I hate hearing the 'C' word before the first of December, and it really irks me when I walk into shops mid October and all the decorations are hanging about the store, with huge displays of tinsel and baubles for sale in the center of the stores - it shows exactly what Christmas is about these days - consumerism, unless you are a broke single parent. I loathe consumerism and that we live in a capitalistic world, brainwashed into buying 90% of crap that we don't actually need so that big business can keep making their fat pockets even fatter, but I also feel no joy in the lead up to Christmas due to not having enough money to buy my boys some of the things they would like. My last couple of Christmases we have been dead broke, and this Christmas we are steering down the barrel of it being our poorest one yet, but what we lack in money, is made up for in friends and family, and this is where our joy in Christmas lies.
I know that I'm not the only one who gets stressed at this time of year, it's something that thousands of us sole parents have to face, it kinda goes with the territory of being a sole parent. So what do we do to keep our sanity at this time of year instead of sinking in a pool of our own misery? We focus on what we do have; our children, our health, a roof over our heads, food (as plain as it may be for some) in our bellies, our family, our friends, be grateful for what we do have, as the true meaning of Christmas is far from what society would have you believe these days. Lets get back to basics, whether you are religious or not, the true meaning of Christmas started with Christ. I'm not saying that we all should be celebrating Christ (especially since I am open to everyone's different beliefs), but I mean the basics of good decent values and morals; be kind to one another, show love for one another, smile at a stranger and ask them how their day is going, help someone less fortunate than you - even if its as simple as making a sandwich for the local homeless man down the road. At this time of year charities are crying out for help - whether it be monetary or hands on, taking your kids to volunteer at a local charity could turn out to be the best gift that you give them this Christmas.
Yes I hate the 'C' word before the 1st of December, but it is also a word that can stand for so much more than those flush money hoarders importing cheap goods into their chain store would have you believe. Christmas can be a time of great meaning and gratitude, lets teach our children what it is really about!
Loneliness is one of the big factors that single parents find themselves experiencing. I am an admin for a Facebook support group for single parents, and loneliness quite often comes up as a topic of discussion. Whether it's once the kids are in bed at night, or they have gone to spend time with their other parent, or you have an important celebration to attend, or you are just climbing into a cold bed at night wishing you had someone to cuddle up to, loneliness rears its ugly head.
I see loneliness as a process that you go through as you adjust to being on your own, and learning to find yourself. I won't deny it, I still get fleeting bouts of loneliness, but that is all they are these days, just fleeting moments of wanting someone to cuddle up to, to talk about my day, and to make plans with. I can't say that you will get to the stage of where loneliness will never occur, as you would have to be a pretty insensitive hermit to not experience it, but there are ways to limit it and lessen it's effects on you, after all, loneliness could just lead you into a disastrous relationship if you do not deal with it properly.
In the first year or two, it is a commonality to experience severe bouts of loneliness, especially as you adjust to being on your own. It is important that you focus on yourself and your children during this time, work on healing your heart and get your emotions in check. A break up is a huge hit to our self confidence, self esteem and and self worth. Not only are we trying to deal with our emotions the best we can, we also have our children who are hurting and adjusting to the new situation. A new relationship is not going to fix everything, it will only be a temporary band aid over the scar.
To find solitude it is important to focus on yourself, and create a happy balance. Here are my suggestions to help in searching for solitude;
All these processes will help you on your path to finding yourself, and to loving your self. Self love is the key to dealing with loneliness, and finding comfort within solitude!
Hi I'm Chon, I am in my early 30's and I have two wonderful boys who are 12 and 7 years old. I have just completed my degree as a fulltime student, as well as being a fulltime parent, and now I am in job search mode. I have decided to blog my journey to not only help myself, but to help others out there in similar situations. In solidarity we grow, not only in strength, but in mind and heart!