Can a single mother be happy
What are they doing instead?
The day my children's father left was over 5 years ago. A long and very intense time with many moving moments that shaped me for my future life.
My boss said at the time: "Alexandra, when you are through this, you will be a much better therapist." Today I know what she wanted to say to me and it remains a process.
I was recently asked: What was your most important relationship experience.
I didn't have to think about it very long. The time with me "alone" in the first 3.5 years.
There were times when I was so far from being happy with myself and my life. I thought everything was just sh ... ..not fair and would have liked to get on a plane and run off. All feelings and needs suddenly took on a completely new value and I experienced them to their fullest.
At the beginning of this year I started to research what distinguishes satisfied and happy people from very exhausted, dissatisfied people.
Or, more specifically, what makes the difference between satisfied and dissatisfied single parents?
A week ago I published a statistic on Facebook that shows that single parents are more than twice as likely to develop depression compared to people who live in traditional families.
In the following comments, many political and social reasons were given as to why it is so difficult for single parents. I can totally agree with that! But ... and now comes a but ...
Despite often comparable external circumstances, one single parent is better off than the other.
Where's the difference?
1. Satisfied single parents do not think they have to do everything on their own.
Instead, happy single parents realize that they need help from friends, family and organizations. They dare to ask for help and see it as one Strength.
Suddenly you have a lot of responsibility in everyday life. Even if there is a helping child father or child mother, this feeling occurs in almost everyone. This is often associated with the thought: "I have to do this myself now."
At the beginning I got help wherever possible. I was simply blind to myself. I countered my initial helplessness with information from the child protection association, the educational counseling centers, my connection to a group for single parents and my own coaching.
2. Satisfied single parents do not surround themselves with people who rob them of energy.
Instead, satisfied single parents are very aware of the situation or people that cost them energy and stay away from it.
Many fight for their rights for months and sometimes years and are very afraid. This fear is incredibly exhausting and energy consuming.
The constant scrambling about working hours cost me a lot of emails, SMS and time. I stopped doing it - for myself and for my children. Because when I have more energy, they benefit from it.
3. Satisfied single parents “don't care” about perfection.
Instead, happy single parents are aware that making mistakes is part of it and that there is no such thing as a perfect person.
Many have the right to continue their household as they did before the separation. I know from some that the desire for correctness increases even more, as one hopes for "recognition" from outside. The partner is no longer there.
I've been living the for 5 years 60 percent rule. More is simply not possible (e.g. buying little clothes to iron, laundry migrates from the laundry basket directly to my body, check texts once (yes ... there are errors;)), be perfect imperfect!
4. Satisfied single parents don't say yes and amen to everything.
Instead, satisfied single parents know their own “yes” to themselves. They know their limits and do not fear rejection if they turn down a request.
Behind the "yes" there is often the fear of not being liked any more. And we'd like to avoid that after a breakup experience. With the knowledge of your own wishes, a "friendly no" will be easier to say.
5. Satisfied single parents are not fighting something they cannot change.
Instead, happy single parents focus on the things that can be changed.
An example of this: When the sun is shining, the sun is shining. I can not change it! But I can decide whether or not to use sunscreen so that I don't have burned skin as a result.
When the classic family no longer exists, that usually cannot be changed. But you have an influence on whether you continue to burn yourself (quarrel, conflict, etc.) or if you put on cream (distance, focus on the present and future).
6. Satisfied single parents do not make their self-esteem dependent on their performance.
Instead, happy single parents know that their worth as a person is independent of what they do or are doing.
Unfortunately, it is common in our society that we increasingly link our value to what we achieve. The more that is the case, the more likely a burnout is inevitable.
Make yourself aware every day again that just being there makes you a lovable person. Regardless of whether you are a single parent or not.
7. Satisfied single parents do not blame themselves or others.
Instead, satisfied single parents regret their behavior in some past situations. You take on your part of responsibility without completely questioning yourself as a person.
We all know the thought: "If only I had ...... I can't offer my children xy ......" or "He or she is to blame that it turned out this way ......"
At this point I always say: “Yes, you can regret it. But your current knowledge was simply not available at the time. "
I also often thought: "He is to blame for everything" ... even though I knew deep down that this was not true. Only now, when I can admit my part in the separation, is a new energy released that I can use for myself.
Guilt is a glue, so as not to abandon old patterns and relationships.
9. Satisfied single parents do not neglect their own wants and needs.
Instead, happy single parents know that the child or children can only be happy if they are doing well and take themselves seriously.
I have to admit that I was confused at the beginning. So I went to the counseling center for the children and was asked: "How are you?"
After 5 years it is completely clear to me that I am the linchpin for these two little people and I can only be if I care about ME!
10. Satisfied single parents do not give priority to their inner critic.
Instead, happy single parents know that listening to and nurturing the inner advocate is more important.
Be proud of yourself and what you manage on your own every day!
The inner critic loves such sentences as: You have to, should or you cannot. My inner critic always gets loud especially when I haven't paid enough attention to myself. Then he calls: "How are you going to do it ...?"
With the conscious perception of your inner critic, he will usually become a little quieter.
Despite the difficult external circumstances, YOU have the chance to shape your life yourself and gradually change it to develop more energy and joy again!
I know none only person who possesses all of the abovementioned skills ad hoc. It's a process …… ..and YOU can do it!
Feel free to leave me a comment and share this article.
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