As a single parent, I am privy to a lot of real conversations about the realities of single and solo parenting.
One of the common themes in addition to lack of fiscal resources is…time. It is the illusive magical spring water that will bring us health, well being, peace, our perfect job, the big idea or love. If only it existed… Sigh. Working full time, parenting 3 kids, exercising once a week and groceries…. That about fills it up. After the kids go to bed…it’s bills, summer camp registration, dishes and lunches, and possibly talking to a friend, maybe. I gave up tv awhile ago, books half-read litter my bedside table.
This could and does discourage your average person. Where is time in this seemingly endless sea of stuff to do?
In between. Just like the yummiest part of the sandwich. It’s the turkey and cheese or pbj (depending on your preferences) and that is by far the most delicious part. Giving up the pre-kid or pre-divorce reality is hard. Just flat out hard, in my opinion. If you are letting go of that unrealistic expectation, might I add releasing comparing yourself to other people as well? Tremendously discouraging and a time suck if you ask me. “Why can’t I do xyz like so and so? They make it seem so easy.” Not useful, please release to the nearest recycle, compost or trash bin. I think the motive for comparing is good. It seems to start with wanting to be connected to others that relate to your situation. Community is vital. Just watch it if you start to try and keep up with the coolness of the other kid’s lunch boxes and get upset with yourself because you didn’t find that cool vintage gumby lunchbox from Goodwill. You are still a good parent.
So, now that you have given up pre-single parenting expectations of time and comparing your situation to others… You will have loads of time… In little tasty morsels.
So much can be done with intention. I used to paint pre-kids. I have done more paintings as a single mom than I did before they were born. I just do them differently. Little bits at a time. It makes the texture much more interesting.
The most challenging thing for me to find time for is quiet, peaceful, reflective time. In part because when it becomes available, I am honestly to tired to appreciate it. I still make time, several times a day for this quiet. I allow some moments to just be what they are, while others unfold as restorative and beautiful. I know that I am on a journey, one day at a time towards that illusive magical spring water. With giggles and jelly smiles coming along with me. Even with the rocks and sometimes challenging terrain, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a beautiful journey.