Single parenthood and loneliness

It’s been 13 months now for me as a single parent. For the first five months my children and I lived with my parents and that came with it’s own challenges (namely 400 miles a week of commuting just to do the school run). Since September 2016 the three of us have lived back in our home town in a two bedroom rented house. The children spend the night with their father anywhere from once, twice or three nights a week depending on his work schedule and availability and my one proviso is that the children are home with me on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when there are after school clubs and activities and I try and maintain a constant mid-week routine.

In the evenings I ensure that EJ (who’s four) is in bed by 7pm and JJ (7) is allowed to stay up until 8pm and have ‘quiet time’ in bed until 9pm when lights go out.

Recently both children have begun to get weekly maths homework and I now try to ensure that I sit down with each child individually on a Sunday morning when everyone is at their least tired and grouchy, and give them my undivided attention and support.

It isn’t always easy and I definitely struggle at times but I’m in the throes of learning how to handle the challenges of any parent – dealing with all the usual tactics of children trying to push the boundaries and rule the roost (I posted on Instagram recently a picture of the book I’m reading, Calmer, Easier, Happier Boys and  due to a certain amount of interest I intend to post a bit of a review in time, once I’ve had a chance to implement some techniques and can feed back on any changes for the better).

So, as it goes, when the kids are around I’m generally super busy and in demand almost constantly.
I had once thought that the time I was going to be spending alone would be filled with blogging but that simply hasn’t been the case (see: tumbleweed blowing through these pages for the last six months) and for the most part that is down to the very public nature of the blog conflicting with the very private nature of separation and divorce, heightened emotions and subjective opinions.

As an introvert by nature I’m lucky because I’m mostly happy in my own company – I love films, books and the occasional box set and that keeps me busy most evenings after the kids are in bed. But despite the fact that I have the most amazing friends and family who have rallied round in my darkest hours, when things level out and you’re no longer crying into your sauvignon, there can be some really flat, lonely times as a single parent – times when you feel such emptiness and loss and silence echoing through your life.

It’s my goal to make the effort wherever possible to get out and be sociable – to visit friends and family, to take part in social activities, say yes to invitations and of course, make more of an effort with the blogging because it’s only now I’m beginning to realise that I totally miss my blogging community – and it’s the perfect activity for a single parent who’s stuck home alone in the evenings!

So here’s hoping that I can stave off those lonely moments this year and keep some balance between the introvert in me and the part of me that craves a human connection.

20 thoughts on “Single parenthood and loneliness

  1. I think it’s really brave of you to write about it all on your blog, sweetie. It looks like when the boys are with you, you’ve got a nice little routine going on and it’s amazing that you manage to give each one some undivided attention with their Maths homework. I’m pretty sure your new(wish) set-up comes with its challenges, but life isn’t a walk in the park, is it? Sending you lots of love and we are overdue a night out!

    • Thanks Mel! It doesn’t always work out but I think we definitely have our set routines which keep us all ticking over. You’re right life isn’t a walk in the park – not all the time but we have our moments! Yes we are *definitely* due a night out!! X

    • I normally can sleep Carol – just so knackering being in constant demand! It’s nice to be back in the blogosphere though. I’ve missed this little routine too. X

  2. It’s good to see you blogging again. It’s tough being a single parent and even the most introvert of us can crave attention sometimes. xx

    • Thanks Anne – I think there are different levels of introverted too and I the kind of person who definitely craves attention – particularly one on one, but doesn’t do too well in large groups. I’m really lucky that I have lots of friends and online too. X

  3. nice to see you back Sam. Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes, doesn’t it? I’ve been reading and thinking a lot lately about the loneliness of parenthood, even for those that are still with their partners. I think you had it right at the end – finding some sort of balance is the key

    • I know what you mean about loneliness even within a relationship when you’ve got kids. Well I was in that place until I chose to leave. Now at least I have so little time to myself that its normally a case of catch up on a TV show after the kids have gone to bed, fiddle about online and then crash out. To be honest I don’t actually have that much time to be lonely!

    • No worries Caroline. I generally feel like a bad friend most of the time because I’m living in such a daze that I forget birthdays and rarely remember to send cards etc. I really do like being able to get out when I don’t have the kids but sometimes (like tonight) I’m just too tired. You have to be quite organised too and with a lack of advance knowledge when I’m going to be child-free it can be difficult to make anything other than spontaneous plans but I do my best. Xxx

  4. Hi Sam,

    It is good to see you back on the blog. Single parenting can be a lonely business. I felt the loneliness at first, but now I don’t. I find that by the time I have put Cygnet to bed, and put some washing on, drunk a glass of wine and faffed around on the internet for a bit, it is time to go to bed. I often don’t feel I have time to be lonely. Pen x
    Pen recently posted…What does co-parenting success look like?My Profile

    • You’re right actually, I generally don’t have time to get lonely – there are always so many things on the to do list or as you say, just wine and general faffing! X

  5. I can completely and utterly relate to these feelings and I really understand what you are going through. When Grace was 3 months I lived with my mum and we moved out just after she turned two – I needed my own space. Like you I like my own company but there were times when the loneliness ate me up. Well done for sharing your feelings and it is great to see your return to blogging. We are here for you x

    • It’s always nice when someone else completely ‘gets’ where you’re coming from. There are quite a few things about single life that I do really love although parenting is not always easy but I guess that would be the case no matter what! Thanks for the support X

  6. You have been missed Sam! Then again,. I had kinda gathered why you probably weren’t blogging. Divorce (divarse as I took to calling it after I went through mine some years ago) is a pain. I have never had to do the single parent thing. I can but imagine what it is like but I think you are doing the correct thing by trying to be sociable when you can. At least it seems things have settled a bit and in time that will hopefully help.

  7. So lovely to have you back blogging again Sam and it sounds like you are doing a great job juggling the demands of life as a single parent and now trying to make time for yourself too. I have a copy of “Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting” by the same author and I’ve found her techniques so helpful. Sounds like your book is working well for you. Welcome back and thanks for hosting #thetruthabout – always lovely to link up 🙂
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Friday Focus 31/03/17 – Getting out in the gardenMy Profile

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