Let's be honest, parenting is a hard gig. Thank-goodness, it takes a community to raise a child :) I have found such comfort in this idea and since my Separation have come to see that this is the only possible way to raise children while keeping your own sanity and personal interests.
Juggling children on your own (even if you are a part of an amazing co-parenting team, you still have the children on your own for large chunks of time) is exhausting and awesome and so many things in between. And the pressure to do it all as parents is SO HUGE, it’s absolutely crushing at times.
Now, before my Separation, I was never one to ask for help. I’m sure I’m not the only one here :)
However, once I was Separated, there was no way I could handle everything on my own, which forced my hand: I had to be open to help that was offered and to even (terrifyingly) admit I needed some.
My kids are also getting older and with each year that passes, the world they know gets bigger and bigger – yikes!
So, lately I’ve been acknowledging the people in their lives that help make their experience on this planet a more well-rounded one :) Cause god knows, I can’t be everything to everyone, and neither can their dad. No need to be a martyr, so I might as well focus on my parenting strengths and appreciate the other folks in my kids’ lives who fill out the edges! A couple that come to mind right off the top are:
1. My sister, who lives a few hours away and makes regular trips to visit us, and when she’s here, she’s really just here for the kids. They LOVE the attention she gives them and look forward to her visits so much. Every summer, she has them over to her place for a sleepover party without me, and they just can’t get enough of the change of scenery, exploring another city, and the fact that they are doing it completely independent from me and their dad. It means so much to have a sister, who has the time to give to my kids like this, it’s absolutely priceless.
2. Old neighbours and new neighbours, who’ve become part of mine and my kids’ extended family. Their kids are over at my house all the time, and mine are over at theirs, it builds the kids’ feeling of safety and autonomy and we all form lifelong friendships. The kids also seem to enjoy being at home more when they come back from being somewhere else. As though, the experience has somehow given them confidence to stretch their boundaries but also made them happier to have a familiar and safe home base, from which they can roam. The breaks I get when the kids are all over at the neighbour’s house are unexpected bits of heaven too!!
This is all to say that, I hope you can find your community.
Feeling supported is such a good feeling, especially when parenting. Start building your support network today – say hi to neighbours, meet other parents at your kids’ schools, get together with friends and family more often. It all adds to the love and support your kids feel surrounded with, as well as yourself. And who knows – you may even find your next romantic partner through one of these many connections!
Which in the end makes for a well loved life :)
Take it easy on yourself,
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Together we can positively change the way families are affected by Separation & Divorce! :)