Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Secret Diary of a Single Mother :: The less pleasant bits.

I have always convinced friends and strangers alike of the positives I see in single parenting. Not because I am wearing rose coloured glasses, but because I genuinely feel positivity in my situation and parenting alone.

I get to enjoy my time alone with Stella, Mother and Daughter time. Quality giggle time and often in our pyjamas all day long. I clean my house and it remains clean. The toilet seat is never left up, the hot water never runs out. At the end of the day when I am tired, weary and grumpy I don't have anyone to focus on but Stella and myself. It sounds a little selfish, which is probably right. But I haven't wanted it any other way. Stella still gets to develop and explore a relationship with her Father, and that is quality time that isn't compromised by our differences. While Stella is bonding with her Daddy, I am recuperating, working or getting the housework, meals and washing under control. It is, at times, almost too good to be true.

I have been so busy revelling in the 'good' and trying my hardest to convince others of the good that surrounds me that I don't often see the bad. Of course there is nothing wrong with that! That is entirely the way it should be. But as I said, I don't wear rose coloured glasses. I don't like to sugar coat life. With the good always comes the bad. Or the less pleasant. 

The less pleasant part about being a single parent is by far, the loneliness. A loneliness that cannot be filled with giggles and cuddles from a baby, as beautiful as these are...They don't replace connections with adults. I'm sure that all parents experience isolation and even the baby books warn you of such things. But it's not until you become a new parent, or even a parent for the second, third or fourth time that the word isolation means something more than 'a word starting with i in that book'. Sure, you can catch up with friends and other mothers. But there is only a small window of time during the day that this suits your baby. Not sleep time, not lunch time, not the typical 'restless afternoon' time, not dinner time, not before bed time. And sometimes it's these times that you feel the loneliest.

As a single parent, I feel loneliest at night. When other families are running out their nightly routines. Someone cooks, someone cleans, people eat together and say goodnight together. From 7pm onwards my house is silent, it is just me and the laptop keys clicking away. At times, most times, I love it. I love the space and calm atmosphere, I love the opportunity to think and reflect. But when the house is quiet for that 7th night in a row, my brain is ticking too loudly for liking and I am craving that human connection. To share hopes, dreams, adventures with another adult. That is the less pleasant part of single parenting.

Not often does this play on my mind, nor does it occupy a large part of my worries. It is not the 'worst part of single parenting', merely the less pleasant, yet manageable part.

Have you as a single parent or a parent of any kind experienced this kind of isolation and loneliness? What do you find the less pleasant part of parenting to be? Please share!

Plenty of love...

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful and honest post. You have such a lovely outlook on it all. Stella is lucky to have you. x