So many parts about single parenting are challenging that it’s hard to even think much about dating or sex. Moreover, this is perhaps one route to surviving the few years where your kids are everything and looking after them takes all your time and energy.
However, life today is so fast-paced that we can get into a rut of not balancing our work and parenting roles with actually being a real adult with needs and desires. This plays out in all sorts of unhealthy ways:
- we may start relying on our kids to meet our relational needs leading to boundary violations and potential emotional issues for our children
- We are exhausted with the ‘all work and no play’ lifestyle and we have no joy or vitality. This can lead to depression, and other mental and physical illness.
- We deny our own sexual and relational needs leading to us withdrawing from any emotional intimacy at all. We feel shut down and isolated.
Any or all of these potential outcomes are seriously debilitating to our ability to be good parents or even to be healthy people!
The challenge is real, so what can we do to counteract this?
I found that finding and sustaining deep friendships with a few people was nourishing to me in the early days after my divorce. I definitely wasn’t ready for a serious relationship but I did need companionship and support. During this time, I began to study and learn about self-pleasure as a practice and began the journey of deepening my erotic attachment to my own body.
This can be a vital piece of the puzzle as we recover from a serious break up. It helps to find the connection to ourselves and our own sexuality, sometimes for the first time. We wake up and learn our own patterns of arousal, what we like, what turns us on, and even what to ask for if we decide to move into having a sexual partner/s.
The world of dating is often different from the one we participated in before our serious relationship. If we have been in a monogamous relationship, we may not have the know-how or the skills to get back out there and start meeting people. We may want to explore our gender or sexuality in ways we never dreamed of before. Where do we turn to for this type of guidance?
There are so many resources out there for people nowadays, once you know where to look. Cuddle parties, Sex coaches, specific gender or sexuality guides, introductions to the world of kink and BDSM abound. Educational websites such as tickle.life can provide inspiration and new ideas although it can be overwhelming as a newly divorced or separated person to navigate.
Finding time for your own pleasure is vital to having the energy and patience to parent your children. If you have been letting your self care slide, maybe take this opportunity to get some support so you can go on a date, have an erotic massage, learn about sex toys or talk to a relationship coach.
If I said it would make you a better parent in the long run, would you do it?
Happy parent = happy children