Ah the promise that title holds. especially if you are a struggling single mom and if you are a newbie to singledom with offspring, you may have clicked on it hoping to have the magic answer to your questions and not have to reinvent the wheel of surviving while the kids are out if school all summer.
So it began last year with Part 1 of the almost popular, coulda been a best seller practical guide to being a single Mom (yes..Dad too ) and surviving the summer as such.
If you missed it you can catch it right HERE in a different window so I don;t lose you, or wait for the brief summary father down the page. Up to you, I am here for you and want you to be happy. Go ahead if you want, and I don’t need to say hurry back, you will be jumping to get part 2 at the end. (waves the hand in a Jedi sort of mind trick manner)
If you still missed it, try this one —–> PART ONE
Not maybe what anyone looking for advice may have really wanted but still – it got a lot of attention and as promised and even earlier than expected, or right on time since this month is rolling by at a heated pace. Besides, I specialize in unsolicited advice for a reason.
It’s hot here, really hot. Is it hot where you are?
Oh ok sorry…
In a rather impractical disquisition, I covered the pros and cons of hitchhiking and… No, wait that was something else.
The pros and cons of being a single parent and wanting vs needing time to yourself as a matter of keeping sane, especially if the noncustodial parent is out-of-town or state and this is your only break from the joy of parenting.
We looked at ways to safely yet creatively get rid of the kids for the summer and how it is the number one things you must do if you want to have some you time and you are a single parent in a situation of being the only parent 92% or more of the time and the other parent has court papers awarding them the right to make it more like the deal you signed on for rather than something you don’t recognize as ever being consulted about the real deal before getting divorced. You may not be married to the father (mother) of your kids but there is no divorce from being a parent.
Yes I know people try but that’s for some other part of this subject (maybe in 3 -5 years or I get a book deal and an advance.. ) and try as they might, they still have offspring and whether they step up or not, they have offspring. Period.
Back to solo gig you did not sign up for (most likely)
Some highlights, important to make part of your daily recourse in your head in order to start the summer survival of a single parent;
- YOU TIME is not selfish or something to feel guilty for. Refer to part one for reasons. It can actually make you a better parent in the long run and does NOT MEAN YOU DON:T LOVE YOUR KIDS. I know, it’s annoying written that way but oh so important. I don;t make a habit out of Caps so I hope you take that into consideration with how important I think that statement is.
- Seek validation every once in a blue moon from non mommy (daddy) related activities and from non offspring humans. (not to be confused with non human offspring..please)
- Get rid of them (for the summer)
- You are not a less than parent for wanting a break
- Guilt is not a trip you wanna take as a single parent (guilt sucks no matter what ) don’t do it.
Which brings us to..
So now here we are, another summer looming before us and assuming you took my advice last year, it is awfully quiet because the kids are one way or another, creatively and temporarily – out of sight and mind.
My kids have been gone a week and I haven’t thought of them since three days ago. Ok three minutes but really the point is, don’t mope.
We shall put that as number one
Do NOT Mope. - they are coming back. If you need another wake up call in a few hours let me know I will be happy to remind you for a very nominal fee.
Make yourself a big sign and post it somewhere you will see it only occasionally, since putting it in our constant line of vision, like on the refrigerator, only ensures we will not be affected by the message at all.
All summer (whatever that looks like in your particular region may seem like forever to you but it will go fast and if you mope the whole time or even more than 1% – you will kick your self when they come back and you wonder why didn’t you…???
So they are gone and you have moped for a minute and have the tools in place to not give in to sudden onset of moping over the rest of the summer…
Now folks, fellow single moms (and dads), we have fun.
We do what WE want to do not what we HAVE to do, and enjoy our break and me(you) time to the fullest.
Well Duh… you want to know how right? Or how do you do it without feeling like a shmuck bad parent? Or what doing for you means ?
I can’t tell you all those things – I mean I could but a lot of this stuff is doing and I can tell you all day long but until you do it, you won’t know it.
Kinda like the rest of life but anyways, let’s start with a list.
