|Photo: Stock Xchng/CWMGary|
This subject is probably different for a single parent than someone that's child-free, but I don't think it's just about kids.
And frankly, I love my children more than anything, more than I've ever loved anyone, more than I could ever love anyone else. I don't want to live with them for 40 years. I can't imagine any one person's company being so fabulous that I'd want to see them every single day for decades to come.
That's not to say that I don't want or need people in my life. I love spending hours with a friend, talking. I prefer one-on-one interaction over parties, but a small group is okay, too. Over the years, I've been fortunate enough to find more than a handful of friends whose company is (almost) always welcome.
I have awesome friends from every facet of my life; actor friends and friends I've known since I was a teenager, and friends from this job and previous jobs and blogger friends, and the list gets longer every year. Not to mention, a really huge family. There's always someone with whom I'd be happy to spend some quality time.
That's not to say that everyone's available to me 24/7. In the earlier years of single parenthood, there were definitely lonely moments where I got a friend's voice mail instead of their ear when I thought I needed it. And you know what? I survived those moments. I learned that loneliness is like every other emotion: with a beginning, a middle and an end. I would blog or cry or turn on the TV or read a book, or just sit with it until it passed. I can do that again.
I felt loneliness far more often when I was married. There are some married moms who feel like single moms, and I know what they mean because I was there. That was way worse for me.
Being alone isn't a fate worse than death. Solitude, to me, is freedom. I control the remote, I can listen to musicals until I'm sick to death of them (hasn't happened yet), I can go out or stay in, I can be silly without fear of judgment...and often am. I can just be me.
*I'm celebrating National Unmarried and Singles Week.