I have always been a very social type of person, enjoying company, enjoying conversations. That was before the world changed.
Now I spend significant amounts of time on my own. It’s been one of the biggest adjustments I have had to make as a single parent. The opportunities to go out into our mad old world just don’t seem to exist now. It’s coming up to 11 months since my partner died, and in that time I have had two nights out. One was for a meal with a family from school and the other was a trip with my son to watch the wrestling. Living in a small village you just don’t see anyone after you return from school.
During the day the splendid isolation continues. You do the school run in the morning then it’s a combination of housework, shopping and trying to do part time work from home. Then it’s back to school on the pick up run. The only regular interaction you get is with other parents at the school gates and the poor postman (I’m sure he could do without this every day). Today I timed things and I had a 1 minute chat with the poor postie and 7 minutes with other parents. That’s on top of the 2 minutes I spent on the phone trying to tell a random caller that I didn’t want a new kitchen or windows. That’s why I treasure the time I get to spend with my son (even when it’s spent talking all things Pokémon). I am genuinely thankful to have the chance to spend time with my son.
I always kind of recognised how tough it was for single parents, I just didn’t appreciate the isolation which could go with the role. If I had known about the isolation straight after my partners death I think that it might have sent me over the edge. Thankfully I’ve been able to adjust to it over the months. Now everything revolves around my son and nothing else really matters. Living your life through your children. I listened to someone on the radio who had also lost their partner and they also talked about living their life through the child. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only person surviving splendid isolation in this way.