I’ve read many blogs aimed at single parents that advise you to avoid situations where you’ll bump into ‘happy families’. This recommendation is to prevent you feeling upset by seeing other people happy in their family unit.
The most recent one I read stated:
‘Don’t be stupid enough to make plans which will involve bumping into happy, smiley families all day long’
This really made me laugh and is the exact opposite of how I live my life. I have a very different mindset about this. Rather than avoiding people who have a happy household, I absolutely try to embrace this situation. I gravitate towards them rather than away from them.
The majority of people in my friendship group are happily married with children. Rather than avoid them, these are the people I gravitate towards to spend a good chunk of my time with. I really feel part of their family and feel loved and supported by them.
I will admit, this has not always been the case. There have been times that I have avoided couples and instead chose mainly to hang out with other single friends. I’ve not always wanted to be in situations with people who have what I was looking for. This is in fear that it might trigger feelings of jealousy and unhealthy comparison.
These days, I am over that and now I get the most pleasure from being an extended part of these families. My daughter and I have joined in on holidays, weekends away and days out. I’ve benefitted from help with DIY, babysitting, and all sorts of other things.
Rather than feel jealous of another persons situation, if they are living the good life, I want a piece of that. I’m not letting them keep it for themselves, I’m getting involved! I feel blessed for how many people I have in my life where I feel part of their extended family. Especially now it’s not just me but my daughter too.
If you feel like you often avoid family situations for these reasons try reframing your thoughts and thinking of things in a slightly different way:
- Spending time with happy people, might well make you feel happy too. It can be much healthier than spending time with unhappy people.
- Even if you haven’t met the perfect partner for you, you can get love and support from other people in your life, so keep them close, don’t push them away.
- You can feel so much joy from being part of a family environment. Try to reap the benefits of having people who will treat you as a family member by embracing this situation.
- As a solo mum, it can be a good opportunity for your child to spend time in an extended family scenario and feeling part of that, rather than spending time just you and them. The different influences can be really beneficial for them.
- Try to remember even those in a happy family situation will have their challenges. Try to drop any comparison and focus on your own happiness.
At the end of the day, if spending time with families does cause you upset and you are unable to reframe it, then of course, look after yourself and do the right thing for you to make your happy.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments about whether you embrace these situations or avoid them.