Stay young and socialize as much as possible

March 29, 2016
stay young

I’m a single mum, I raise my child alone and I’m trying to get my life back on track after years of meandering through the everyday situations.

OK, I’m out of the woods, I think, and my path is now more or less a straight line. I stumble upon some barriers from time to time and need to take a few steps back. Then I clench my fists, count to twenty (ten is not enough most of the time) and move on.

I started working out again and it feels so good. I used to be a gym bunny, and not only so that I could be around good-looking boys (that factor shouldn’t be underestimated though). It’s all in the head. Where there is a will, there is a way, and willpower is my middle name.

What is it that really matters? What matters is to decide to stay young at heart. Let me share a secret with you: I’m actually a silly girl. A few days ago, at a child’s birthday party, I joined the queue to have my face painted. Only the kids at the party and me. Other parents looked at me in shock, but I felt fantastic masked as a cat with a pink nose!

It’s important to socialize, to be surrounded by the people you and your child like. But there’s a small problem I wasn’t aware of until I faced it.

People are often judged by what they do for a living and by their marital status. Strange, but true. In the 21st century, when the wedlock is generally regarded as optional and when nobody’s supposed to adhere blindly to the established social norms, it is still seen as appropriate to be married. Or at least to live in an extramarital union. Nobody would think badly of you if you raise your child alone, but single parents are still a minority. And when a single parent wishes to have some coffee and exchange a few thoughts with another adult who is not a family member, the situation is as follows: couples tend to socialize with couples. Women exchange advice and anecdotes about their children whereas men discuss work or sports. Most kids from my daughter’s kindergarten live in a common family environment. During the past few years I’ve met all her friends and their moms and dads, and we mostly coincide at birthday parties in specialized playrooms. Home visits, however, have been just partly successful so far.

My advice to all single parents: socialize as much and as often as possible. With family members, with old friends and new. It’s not easy for a single parent to make new friends, so each new acquaintance is invaluable for your mental health and therefore also for the normal development of your child.

 

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