I just blogged about the silver lining in single motherhood. That doesn’t mean there aren’t rough edges. The “single” in single parent can get lonely.
You have your child and trust me, they keep you busy and on your toes, but that doesn’t mean that playing Candy Land or parking it alone doesn’t get anxiously overwhelming. Humans are meant to connect. We’re designed to be around people.
It is extremely easy for single parents to get into the single mindset. I get it. You lead a busy life. You are in charge of your kid. It’s a big job and you have a job—a career, even.
I’ve been in the single mindset, too. There’s nothing wrong with being alone with your child and loving your time as a twosome (or how ever many there are of you). But, it’s also important to admit when you’re … lonely. Don’t throw a pity party—have a party.
I was lonely yesterday. JD was bouncing off the walls. The sun was shining. I didn’t want to sit on a bench while JD climbed on the monkey bars. I didn’t want to have a game of catch in our empty courtyard.
I texted Amy (that’s her in the pic with me).
Next thing I knew this was happening:
We were at Amy and Ed’s house (their daughter Lily and JD are best buds). Those other kids are a niece and a few neighbors. The kids played in the fresh air. Ed adjusted JD’s bike seat. I teared up because JD hasn’t been on his bike in months and it was too small for him—gahhhhh. Ed’s parents were over. Then Amy’s parents were over. It was full, loud, inviting and no longer lonely.
Soon little noses and cheeks were pink. We headed inside. The kids made cookies together, played Legos, argued about crap and the parents said “work it out” in unison. Mostly we let them entertain each other … while we entertained each other, had a tea or a beer. The house smelled warm and sweet. The kids shoved their faces with cookies and got melty chocolate all over themselves.
Soon it was dinnertime and no one wanted to cook. I usually eat with fam on Sundays, but everyone was running in different directions. Next thing I knew, JD and I were sitting at a table for 12 and my friend Matt was helping Amy and Ed’s Lily with her taco.
“I don’t want salad on my taco,” explained Lily. What’s funny, grand and insane about this, is that Matt’s wife Andrea was in the bathroom with their daughter and I was consoling their son who was crying, “Mama, mama.” JD was at the other end of the table conversing with … someone.
Group supervision is fantastic. A few times I heard Matt say, “Jack get back here.” I was eating my steak tacos. Amy, at one point, said, “Boys and girls!” and a waitress said, “that’s a teacher voice.”
When the waiter told us the chips were manufactured in a factory that may contain trace nuts we all made a dive for the chips in front of Lily who has a severe peanut allergy. I like this feeling of knowing that we’re all looking out for each other. Andrea said as chaotic as the dinner was, it was easier to dine as a group, because the kids entertained each other.
“We should all go on vacation together, so it can be like this for 7 days straight. Crazy and glorious!” I responded.
It was a great day! There was nothing single about it. Take the single out of parent—that’s my advice. Here’s some more advice.
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