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  • rachaelentine

Don't Be A Joan

Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs out there. Being a single-ish parent, in a pandemic, managing virtual or hybrid schooling, launching a business and/or holding a job increases the difficulty exponentially.

You, like me, have probably had moments, be it one or many, where you feel like you're at your breaking point. Maybe not wire hangers... but leftover breakfast bowls, legos on the floor, general messes, or general malaise from your kids - we all get overwhelmed and stressed when parenting.

Instead of being Joan, try taking a break. A real break.

Many of those going through divorce see time away from their kids as a negative.

I'm here to tell you it's not.

I love being a mom, and I genuinely love my kids. People tell me I'm a great (ok even amazing) mom. I 100% acknowledge and own that I have bad moments, we all do. This is such a crazy world we are living in and why it's even more important to carve out space and time for breaks when possible.

The same way our children may need a time out when they start to lose control, adults need to step away, to regroup and reset. Ideally there's a coparent who can regularly alleviate the weight and enable you to have that time. If not, it's important to ask for help when you need it. Friends and family members are there to support you. Hire a sitter - it's worth every penny to get out on your own for even just an hour. At the least, go in your room, shut the door, take some deep breaths and compose yourself. As they say in airplane safety - put the oxygen on yourself first, then your child. You must take care of you.

As Dr, Christina Hibbert shares, “Alone time is essential for emotional/mental/ spiritual/social/physical health, and a key element of true happiness." Without it? The opposite occurs - we are mentally and physically compromised and not serving anyones needs to the best of our ability.

I genuinely look forward to my time "off" from parenting. I get downright giddy knowing I'll have nobody to look after but myself for a few days. The freedom it enables me to make my own plans, reconnect with friends without having to mediate arguments or serve a meal, watch for bedtimes, or fold the blanket in the family for the 10th time that day is anticipated and enormous. It allows me to focus on just me - so when my kids return I've got more patience and capacity to care for them. This transition is not easy in divorce - to go from always being there for them to the silence of an empty house can be jarring. But I promise you will learn to relish every single moment of you time.

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