Last week saw the very much needed self-care awareness week take place and I am really pleased that this initiative exists because self-care is so crucial for all of us, especially as this horrific pandemic continues. However, as I read all the tips and guidance promoting better self-care, I couldn't help but feel that many of these otherwise excellent suggestions are probably completely unachievable for single mothers. They're juggling work, household chores and looking after their children and the younger the children are, the harder it would be. They may live far away from family and friends so have no respite on that front and there may be no contact with the other parent for many reason. Add to that the very real, very common possibility that the mother may well be a BAME woman who is a victim of abuse and who has been disowned by her family for leaving an abusive relationship and we have complete isolation.
How easy is it for them to then take fifteen minutes to meditate, have a bubble bath or read a book that isn't related to their children's homework? Or go for a walk on their lunch breaks when that lunch break is the only free time they have to do online grocery shopping in peace?
So as much as we need awareness of the importance of self-care, we also need awareness of the very real fact that not everyone can take time out for self-care and may need a helping hand. In the meantime, the only single parent inclusive suggestion I could think of was a lovely mug of hot chocolate but hopefully others have better suggestions which they will share!
And finally, a huge shout out to all the single parents (especially single mums) - you are amazing!