04-05-2021 03:58 AM
Part of this is pandemic related, but in reality part of this is just plain my life of being a single parent. My kids are young (daycare age) and I’ve been working from home for a year. The past year has brought isolation to a lot of folks, but realistically I don’t see things changing all that much when things go back to whatever semblance of normal they eventually do.
I have my kids 85% of the time by myself and all I do centers around them, making the household run, and working. Every other weekend when my kids are at their dad’s I try to do SOMETHING social/just for me, but I also spend a lot of that time cleaning my house, getting groceries, meal planning, etc. As the weather gets nicer, I do enjoy spending a lot of time outside with my kids and it will allow us to go on some excursions. But man....do you ever just get plain BORED with it all? I miss having an adult to banter with and talk about ADULT THINGS with. I feel like maybe dating would help, but I can’t even begin to understand how people have time for that in this situation.
04-05-2021 02:38 PM
You're right...your world changes when you have children! They become your focus and you can lose your own sense of self. For your own sense of self-identity, it's important to try and set time aside to engage in your hobbies etc., but of course this is not always possible or we aren't always as able to spend as much time doing these things as we'd like.
Have you tried making friends with a few other mums or parents from your local park or school/kinder-garden or the leisure activities that your children attend? If not, it might be worth trying to spark up a conversation with someone, as they will likely have similar interests/responsibilities to you that you can bond over. Also, It might also be worth searching single mum groups in your area, or looking at social activities on apps/websites such as meetup.
Also, if you have people around you who are willing to help, then I'd encourage you to ask for help when you need it, to enable you to have some 'me' time which you very much deserve.
Thank you for raising this issue as I'm sure many single parents can relate to it!
04-06-2021 04:15 PM
Hi @andrew60 ,
I have to say I can relate so strongly to your post- I was also a sole parent from when my oldest child was born until she was 4.5 years old- I was really lucky to have supportive family and friends, but some days could definitely feel very long, and there were some days where I was just beyond desperate for adult conversation. I can really relate to the boredom sometimes too! Looking after young kids is wonderful but the day in, day out monotony of keeping the house running/ keeping everyone fed and clothed, preparing food etc could really feel like groundhog day sometimes. I feel like there's sometimes a bit of stigma around talking about the aspects of parenting that can be tough, or boring, or monotonous - it doesn' t mean that we don't love our kids or love being parents - and I do also think there's a lot to the notion that humans are really by nature social animals, and we aren't necessarily designed to raise our kids in isolation! I found local parents' groups helpful for helping to build my "village" and having the occasional dinner where we'd all cook together and watching each other's kids really helped a lot. Do you have any friends that you could do this with, or even set up a bit of a mutual babysitting arrangement so that you can get some more child free time?
I found playgroups a really helpful way of staying connected with grownups while I had my kids and at least being able to have adult conversations, have any activities like that opened up where you are? I also found joining things like local bookclub and doing a meditation course to be really helpful in helping me feel like I was doing something for myself.
Thanks so much for your post @andrew60 - you're definitely not alone. Raising small kids is an amazing time of life, but it can also be isolating and exhausting, and it's really good to have that conversation here.