I’m going to write about the difficulties of being 36 and a single mom. I know with so much going on in the world it seems as if this is a “first world” problem and maybe it is. lol
I find that being 36 and a single mom is a unique niche that is pretty hard to navigate. Thus the range of emotions i deal on a daily basis is pretty overwhelming. At 36 you are in the middle of people who have been married for eons or those on the verge of a divorce. You have friends who have children that are graduating high school and those who are just starting the baby process. A few of them have grandchildren already. Then there are the ones who are single with no children or newly divorced and ready to go out and re-invent themselves. I’m stuck in the middle.I personally have never been married and i navigate this gray area with my amazing 11 year old. I don’t necessarily belong in the married category, though i have all married friends because our children are the same age and the schedules and lifestyles click. I don’t belong in the completely single category because i have a child at home and I personally just don’t find clubbing and bar hopping appealing plus I’m not available at a moments notice when most people what to go out.
I call this are the Barren wasteland of Singeldom. In my situation, i find myself with many, many lonely moments. When my son goes away to visit his father, I’m often at home contemplating what to do. My marrieds (friends) have families and husbands so they just cant drop things to hang out. I don’t have truly single friends in my area so going out for a girls night is usually a no go. I often try to go out to see things or do something but usually end up back at my home catching up on R rated movies that i cant watch when my kid is around. Normally its cool to have a few moments to myself because its far and few in-between as a single mom. But lately as the holidays come up my son is gone more with his dad and i find more and more moments alone. And ill tell you what, the loneliness has kicked in hard. It has scissor kicked me in the face and taken my joy.
Holidays are particularly hard. You have families that are getting together and the buzz of dinners, parties and gifts to be bought. Couples doing couple things. Babies being made and born because people are just in festive and happy moods. I wish i was one of those people. I keep up the charades of happiness for my son and we plan activities and i secretly stash gifts in hidden places for him. I tell him that I’m happy that i don’t have to cook for Thanksgiving and that I’m going to just have a relaxing day to myself, so he doesn’t feel guilty that he’s spending his holiday with his father and can enjoy himself. I have friends that have invited me to their homes, lovingly with open arms but the truth is this year, the depression has sunken in and it hurts more to be around families during this time because i don’t have what they have. I am ashamed to say that my mood this season is Green with envy. (Please don’t get me wrong, i have a healthy wonderful son and he is more than enough joy in my life. I am grateful for that opportunity.)
I’m running out of steam right now, maybe when the warm sun comes back and the summer days kick in ill feel better. In the meantime i just have to find things to keep me occupied to fill the void- to fill that space that makes me feel like I’m being picked last to play kickball.
So if you have a person in your life who is in the “grey” area like me, don’t forget about them. Ive “chatted” with a few single parents on Facebook and the sentiment is the same. Here a a few things that can help:
- Call and chat. Even if its for a few minutes. You have no idea how sometimes the phone doesn’t ring for days or people only call when they need a favor.
- Invite them out. Even if you know that getting a sitter is difficult or that it will take some planning. Even though we cant just pick up and go it still feels nice to at least be invited and not feel forgotten.
- Just hang out. Sometimes its great to just have a friend sit on the couch and chat with. It takes the pressure of having to get dressed and finding a sitter out and still makes the person feel loved.
- If the kids are older, offer to take them to the store to buy a gift or a card for their mom or dad for the holidays or birthday or mothers/fathers day. You have no idea how a lot of times we don’t get anything for ourselves during these “special” times and we have to grin through it and it makes people feel worse
- Just listen. Sometimes we need to gripe and cry and vent or tell someone (an adult) how we are excited about something.
- Follow up. If we vent and cry and gripe or tell you something exciting follow up and see how we are doing.
- Offer to babysit. Don’t always have them watch your children without reciprocating.
Those are just a few things. Anyone else have any ideas on how to help out a single parent? I’d love to hear how single parents cope with this feeling and how you combat the blues. Thanks for listening and I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful week surrounded by so much joy, love, peace, laughter and happiness.