Single Parent, Take Time for Yourself

Is guilt keeping you from the rest you need?
Single Parent, Take Time for Yourself

I've been sitting in my favorite overstuffed chair, but for how long? Wow! It's been two hours. Where has the time gone?

But I do feel better. I'm calmer, less anxious. How could I feel this way when the circumstances of the week haven't changed? I realize it's because I've taken time for me.

Why had I waited so long? I smiled as I recalled my girlfriend's cynical observation: "Guilt, Barbara. It's the gift that keeps on giving."

I just finished a 50-hour work week, and now I'm thinking about attending an upcoming single-adult retreat. But I feel guilty about going because I'll have to leave my kids—again. I'm often driven by guilt. I push down my needs in order to satisfy my children's needs—beyond a point that is healthy. Am I driven by the feeling that I need to make up for what may be lacking in their lives? My kids didn't deserve a single-parent household, so I'll make up for it by giving and giving and giving.

A second reason taking time for myself is difficult is because being alone is scary. Perhaps I've been keeping so busy to avoid having to be alone. Maybe I don't really want time to ponder and reflect and even dream.

I remember the summer more than ten years ago, when my parents arrived at my doorstep to take my children home with them for two weeks. As they drove away and I blew kisses to them, my stomach churned. It was the first time I'd been completely alone for more than a year. What was I going to do with all this free time?

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May 25

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