Sunday, March 6, 2011

Single Parenting is Lonely

When I separated a year ago it was scary. There were so many unknows. Was I going to be able to keep living in the house my kids were comfy in? Was I going to be able to afford the things we needed? Would my boys be happy? There was one thing that I wasn't concerned about though, loneliness.

I was excited about the prospect of having a quiet house to myself. I was glad to have some time off to explore my own interests. I thought I would spend my "off" weekends going out with friends. I was on twitter, I was meeting new people.

Now here I am, one year later. Lonely! Prepare for the whiny part. I have not spent an evening with friends in over 4 weeks. I have not spent an evening with friends not in my home since New Years Eve. I have not had a friend call me up and say, "Lets go out" in I have no idea how long(possibly not since before my separation). A very large number of my pre-separation friends we not even "available" for my birthday(not all of them, some I still love). On a side note, my twitter friends braved a long drive in a huge snowstorm for my birthday.

The reality of my social life right now is that I have 2 groups of friends. The first group are married. They hang out with other married couples. They go out with girlfriends during the week cause that's when they can have hubs look after the kids. They spend their weekends with their family, or going out as a couple(often with other couples). I don't hold any of it against them, I did the same thing. It just doesn't help my social life any.
The second group are single. Either they are completely single(no partner, no kids) and we don't have a huge amount in common. Or they are single parents, and somehow it appears EVERY single parent in Ottawa has the opposite visitation schedule from me.

I now know why single Moms jump back into the dating game so quickly. So, to all the people out there that worry because a friend is in your opinion "dating too soon", they are just lonely, invite them out for dinner.

p.s. this post was not written to make anyone feel guilty, I love all my friends. It just gets lonely being alone so much.


  1. I can't imagine not having someone to talk to after the kids go to bed, whine away hun. xoxo

  2. When my ex and I first separated, I relished have a place that was all mine, my independence and the fresh start that I was getting. Now? I'm just plain lonely. I have experienced all of the same phenomena that you have and am at a loss as to how to turn things around. Please go ahead an whine here on your blog; there will ALWAYS be someone who understands. If I lived in Ottawa instead of Montreal, I would totally invite you over for a night of wine, whine and laughs.

  3. Amanda, It week day evenings are fine. It really sucks when I spend an entire kid-free weekend by myself. I'll get out more once the weather warms up, hopefully meet some new people

  4. Kat, Thanks for the support, it's nice knowing I'm not alone in these experiences. If I figure out how to fix these issues I will do a blog post on it!

  5. You'd think that after almost 9 years of this I'd be used to the lonely....yet, I'm not. Sometimes the reality of how alone I am washes over me and knocks me on my ass yet again. Sometimes I'm only lonely bc I'm really good at shutting down and pushing ppl away. Sometimes I think I deserve this...
    You're not alone, neither am I...not even when we are so certain we are because ya know what....we're here, in this lonely crazy world together.

  6. I'm not a single mum, but I am a mum who's partner travels for work - a lot. I spend weeks at a time not seeing anyone but the baby, the lady at Shopper's Drug Mart, and the guy at the video store. It's kind of sad, really. I should just go out. But none of my in-person friends have kids. And I'm only just getting to know the Twitter crowd. I really get the lonely (although obviously not to the same extent...the hubs does come home eventually).
    Hope things pick up!

  7. StruttinMyStuffMay 2, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    I find the loneliness comes in waves. And it comes most when my boys are not with me. Freedom does not come cheap. My body is still going through withdrawal, not just from their love, their hugs, their kisses but my ex-partner's as much as the thought of him repulses me, you can't just quit physicality cold turkey after 16 years. I take comfort in that strange thought...and that time and patience will mend the hole in my heart and mind. I already notice a difference between now and 6 months ago (I'm not quite through my first year yet...August 1). AND luckily I have some fantastic friends, who pull me up off the floor again and again.

    I think we DO have a lot in common, Jennie. My boys are 3, 7 and 9. And they're with me Wed-Sat. :) I LOVE your bucket list.

  8. A lot I can relate to although honestly the dating thing scares the crap out of me. I'd rather be lonely than heartbroken again. Like others have said, it comes in waves for me too. I have a few links to some articles I wish I had sent to my friends when I split up with my ex because I think it's hard for friends and family to know what to do to help.