Most often than not I would describe myself as being happy and content with my life as a single mum, in fact over the last two years I’ve learnt to embrace it and now find myself in good place. Even though I have an incredibly energetic toddler to keep me on my toes and who takes up all my time there is the reality of this journey being incredibly lonely!
Don’t get me wrong, as a single mum I do appreciate the quiet evenings when I can work uninterrupted and not feel bad about it or just sit and unwind without interruption. BUT the quiet moments are also also a stark reminder of how alone I am. The loneliness often sets in at night when my daughter has gone to bed, I find that there is no one I can share or talk to about my day, the challenges I’ve faced, the worries I have or even the exciting opportunities I’ve been offered. Fortunately after two years I have been able to find ways to distract myself from feeling lonely and today I thought I would share them with you:
Nurturing Friendships: To some this may seem like the obvious solution but as a single mum or even parents who are together we often find it difficult to stay in contact as life simply takes over! But do your best to arrange coffee mornings, meals out etc or even just regular contact via the telephone, WhatsApp, text can eliminate that feeling of loneliness.
I have made some amazing ‘mummy friends’ and they are the ladies that truly keep me going, I don’t know what I would do without them. Don’t get me wrong it is hard to see each other in person due to work and life stuff but we always check in on each other. They’ve always been so supportive of my circumstances and always comment on how well I’m doing sometimes a simple acknowledgement can make you feel like ‘you’ve got your **** together’ and you’re being recognised for it by the people who really care!
Family: These are the people that are going to be there for you overstep of the way regardless of the situation and their unconditional support can mean everything. I am fortunate enough to have my parents on hand pretty much at any time. They are the ones I confide in, share my excitement and worries and also the people I rely on immensely to help with the childcare. BUT they don’t fill the gap of having a companion! In essence what I am trying to say is don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family they are usually more than happy to spend time with their grandchild, niece or nephew. This can give you a much needed break to meet friends, enjoy a spa day go to the movies etc
Play Dates: Sometimes just arranging ‘adult time’ can be difficult especially if your friends have children too. Play dates are a great way to stay connected and also help your children bond. When you become a parent you often realise that your social settings change and are planned or catered around the children being entertained but that’s ok it means you still get to have meaningful conversations.
I must admit most of my catchups with friends usually happen with Leila and sometimes it is hard to have deep conversations and being constantly distracted by the children but it’s equally fun and a great way to stay connected.
Social Media: As much as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc can be a distraction it can often deepen the feeling of loneliness. You’re scrolling through photos of family holidays, family days out, life celebrations etc and often wish and yearn that you were still part of a family unit so I would say don’t over do the time you spend on social platforms.
Hobbies: It can be tough to find the time to embrace your hobbies or find new things to do but it’s equally as important to really set some time aside maybe when your child is with their dad, grandparents or at their friends etc Doing something you enjoy can help you connect with other like minded individuals.
Communities: There are approximately two million single parents in the UK so you’re certainly not alone (ONS, 2017). There are plenty of groups on social media for single parents, this can be a good way to share the highs and lows and can create some good bonds of friendship with people who really understand your situation. These groups can be great support mechanisms and there are plenty of them on social media!
Dating: This can most definitely be the answer to eliminate that feeling of loneliness and finding a companion! But I think you have to be in the right head space and need to be ready to invest in another relationship. At the moment I just don’t have ‘dating’ as a priority and quite frankly I don’t have the time to invest in someone at the moment. Instead I’ve chosen to focus on rebuilding my career and raising my little girl.
I hope this post has helped those of you who are in a similar situation to me, I know full well a break up of any kind isn’t easy but by having some distractions and coping mechanisms in place things definitely do get better.
Let me know in the comments section below what do you do to combat the feeling of loneliness?