"Make sure that what you are doing and striving for is going to be worth any sacrifices you will have to make along the way. If it's a relationship, job, anything in life."

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Helping to get through the long term hurdles of being a single parent

            In life there are always hurdles but when it comes to single parents we have somewhat different ones because of the how often we get to see our children.  I put together some tips for my fellow single Mommies and Daddies who have to see their children on scheduled times. 

            Long-term Hurdles:  The hardest hurdles to get over are the long term ones.  I want to post about one and that is time.  Time I believe is the hardest hurdle to get over but when you are over it you will be stronger than ever before.  I started out with the hardest point because it is the one that in the end will be the most forgiving.  This means if you distract you’re self with things like working or seeing your friends they will be fun but they are more short term.  Once time has set in and you have realized how to move forward and be alone while your kids aren’t with you things will get easier.  It isn’t easy to start off however.  You will find your self staring at the clock or just feeling the day is never ending.  In the mean time just be patient and use short term activities.  When you use short term activities they will help you get to the long term fixes.  Time is also hard because when you see your child only every so often it feels like she is growing up and you’re not even there to enjoy it.  They will come over and you will be amazed how much they grew or have learned in school.  For this you can either try to get more time with them or you can adjust with how it is.   I will use the short term tips to get you through some of the long term hurdles but never get hooked on short term fixes.  I will explain this when I talk about the short term fixes. 

            There are other long therm hurdles like love, recovering your finances, your heart healing, and the fact that you will feel you only see your child every so often and may feel it’s not fair, aka jealousy.  Anger, frustration and pain are the biggest and time will not be on your side in the beginning.  These I will address in later blogs and break them up so you’re not reading all night, and I’m not typing all night.  Once you have mastered your feelings and you understand that a divorce is a horrible thing but that you have to move forward and keep your child in the best you will soon be a stronger person than anyone out there.  You will have skills and patients to help you understand and work with different aspects of life that will make your journey difficult.  The question I’m sure you are asking is how will Time help me?  Well once you get through the long term hurdles you will be a productive single parent.  You may get a second job and start saving to rebuild.  You will also understand that time is precious and that you shouldn’t be sitting on your couch thinking about how you miss your child or how it’s not fair you have to go days with out seeing them.  You will realize you can volunteer or help your community out.  You can keep your house cleaned and in order, work out or pick up a hobby like cooking or some other form of artwork.

            When the seasons change make sure you change with them.  After a while you will realize you walk into your place alone but your no longer scared or lonely.  You have to go shopping or think about shift you picked up at work.  You will also have time to plan little adventures with your kids when you don’t have them.  You will become a master of your time and before you know it you will be back and in action!

Short Term Fixes:  Short term fixes are designed to help you get through the hard times and help you adapt to the long term hurdles like time.  Some short term fixes and assets are family and friends, work, any hobbies you have, your child, or just relaxing.  Family and friends will always be there for you but there role when you feel you are loosing it is to just be there and help you.  They can make some dinners or have you over to just pass the time.  Now you can always visit family, but when I say short term I mean when you are pacing around the house and putting marks on your floor from waking in circles!  Family and friends turn into a shoulder in the beginning and then move back into their normal role after you are healed.  They can always turn back into a shoulder when you need them.  That’s the best part. J  They take you out and talk to you, show you how special you are and when you have your child they have dinners take you all out.  Friends do the same thing but sometimes we just want to be around our buddies more than our parents.  (No offense parents)  When it comes to work I know it will be hard because who wants to work as they miss their children but if you focus the time will pass and eventually you will be back in the swing of things.  Don’t slow down or get in trouble for being lazy at work you need your job!!!  Hobbies are always very healthy because the use up your time and since it is something you enjoy your mind will not be focused on the fact that you went through everything you did and now you only see your child here and there.  Relaxing is the last one I used, there are many more but I kept the list to short few.  Relax and enjoy your time.  Take a walk, listen to music take a nap just give your body a physical rest.  After everything you went through mentally your body will feel it.  You need to put your feed up and let your body de-stress.

The other nice thing about a hobby or something fun is you can show your child and chances are she will love it.  If it’s cooking or some kind of craft your child will absolutely love to be involved.  When I cook Quinn loves to sit on the counter and watch or even get involved and help me out.  Cooking is fun because you learn a new meals and kids usually love to cook and if you include them on anything you do they will just be so excited.  Kids love to be a part of what you are doing and all we as parents have to do is give them that attention.   We as children will always want to be a part of our parent’s lives and what they are doing, especially when we are little.    

If you use the short term tips and helpful fixes they will get you to that long term hurdle.  Once time has passed you will be such a strong person I can’t tell you.  I know my daughter is little but I have already acquired skills and helpful emotions that will get me ready like letting go.  I have a long time before this happens but the fact that I had to get through the fact that I couldn’t see her will make me ready when she goes away to school or meets a boy.  I will probably never be fully ready… But that’s just because I’m a Dad… But I will have the tools and emotions to understand her and realize it is time to let her venture out.  These are the skills and traits we have to acquire or when they get older you won’t know how to let go.  Sometimes we as single parents that may not see our children as much in the short term have to deal with things we will be ready for later in life.  The one thing I know in life is that besides the fact that it is mysterious, life is a circle and everything ends up just going back.  If you get ready now you will be ready when the time comes. 

Learn how to buy your time now and remember in the beginning it will be hard, you will have pictures of your old family and of your kids but as time goes on you will replace them with adventures you both went on.  I can’t tell you how hard bringing my daughter home for me still is.  It always will be, I still to this day feel its just not enough time.  I have to realize it is what it is.  I also realize it may not be like this forever, she may want to move in with me and live with Dad.  I don’t think about that but you never know.  All I know is that this is how it is now and I’ve had a few years to get ready for everything and I used most of it wisely.  When it comes to the nights of feeling alone or if you start to feel sad or cry, my heart goes out to you and that is still okay to do.  You don’t see your child and you’re only human after all.  Do your best keep your composure and keep pressing on.  Use tools and tips to help you get through the harder aspects of being a single parent. 

This post can go on a lot longer with many side doors to open but I like to keep my post to a nice average limit.  I may come back to it later down the road or branch off it and talk about different hurdles we as single parents face and how to help over comet them but for now I just wanted to get some ideas out there for my other single parent readers.  Think about things you can do to help you get through some of the hardest and more difficult of times and challenges.  Remember time is not easy to get over, it just has to pass, but when it does you will be stronger than ever…

Always remember…
You are never alone.


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