It has been a busy two weeks away from home and thankfully, it was a very fruitful time and for that, I am thankful. It was during this time, as I waited for a connecting flight at one of the airports, that I was lucky to meet someone that I hadn’t seen in a long time. How exciting. It was a delightful two hours of catching up about how the last few years had flown by.
As expected, after talking of professional and personal growth, the conversation naturally turned to parenting. We talked about how partying had been replaced with spending time with the little ones and laughed as we reminisced about how life had an interesting way of changing people.
At some point, my long lost friend asked me the question that I get asked every day; “How do you manage alone?” You would think that by now, I would be having a ready answer but I don’t. I have noticed that people bring up this question in a very delicate manner, like they fear they could ‘bruise’ me. I sometimes laugh at the corners that they have to take to ask because I don’t get how this is uncomfortable. For the last three years, I have been asked over and over how I manage, and my answer has always been almost the same. We are doing just fine, I say, and that is the truth.
I know that parenting is sometimes challenging but I wouldn’t replace raising Kwezi for anything in the world. Like I said before, with her growth has come mine. There is no real formula for parenting a child singlehandedly but I have tried some ideas and they have so far worked for us.
The first thing that you need is a great support system. If you have a family, involve them. If you have a great circle of friends, do the same.
Secondly, plan. Just like you pay your rent come rain or sunshine, you must start thinking about what you intend to do in the next few months to cover some unavoidable expenses. For instance, Kwezi will be going to school in a few months and I have a solid idea of what I have to do without going crazy.
Thirdly, take it easy. Sometimes I used to find myself worrying a little too much but over time, I have come to learn how to relax. As long as Kwezi is healthy, fed and has a roof over her head, the rest are details that can be worked on. Take a step back and reorganise yourself and the answers are just within reach most times. Worrying clouds your brain with no answers.
Do not neglect yourself. You must get that glass of wine whenever you feel like one. Get a sitter and go out and have a bit of fun. Your soul and body will thank you for it, after all, you had a child; it doesn’t mean that you became a nun.