There has been a gradual increase in the number of single moms over the years. Many of the women have been through a strenuous divorce or have been left to fend for a child on their own. Little has been done to assist them as they also carry the extra burden of a contributory blame to a divorce or breakup. This has resulted in extreme isolation, judgment and as a result, single mother loneliness.
This seems to be a normal occurrence, even though it might not be a necessity, and it is therefore up to these mums to assist themselves with the help of others as well. With a divorce a lot of things change. Friendships and family bonds could be severed in the blink of an eye. Everything changes especially for the divorced woman, as all her dreams of a solid family life have been shattered and have now turned to single parent loneliness.
It is important for them to find solutions for the inevitable loneliness that would accompany the fact of being single and having to raise the children on their own. A person can only make suggestions, but the single parent should be willing to implement these to be part of the solution to the inevitable loneliness. It is also a matter of getting over the loss before any other issues can be addressed, although loneliness is part of the process from beginning to end.
Some Examples Of Dealing With Single Mother Loneliness
Dealing with being single and being a mother at the same time is an entirely separate situation. It is therefore imperative to read widely and to find individual ways to deal with this type of loneliness. Here are only a few suggestions of how you could cope with the issue:
- It is important to know that there are people around you who care. In some cases these are family or relatives who are there to lend a helping hand. Avoid withdrawing as this can lead to isolation. You must keep in mind that your children are your family as well and you should make every effort to interact with them as this will bring about great fulfillment. It is especially so if you can follow their milestones and celebrate it with them.
- If you are in the habit of waiting for others to make you feel welcome, it is the ideal time to make the effort from your side to reach out to people. Make yourself comfortable and at ease, greet and strike up a conversation with others you meet.
- By constantly striking up conversation and chatting with others, you build up your confidence and self-esteem. This will carry you through to the next conversation until you are able to just be a natural participant.
- Joining hobby and craft classes to learn new things will also assist with getting you out of your shell. The best part is that most of these places could offer the same facilities to children. With this in mind, you could make it a fun, weekly family outing. Chances are that you would be able to see other single mums and share your ideas and desires with them as well.
- Single parent loneliness is not a long-term part of your life. You can be rid of it by taking the necessary steps. It is also a good start by admitting that you are lonely which will help you to address it in a significant way.
One of the most important aspects you should remember is that you are not the only person who is lonely. What this means is that you should not attach your loneliness to single mother loneliness only. Many other people suffer from loneliness even if they are not single mothers, so make no mistake when looking at the different situations. Under these circumstances, feeling lonely is pretty normal, but there is a way out of that.
What You Should Try To Avoid As A Single Mom
As a single mother there will be various stages of your life that you might feel lonely. This can lead to a number of issues you should try to avoid. Make sure that your loneliness does not drive you to do the following:
- Dating just for the sake of dating. You may end up dating the wrong person and for the wrong reasons. This will reinforce your loneliness as it would not be a solution especially if you have, for example, not worked through your divorce.
- If you have been through a divorce, you need to make every effort to be healed from the pain, before you even think of filling loneliness up with another partner. This could be more disastrous than your loneliness. So, it is important to try your best to keep from falling prey to your own vulnerable desires of having a partner too soon.
- Feel that you have to be in a relationship because most of the people you know are in relationships. It could also be that you feel out of place because you are not in a relationship. This will make you feel isolated and would therefore enhance your loneliness.
Practical Things To Do To Address Single Mother Loneliness
It is important to take practical steps to alleviate any form of loneliness as this can easily lead to depression. Look at different aspects that you could address, for example:
- Find out when the times occur for the loneliness to appear. For example, find out if it is at the time when the children have gone to bed, does it appear over weekends or on holidays and so forth.
- Once you have established the triggers, you can start working toward a solution.
- A balanced life is necessary for you to deal with this matter. You could, for example, make the effort of going out with friends, as soon as you can find a regular child minder. This does not have to cost much as you can arrange for it maybe once a month.