Things I want to do but haven’t had time for since I devote every bit of energy (gladly) to my children in a solo gig I didn;t sign on for when I had kids:
(feel free to change the name of it to something that works for you or fits better on your smartphone memo screen)
Do not be afraid of this list or to put anything on it that you feel is sorely lacking during the rest of the year as a single parent devoted to their children, this list is for you unless you choose to share it with others so don’t fudge it and shortchange yourself. This is your time.
(but they will be back! no Moping!)
So, being a solo gaggle herder myself and for the greater good and educational value to all single parents trying to survive the summer,( hell all parents but I can’t cover it all in one year) I will show you my list.
- impromptu weekend getaway with someone of the opposite sex for sex.
- out to eat without happy meals or stupid mommy and so and so sitting in a tree accompaniments. (do not introduce your kids to your dates ever. Even after you marry them. We will cover that in Part 8) followed by heavy breathing and parking in some low lit place to act like stupid teenagers again and not worry about the cops calling your mom.
- Sex would be nice some day
- Shopping without buying anything
- dancing to the …oh wait I do that when they are here.
- rolling in the hay, surf, sheets, I don;t care.
Now this list seems a little single-minded and I urge you in the future to keep a running list during the year.
Well, when they are here you can think of ten things, I will bet, off the top of your head, you want to or can do without the children around. Your hobbies or places to go or a class you want to take.
Once they are gone and if you are like most single parents when it comes to dating and sex, it will hit you that you haven;t had sex in (fill in your own number - you think I am gonna
embarrass tell on myself?)years, months whatever it is ..
If you don’t have a list of other things already in mind before it dawns on you … well once you get sex on the brain, its hard to get it out. Until you have it or something .
We are going to areas I have not too much expertise in as far as how to get back on track and if having it is a good way to get back on track.
Or if you just want more. I think I will have to research it some more.
The point here is that after they leave and under a little pressure, like the pressure to fill your kid free time to the fullest with non kid activities is not the time to decide what to do.
Whether or not your list ends up looking like mine, its similar to walking in to the grocery store saying milk, bread, cheese, tampons. Seems easy enough but the minute you hit that door you are gonna forget something.
Most likely the tampons and the peanut butter. Just saying.
If you aren’t prepared, you won’t do much. That I do know for a fact.
Don’t go nuts acting like someone your kids wouldn’t recognize.
Don;t do something you normally never thought appealing just because you can.
If you go too far to the extreme of no kids, you will have a hard time going back to mom (or dad) mode when they return and if you have too much fun you might hold a little resentment, which is ridiculously unnecessary because if they were to stay away maybe only a day or two more, you would naturally come back to being yourself.
If you do go way to the other extreme of how you are with them, start a few days before they come back to bring it back to you, and don’t get mad at them if you aren’t there yet when they get back.
It’s not their fault. Always remember your kids didn;t sign up for this either. Even less than you.
Enjoy your break, and do not feel guilty for doing so.
It will make you a better parent to have some you time. I said it before and there I said it again.
No matter what you do, look at your sign and remind yourself they will be back, because they, barring the worst extremes in human behavior by your ex or other natural disasters, or unforeseen dealings of life, will be back.
You can’t really ever not be a parent. They will always be in your mind and heart.
You don;t have to be perfect and it may take you a few times without the kids to find your non mommy or daddy rhythm to life. That’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up.
Part three of the Single Mom;s (Dad’s too) Summer Survival Guide -
How to get laid not married…
is due out at the end of the month if not sooner. Stay tuned.
Thank me later and get too making those lists people. It’s as vital as getting rid of the kids. Without a list and no kids you are in danger of doing too much… or nothing at all.
Let’s do more than survive.
Let’s live a little. ;-)
- My Life As A Superhero (um, I mean Single Mom)! (aprilmcmanus80.wordpress.com)
- Luke! I am your father! (yourlifesolutionsblog.wordpress.com)
- SUCCESS For Single Moms! (joinsuccesszone.wordpress.com)
- On Being a Single Parent and the differences… (eugenebbenton.wordpress.com)
- Raising Kids On Your Own: Greeting Card Universe Celebrates Single Parents on Mother’s Day (prweb.com)