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Single Parenting: Learning to Have Fun Again

By Edited Sep 28, 2016 0 0
Mom and daughter
Credit: Beth Rankin on Flickr/CC by 2.0 with Attribution

Single parenting is not an easy job. There are always chores to be done and responsibilities to tend to. After these are complete, there isn't always a whole lot of extra time for much else.

The adjustment to the role of single parent often highlights the fact there is always plenty of work with little time for play. Other times the adjustment can feel downright overwhelming. Usually, the circumstances which lead someone to the single parenting role are ones of distress, and perhaps even a traumatic experience.

Once the immediate periods of distress are worked through, an issue single parents often find themselves facing is they feel as if they've forgotten how to have fun. Perhaps it is not so much the single parent has forgotten how to have fun, but rather he or she has become more accustomed to dealing with the stresses, pressures and responsibilities that single parents have to handle on a day-to-day basis. 

Fun just often doesn't fit in this kind of routine and, if you are like many other single parents you're too tired to even care about fun. At the end of the day there just isn't time. While it seems impossible, there are ways to integrate fun back into your life. Being a single parent does not have to mean experiencing the enjoyments in life has to end. Here are a few aspects of life to consider making changes in your life so you can reclaim it and learn how to have some fun:

Get to Know Yourself as an Individual

When you are married you become one in the partnership, but it doesn't mean you have to lose your individuality. Many spouses become so wrapped up in the daily aspects of married life that they sometimes begin to feel as if they've lost their distinctiveness as a unique individual.

The first step should be to make a concentrated effort to rediscover yourself and find what it is that makes you tick. It is hard to move forward if you are unable to be comfortable with your own company. If you begin to discover just who you are, what you like and where you want to be, it is much easier to regain your individuality.

Additionally, for the single parent, he or she will sometimes go through a stage of disliking his or herself. If you find this scenario fits you, it is important to learn how to like yourself too. Once you can do this, it is much easier to move forward and find that coveted fun.

Look at Life Through Your Child's Eyes

Often adults are so busy caught up in the stressors in life it is easy to lose track of the "fun" which can be experienced in simple everyday things. To relearn how to enjoy life, try looking at the outside world through your child's eyes. If you're in the car with your kid(s), talk about what you see, and let your child do most of the talking. If you go for a walk, listen and watch carefully when he or she stops to hear a sound or bend over to examine something seen on the sidewalk.

Learn the ways kids perceive the outside world and try and internalize this feeling and apply it to the way you see things too. Children have an amazing knack for finding the beauty in life and discovering things which make them smile and laugh. They often find the tiny, seemingly insignificant things that are often miraculous. Those little things we might take for granted.

Not only will you learn to have fun, the bonus is you can do it together with your kids and enjoy quality time.

Walking along railroad tracks
Credit: Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/boots-travel-track-architecture-181744/

Walking the path post-divorce is not always easy at first, there is definitely a period of adjustment. While not easy, it is important to try and squeeze some fun in too.

Try and Get Some "Grown-up" Time

While it is important to be involved with your kids and their interests, be sure to make a little time to spend doing things you like to do also. It is understandable this may be tough to do as a single parent due to the nature of harried schedules, but it is important to make an attempt.

It doesn't have to be anything complicated or even anything that requires a babysitter. You can take an occasional late night bedtime and stay up and watch a favorite movie or TV show that you can't normally watch because it is unsuitable for kids. Or make a habit of reading a chapter or two in a book you'd enjoy.

If possible, getting out with some friends is a great way to revitalize. Have lunch with a friend or maybe a family member or close friend can watch your children for an evening so you can go out to dinner or a movie. If you do have the support of someone who can watch your kids once a week, take a class, either academic or a fun one, such as photography, cooking or anything else that interests you.

While you love your kids dearly, it is important to recharge your batteries alone and/or with other adults, and there is nothing wrong with needing a little break. In fact, re-energizing often helps make a person become a better parent because it lessens the potential of burnout. 

The bottom line is you shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to have some fun in your life. There are many ways you can have fun with and without your kids.

Hobbies and Interests

The next step is to start is to find hobbies you enjoy, or revisit hobbies and interests you ended up abandoning once you got married. As you learn to adapt to your new life it will be important to begin to recall the things in life you previously enjoyed and of those of which make you happy.

You'll quickly see once you immerse yourself in the small things in life you appreciated, but never seemed to take the time to enjoy, life will become more fun.

Fun Helps the Hard Moments Become Manageable

Single parents have to learn to adjust to having problems thrown at them and being able to handle it themselves. Taking the time to learn how to have fun, even if for brief periods of time, helps these hard moments become much more manageable. The more you enjoy life, the stronger you'll be as you raise your children.

The old adage is true, time does heal. It may take a while to reach a point where it seems the skies are a little less tumultuous, and you'll probably find after some time has elapsed things will begin to look up.

Credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved


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