Single parents. You’ve been alone, you’ve felt what it is like to come home at the end of the day and have no-one to vent to. Sure, maybe you have a great network of friends, or a supportive family. Maybe you pour your feelings into art or the gym. It’s never exactly the same though, as having a real, live, actual person who chooses to sit and listen.
Of course, you’re never actually alone though, are you? There is always your child, (or children) to think of, to keep active and happy. You end up in a weird limbo, part of you longing for adult conversation with someone really close, and the other discussing why it is not okay to paint on the hallway walls.
Do you ever really get time to just sit, think and be you? To start becoming the new you, the one who gets to have both a glass of wine in the evening with the life partner and to read the storybook at bedtime? Are you a parent looking for love?
There are three key steps in moving on after becoming a single parent:
1) Learn to Love Yourself Again
Put a little effort into you – beg and borrow favours from friends and family to get a an hour here or there to yourself when they babysit. Take the time to do something you love; whether it be a zumba class, a ps3 marathon or chilling out with a good book. Once you can see yourself as a person again, instead of a parent, you’ll start to feel better about moving onwards with your life. I love this awesome blog on the trials and tribulations of dating as a single parent for some real stories from single mums – inspirational and really uplifting to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
2) Leave the Past (and Ex’s) Behind You
Nothing good comes of dwelling on the past. Remember the good times and prepare for the great times you have ahead of you. Note down somewhere why you and your ex broke up in the first place and don’t be tempted to revisit old territory for the sake of your kids – you deserve to be happy and your children will be better off in the long term if you don’t resent them as the reason you stayed in an unhappy relationship!
3) Embrace your Baggage as Experience, and Move On
Everything you’ve been through makes you, you. Think it through, come to terms with what happened and put it down as your own personal bit of history. Once you’re ready to move on, you’ll be secure in the knowledge that you have a substance of experience behind you and that you can go forth into dating again, excited for what the future holds.