little. I’d love to catch up more - just give me a shout whenever!

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