When I first separated from my husband, I went through a depression. It was very hard for me to manage my emotions with everything going on and still be able to connect with others. All of my friends had spouses so talking to others about what I was going through was challenging. Basically, I was a lonely single mom.
Are you a lonely single mom? Single parenting can be hard enough without having to add in the feeling of loneliness. As many of you know, I set out on a life-changing journey two years ago when I decided to get rid of it all and travel the world full-time with my 3 daughters.
I documented the journey on this Single Mom Travel Blog so others could be inspired to follow their own dreams.
During this amazing journey, I met the best people and developed lifelong friendships but with us switching locations every few months, I still struggled with the feeling of being a lonely single mom.
I even created the group Single Moms DO travel on FB so I could meet up and connect with other like-minded single moms around the world. I knew if I were struggling with feeling like a lonely single mom at times then others might be struggling as well.
No More Lonely Single Mom
It wasn’t until we moved to Merida, Mexico that an abundance of friendships seemed to materialize in my life. Not only is the single mom community here amazing and welcoming, but the people in general here are full of life and always up for fun.
I went from traveling the world to having a super quiet life pretty much alone with my girls in the small mountain town of Guanajuato City, Mexico to having a calendar full of invites and impromptu playdates every other day for each of my girls here in the vibrant city of Merida.
Living here has shown me just how important having a community you belong to is. Traveling and living abroad is all about the people you meet and connect with along the way. It truly isn’t about the destination. Yes, I absolutely love this magical city but I have loved many cities during our travels.
One of the best things about Merida is the people.
Both locals and expats are so unbelievably welcoming. In fact, I would even dare to say that Merida is one of the best places in the world for single moms and everyone else too.
Living in Mexico has truly shown me how special family is. Family does not necessarily mean blood. I have a family here and we are connected by love and understanding, not by blood.
I know that there is always someone there for me no matter what.
Now, I totally understand that not everyone wants or can just pack it all up and move to Mexico so here are 6 ways you can beat the lonely single mom feeling even when moving to Mexico is not an option.
1. Create Your Own Community Locally
If there is not already a single mom community in your area, create your own. According to Single Mother Guide, as of 2018, 11.3 million families in the US were headed by a single parent with 81% of those being single mothers. That means that chances are pretty darn high that there are other single moms near you who would love to be a part of a supportive single mom community.
2. Online Community
If creating a community locally terrifies you, then start with an online community as I did. First of all, you definitely need to join my Single Moms DO Travel community if you are not already a member. There are loads of amazing and inspiring single moms in the group.
Starting an online community allows you to ease into building your community slowly over time. I still remember the days not too long ago when I had 20 single moms in my group. We are not sitting at just over 3200 members and continue to grow every single day.
Even though our community is online, many moms have connected in person all of the world because of the group. Some have even traveled together.
3. Get Busy
Let’s be honest. How easy is it to sit at home with no bra or pants on binge-watching the latest Netflix Original? Shoot… I am basically in paradise and still catch myself doing this from time to time. It is really hard to connect with others if you do not leave the freaking house.
Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there. This means going to those free salsa lessons you have always wanted to try, taking up those guitar lessons, joining CrossFit, or maybe even jumping on a website like meetup.com and going to a local meetup.
Human connection is the cure for loneliness so get out there and connect.
4. Pursue Your Passions
As moms, we can often forget about our very own passions because we struggle to find time in the day for ourselves. Pursuing passions is important in developing our identities. It wasn’t until I separated from my now ex-husband, that I dove deep and pursued different interests.
I discovered that I loved writing and telling stories that others could relate to. Not only is writing therapeutic for me but it allows me to help others who might be going through similar things or might just need a little inspiration.
What would happen if you pursue your own passions? How would your life change if you discovered what makes your heart sing and did more of that?
Pursuing your passions will allow your mind to focus on things you love doing rather than on any feelings of loneliness.
Get out into the world and discover what lights your soul on fire and do more of it.
5. Take Care Of Yourself
Too often do single moms put their self-care last. I know I have definitely struggled with this one. Luckily, living in Mexico has helped with this tremendously because I am able to afford to do things for myself that would be a struggle to afford back in the United States.
My nanny only cost $4 an hour here which allows me to get much needed time to myself. Before life in Mexico, I found time for myself by waking earlier than my children or by taking time for myself after they went to bed.
In order for you to be the best mom you can be, you have to take a little time for yourself in small ways. This might mean sleeping in or going to bed earlier. This might mean finding the time to read a good book or getting a sitter and spending some time doing things you love.
Put yourself first so you are not pouring from an empty cup.
6. Use Your Kids
I find that making friends through your kids is one of the easiest ways to connect with others. What the heck am I talking about?
Well, a good way to connect with other adults is to set up playdates for your kids. Actually, this just happened to me recently here in Merida.
Another single mom reached out to me so we could get our toddlers together for a playdate. We ended up having just as much fun as our toddlers.
I used to hesitate when it came to things like that but I rarely do anymore. Sometimes we have to push past our comfort zones in order to experience everything this world has to offer including incredible friendships.
I understand the lonely single mom feeling all too well. Sometimes we are barely holding it together and the thought of having to connect with others might seem exhausting or even impossible but I do believe it is important.
You owe it to yourself to get out there and make those connections happen.
When Making Friends Isn’t So Easy
Making and maintaining friendships isn’t the easiest thing to do. Friendships are relationships and relationships take work. I get it. As a single parent, oftentimes we are so busy trying to maintain our own household that we have very little energy left over to pursue new friendships.
Some of you may suffer from social anxiety or other things that make getting out and meeting people super challenging. It definitely hasn’t been an easy journey for me. Actually, traveling has forced me to talk to people I might have never thought of approaching pre-travel days.
Travel has helped push me way out of my comfort zone which has helped me grow tremendously over the years. I used to be the type of person who stayed home and talked to very little people. Now I am opening up a guest house for single moms and welcoming others into my home.
Growth is in the discomfort. If you want to change the lonely single mom feeling, you have to do things differently than you are doing now.
Remember, if these 6 tips are not enough then surely moving to sunny Mexico will do the trick!