This topic was requested after I posted my month long 30th birthday celebration so I wanted to touch on it a bit. Most of my readers know that I am a single parent to an awesome young boy and have been for 8 years.
In these past 8 years my social life has had peaks and valleys. I’ve shared a few dating mishaps and hang up here and here. I have concluded that whether single, married or widowed the climate of your social groups run in a cycle of hot to cold and the definition of “fun” continuously change. There are a lot of factors that come into play in this topic but for now I will discuss having fun two ways: Fun with your children and fun without.
Fun with your child(ren)
I didn’t start off as a “fun” mom. I only purchased items that were educational or purposeful. I was and still am very cautious, a strict disciplinarian and an advocate of education first. With that being said, I love to see my son smile and hear him laugh. So at a young age I choose wholesome activities and events at church and school that allowed him to do just that. These were two places that I spent a lot of time with my son anyway so it was only natural to find a comfort zone. While he was off playing, I was socializing. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet other parents. At this point I was the only mother within my circle of friends and associates and I was starting for feel a disconnect.
If you’re a single mother you may feel a bit intimidated to mingle with other moms. Maybe because of all the stereotypes associated with being a single mom or the experience they have that you don’t. This is where you allow your character and personality to speak for you. Regardless of how you came to be a single mother, you’re a mother who just wants the best for their child. Also, being around other mothers is a huge benefit when discussing child rearing. As my son gets older my confidence as a mother has strengthened. So now I host play events with other parents at local eateries or parks. Don’t wait for the fun to come to you. Create it if you have too.
Not the social type, no problem. Turn every day activities into play.
- A trip to the grocery store could be a scavenger hunt for the items on your list (they’re learning).
- Go to the beach and build structures in the sand, make it a weekly activity.
- Try arts and crafts and not just crayons and markers. Make a photo box and take old fashion pictures (they’re learning). Do some scrapbooking.
- Build and paint a bird feeder (they’re learning).
The most important thing to do is find something that will hold their interest and have a good time. For teen children, like my nieces and nephews I do age appropriate things like:
- Rock climbing, movie night, camping, playing video games.
- Midnight hide and go seek (you never get too old for this).
- Scary science experiments…. just because.
- Small group sessions with their friends where we pig out and pick a topic to talk about. You may be surprised to know what’s on their mind; it’s not all about sex.
- Plan a cruise and take them along.
- Do a road trip and stop at an amusement park (maybe even meet up with family/friends).
- Go watch a play/production.
Fun without your child(ren)
Planning, planning, planning. When my son was younger I found it difficult to be away from him at hours at a time. So during this valley I had to re-define what fun to me was. And fun to me was spending time with my son. Take tons of photos and teaching him to say “mama”. If you have a baby or toddler then you know them best. Determine when and for how long you can be away. Schedule to have a sitter and check in regularly while gone.
Now the options for fun without your child(ren) go as far as your purse strings and comfort level will allow it. If you’re at a valley with your social group you may have to consider having fun by yourself. If you craving a social life with genuine people that you can form lasting relationship with then place yourself in areas that will facilitate that. Read my post on making new friends at 30 here.
Here are a few of my certified fun, get away from the: house, bills, job, kid(s), church, family, pets, stress, cooking activities I like to do.
- Take myself out on a date. Let’s be real and skip all that “get to know you” crap. Sometimes all I’m really interested in is a good meal and a movie. I’ll pay for it myself and avoid the rest.
- Book a hotel for the weekend. You could do this in or out of town. Just the ability to get away and have a change of scenery is worth it. If your girlfriends could come along, great!
- Go out dancing, listen to a live band, take dancing lessons.
- Photography. Take photos of other people, areas, things, etc…
- Work out groups. Get your fine and sexy back.
- Wine tastings, art museums, poetry events, etc…
- Visit friends that live away from home. Road trips are fun.
Fun is not just what you do but also the people around you. To the person that requested this topic, TMFA readers are awesome. I’m sure they will put other “fun” ideas for single moms and dad in the comment section below.
#takemyfoolishadvice you have fun the same way everyone else does. It doesn’t change just because you’re a single mother. It just means you have to plan with contingency. Don’t be fooled not every 2 parent household runs smoothly. But most importantly, do not let being a mother stop you from enjoying life and taking a moment out for yourself. You and your child will be happier for it.