Any of our long-time readers may know that we love to celebrate single parents. Single parenthood is one of the bravest, most wonderful, trying jobs out there, and you do it with such fierce confidence and compassion. You owe it to yourselves to live the life you deserve, alongside being the best parent ever.
Here are a few things you can do to stay social and active as a single parent.
Fit and fresh
The most important thing by far is to ensure that you’re making time to stay fit and active. This could mean having a regular gym schedule or going on regular runs or bike rides. If you have younger children, however, it’s worthwhile investing in a quality active stroller and taking your little ones out on some strolls or brisk jogs with you. ABC Design has a great selection of active pram models that also come equipped with protective UV canopies as well as plenty of storage space for ensuring you have all your most important supplies handy.
Staying fit with young children is still quite possible, and engaging in regular exercise with your little ones can even be a fantastic way of bonding as a family whilst simultaneously inspiring your kids to develop good habits to ensure their ongoing physical and emotional health and wellbeing.
Dating as a single parent is no walk in the park, and so sadly a lot of us tend not to prioritise regularly hitting the town. Even so, whether you’re seeing someone you’ve been set up with or you’re simply dating yourself, it’s undeniably important for your own fulfilment to have a fixed day of the week that’s widely known as ‘your night out’. Having a consistent weekly ‘date night’ will allow you to do all the fun things you want to do without having to worry about time constraints. One night a week you would have total freedom to see all the movies you want to see before they stop showing in the theatres, or treat yourself by going out to eat at your favourite restaurant every now and then.
Another great perk of allocating yourself a weekly ‘date night’, is that you can easily find yourself a regular babysitter for that specific night too! And if the babysitter’s ever unavailable, turn that date night into a fun family outing with the ground rule that it’s all about your fun.
Join a class
Recently, a friend of mine (also a single parent) decided that she wanted to learn how to speak French. Her daughter was learning French at school and she thought it might be nice to speak French at home with her daughter so that they could stumble through learning the language together. So my friend took up an evening class and attended a few language meet-ups, met some native French speakers, and created a bit of a language resource pool for both her and her daughter. They’re both sounding more and more fluent by the day, and having a whole lot of fun over their shared learning journey!
Like your kids might take up soccer or jiu jitsu, it’s equally important for you to have hobbies of your own. From learning a language or joining a book club, to yoga, to cookery, to trampolining, or even axe-throwing, there is a myriad of fascinating weekly classes out there, and there will most likely be more than a few which will take your fancy. And whilst there are some problematic societal beliefs surrounding adult education, the sense of agency that accompanies learning as an adult can potentially even allow you to develop new skills faster than children! It’s all about your attitude and your determination.
With everything that you do for those around you, you most definitely owe it to yourself to prioritise your own learning and growing for at least an hour or so every week. You don’t even need to learn on your own! So long as you’re doing something that intrigues you and supports your own personal development alongside the widening of your world.
Take a trip
This next tip might seem a bit daunting to many of you, especially if you have young kids, but taking a trip does not need to be a tedious task nor even a lengthy endeavour. Taking a trip can be as simple as driving to the coast for a single day or going camping over a long weekend. When your kids are a touch older, you could even try going overseas for a fortnight or so, just for yourself. If that idea sounds like a bit too much for you and your kids right now, take some time to define your comfort zone, and travel according to your assessments. So long as you’re committing to seeing new places and opening yourself up to new experiences, you’re on the right track.
Our last (secret) tip is that you shouldn’t let yourself feel limited by your single parent status. This is a part of your identity and you should embrace it wholeheartedly. Be tenacious, brave, and be a role model, not just for your kids, but also for other parents. Whether that means expressing yourself through words or art, being open about your experiences with other parents, or even by getting yourself a tattoo, you should do whatever makes you feel like the fierce person that you are.