Parenting is already really hard – parenting on your own has its own unique challenges – especially when it comes to weekends. While other moms count down the days to Saturday so they can lie in a little and drink hot coffee while dad takes the kids for a bike ride around the neighbourhood, single moms still have to get up at the crack of down to entertain their wide-awake toddlers and suffer through another cup of cold coffee.
Weekends are not fun when you’re a single parent – it’s not two days off to rest and regroup for the new week. It’s actually more demanding because your little one is not at day care and you have to look after them 24/7 – weekends are lonely and exhausting for single moms.
Hopefully these tips will make your weekend as a single mom less tough and a little more fun.
Make plans for the weekend
Even if you just go for breakfast at Wimpy or for a little picnic in a park close to home, planning ahead will lessen the weekend blues. Cuddling and watching cartoons in your PJ’s all morning is really nice for your little one, but by the time you realise it’s afternoon, half the day would have been wasted and you’ll feel to lazy to get dressed and go out.
Avoid “happy family” outings
The Zoo, uShaka Marine World – don’t go there (maybe unless you go with another single mom friend). But these places are often crowded with two-parent families that might make you feel sad and even more lonely because you don’t have a partner enjoying the day with you. Think about going to places where it’s unlikely to find two-parent families – maybe take your little one swimming, to a play park or even a movie.
Go on an adventure
Wake up early, have breakfast and hit the road. Whether you live in Joburg, Cape Town, Durban or a small town somewhere in the Free State, chances are there’s some little town or suburb you’ve always wanted to visit and explore. Pack a picnic basket and make the most of your adventure. Chances are you’ll get home late and exhausted, but completely happy and content even though it was just the two (or three) of you.
Make friends with other single moms
It might not feel like it, but there are plenty of other single moms out there. If you don’t already have one or know of someone you can befriend, it might be time to join a group where you can meet moms in the same position as you. You can all go out together on weekends with the kids or one can babysit while you have some down time with your friends, and you can then return the favour the next weekend.
Remember to reward yourself
You’ll probably still be up for hours after your little one has gone to bed. Make sure you do something in that time that you enjoy – whether it’s having a glass of wine while catching up on your favourite series, reading your book you haven’t picked up all week or finally giving yourself that pedicure so you can wear your summer sandals. It can be anything – as long as it relaxes you, makes you happy and recharges you for the next day.
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