Sunday, 18 September 2011

Weekends and Vacations


Sometimes parenting alone feels so restrictive. On weekends most of all. We tend to stay housebound on Saturdays so to avoid all the nuclear families that infest the streets we happily roam during the week (how dare they). Vacations feel completely out of reach. The reality is: yes we can go out on Saturdays, yes we could go on a holiday, but those are the times when I most miss the company of another adult. And the conversation of another adult, because there is only so many times you say 'is it yummy in your tummy?' with out a bit of 'what's the current situation in Libya?'

Every once in a while I like to push myself to do something out of my comfort zone. Just to show myself that I can do it. About a month or so ago the three of us had a camping excursion. Both the kids have been camping with me separately but this was the first time the three of us tented it together. Albeit it was in a friends back yard but it was pouring down with rain outside, so it was a true authentic Irish camping experience. Finch went down to sleep at his usual bedtime whilst the rest of us watched a movie and ate popcorn. It was a great success (including the 9:30 lie in!) and it left me feeling a little bit empowered.

What other practical things do you single mums find restrictive?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Restrictions are simply imiginary boundaries created by the insecurity wihtin our mind. As a single parent, I refuse to limit myself, I face the same challenges and 'restrictions' as others, but I embrace them and adapt them to make them bareable. My children are not aware that we are any different to nuclear families. We have the same love, stability, variation and experiences. Adult conversation is only restricted if you make it so, there are hundreds of parent friendly activities out there, many of them are free. Single parenting doesn't have to be an isolating and lonely experience, it is certainly filled with the same ups and downs that come with life in general. I have spent time camping with both my children on my own, neither of them slept on the first night, but we had an absolute blast looking for bats and frogs in the rain. Life is what you make it.

alli steen said...

Well it's great that you have it so together. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

I totally get it... I find lots of things to be lonely. I think it makes a big difference when being by yourself hadn't even crossed your mind. Did I ever think I would be raising a child by myself ?! No. Way. Did you think you would be raising TWO kids by your self? Doubtful. So when you plan on forever and it turns out to not be it gets pretty lonely, I hated going to church and seeing all those families. I haven't even considered going on vacation ! So big kudos to you for being far more adventurous then the rest of us single moms. I'm not at all insecure...I'm overwhelmed! being a single mom has been the hardest job I've ever had. One I never planned on doing alone. And for the record I'm sure our kids are happy regardless of how we feel inside the mommy face is always a happy one.

Canadian Realist said...

Hi Alli,

I've never had it all together, but was fortunate to have my son's dad share custody with me every other week. This has been the norm since my son was two. He's now about to be eighteen, and still share's a week at a time at my home and then, his Dad's.

I've never felt that I had it "together", although I would have liked to...But I did always recognize that I required some time to myself, even if I had to struggle to attain it. It's so important! You seem like a very "together" woman, and I root for you. You're clearly a great mom, and an interesting woman.

Cheers!

E said...

You are very brave to put this out there. As mother with a grown son, raised pretty much single handedly, I say yay for friends and family. Use your support systems - they are not signs of weakness but gifts. Use them all as often as you need.

Your lovely children will get easier as they get older and your horizons will expand. Vacations and weekends will come and go and be fun, boring, lonely, happy.

In the long run restrictions will make a stronger woman. Pushing your self out of your comfort zone is brave.

Kid speak all day can be hard. Can you share kids with someone else for time off/single parent friendship?

I have gone on vacations only to look around and say to myself - what's it for if there isn't someone (grown up) to share it with. Hard questions, only you can find answers.

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