- It will help if you have your ex-spouse take the kids on certain days. Do not feel guilty and make the best of these free times. Look after yourself by pampering yourself and indulge yourself in good and fun activities.
- It is important that you keep in contact with all your friends and family as they are your support structure and you need to have them available to you. You therefore need to maintain these relationships.
- You can do this by trying not to decline too many invitations too often, as these might dry up if you keep making excuses.
- You need to have adult contact as you are with your children most of the time.
- Keeping busy without exhausting yourself, will keep your mind focused on other things and you will not dwell on you being single.
- Make sure that you focus on the positives and not the negatives. Even though you have kids demanding your attention, you have lots of ‘me-time’ as you are often by yourself. Focus on being creative during those times.
- This adds to the fact that you could grow as an individual. This will assist greatly with the fact that you would become comfortable with yourself.
Many More Ways Exist For You To Overcome Your Loneliness
There are numerous ways in which you can make sure that your life is fulfilled. It would mean that you would benefit from it greatly. For example, you could become a volunteer at one of the many different charity organizations around. It is even better if you could start your own charity, especially where you would fill a gap in the society. This will give meaning to your life and you would have a lot to talk and think about as you strategize.
One aspect that is often neglected is that you tend to eat the wrong foods and your body suffers as a result adding depression to the loneliness. You do need to follow a healthy diet and exercise as well. A routine of exercise would also benefit you greatly and you would therefore be more energetic to do much more in a day.
In order to assist you with a positive thinking mind, you could put up little notices with positive little messages on the wall or the refrigerator. This will also help the children to think and be more positive. Keeping a diary of when you feel sad and lonely is also a good idea. With each entry you could immediately turn to what you would do to alleviate those feelings and negative thoughts.
In conjunction with all of this you have to make sure that you take care of yourself, especially your self image. This means that you have to love yourself and appreciate what you are and what you do each day. If you have dips in the middle of the night, do not dwell on them, but have some music or a book with encouraging words or anything nearby that would curb the loneliness to set in.
If you have reached certain milestones in your fight against this difficulty, you can celebrate with whatever you like, but within limits, especially when it comes to food.
It is important not to beat yourself up if you fail at something. You must take it all one step at a time, day by day.
Things To Keep In Mind
One of the aspects of being lonely is also the fact that we often bring it onto ourselves. For example, you might believe that there is no-one around that would take care of you when in fact your friends and family are waiting in the wings for you to say the word. They would not offer as they often do not want to interfere. You do need to make it known that you need assistance. If one person cannot assist at a given time, it does not mean that they are rejecting you, but it is that they are busy at the time. You might continue to call on them the next time.
It is important that you do not let your own feeling get the better of you. It again boils down to making sure that you have a plan in place. For example:
- You should try to cultivate a positive outlook and not to be discouraged by little setbacks, especially daily ones.
- On occasions that used to be special (such as an anniversary or a birthday), you should in fact do something worthwhile to take your mind of it.
- Remember that your children might also be having moments of single parent loneliness as they have had the input of your ex-spouse as well. It is therefore imperative that you spend as much quality time with them as possible.
- Be grateful for the smallest help you can get to make sure that you do not wallow in your loneliness. There are many ways to deal with it and you are bound to find your individual solution.
- Admit to the feelings you are having and address them head on.
Some of the elements mentioned throughout might seem like it is a repetition of the same things, but it is a necessity to have them placed in this way. The reason is that there is bound to be something that someone could glean from it. Hence there are different categories for you to look at and it is meant as a guide only. You might find that there are many more creative ways to address the issue and this is what you might want to turn into a project to assist other single mothers.
The importance of single mother loneliness is the fact that it affects a lot more people than only the one person. The children and grandparents are just as involved as well as friends and other family memebers. It is a change for them too as they have to adapt to you being single, as well as offer their assistance the best they can.