Yesterday was National Single Parent Day. And this week reminded me in spades of the challenges for the single mom. For one, life has rushed at me full throttle and I’m juggling numerous issues and people and to do’s. Then too, I have some important decisions to make and my thoughts have been tumbling over the options .
But the challenge that’s often the hardest for me is the sheer isolation of single parenting. Even in a houseful of kids, I find myself battling loneliness. After a full day of school, ballet, errands, dinner and baths, when the kids are upstairs asleep or studying, the house grows really quiet and I’m reminded that it’s just me.
I appreciate the quiet evenings when I can think my own thoughts and work uninterrupted. But the quiet is also a stark reminder of how alone I am.
For single moms, loneliness is a painful reality, even in a houseful of kids, even when dating has begun again. Are you a lonely single mom? Today, I’m sharing 7 ways to battle loneliness as a single mom.
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1. Cultivate deep friendships.
Loneliness happens when there’s no one to share life with – to talk through the questions or the ups and downs of our days. Nourishing deep friendships can curb loneliness as we have people in our life who know us, who get us, and who love us.
2. Temper time on social media.
Spending too much time on social media might distract us from loneliness but it won’t eliminate it and could actually worsen it. The constant barrage of vacation pictures and life celebrations can leave us feeling left out and even more alone. Better to tame the time we spend on social media.
3. Pursue your Passions.
Admittedly, it’s tough to find time as a single mom, but carving out time for hobbies and interests can bring deep satisfaction with an added bonus of connection to new groups and people who share our interests.
4. Don’t believe the lies at night.
This one is huge because loneliness is often hardest at night and can quickly escalate to despair. If nighttime is a particular struggle, go to bed early and get up with the sun. Mornings usually bring clarity and hope.
5. Secure your self-care.
Good self-care can make all our emotions more manageable, including loneliness. Take advantage of alone time to indulge in a bubble bath with a favorite book or re-watch a favorite chick flick. Here are 20 simple suggestions for self-care.
6. Feed your soul.
Bible study and prayer remind us of God’s deep love and promises for us. You can find Bible studies through a church or community Bible study group and warm fellowship through moms’ groups like MOPS or Mom to Mom.
7. Use it for good.
No matter how busy we get or how many friends we have, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to fully eliminate loneliness as long as we’re single. But even that can be used for good. Understanding what loneliness feels like can help us become more compassionate and reach out to others who are hurting.
This post was first published at iMOM.com.