As a single parent, we learn the old ways of doing “life” no longer work; we have to modify our BUDGET as it relates to money, time and energy. Where before we shared responsibilities and duties, NOW we become mother, father, cook, taxi driver, bargain shopper and baby sitter. We sometimes don’t get to greet ourselves until our children are asleep, and even then we are too tired to notice who we are when we look in the mirror. So what do we do?
How do we find time for ourselves – our relationship to US. You know the drill. The airlines use it…”Ladies and gentlemen, please place the mask over your mouth first and then on your children”. It’s the same old thing for us now. Until we take care of our needs, we’re no good to anyone else. If mommy and daddy aren’t happy….no one’s happy.
So first we need to find the time for ourselves within our time management budget. Then, we need to know the shortcuts in our time allotment – for the essentials, for shopping for helping with homework, and for schlepping to sports events and piano recitals. I’m a big believer in the Buddy System – so anyone on our single parenting ship (be sure it’s not the Titanic) can be our buddy as far as a “baby sitting club” (taking turns so everyone has a life) and co-op shopping (buying large and splitting the tenders) and just plain emotional support.
This helps us keep going and adds to our time management budget. It’s like having a life jacket in the shark infested post-divorce murky waters. We need the support. And, we deserve it after what we have been through! So pat yourself on the back and know you are not alone. Sometimes being creative is all it takes.
It becomes a formula of imaging the end result and then moving backward into the steps that get us there. It’s in the creative thinking and the addition of supportive groups (or a buddy system) that we find peace and a piece of our single parent sanity. Just knowing we are not alone and that others have walked this journey before us – leaving bread crumbs for us to follow makes us feel safe and secure in the knowing we can survive and prosper as a single parent!