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.