A few weeks ago I wrote about the idea of recharging…especially during a time when you may not have your kids in your custody. For me, I have those times up to 10 weeks of the year, with summertime being the longest stretch of eight weeks.
The first time I had an extended time away from my son, my reactions were easy to anticipate – fear, anger, sadness. You know, the unpleasant emotions. I was sending my son across the country to spend the summer with my ex. The wounds of divorce and the pangs of guilt were fresh.
Over time, the sting of those negative emotions has diminished and been replaced with the realization about how much cooking, cleaning and laundry I do when my son is with me! So, the “new normal” of a long stretch of time without my son has become familiar and far less stressful.
If you have similar circumstances or have a 5-2-2-5 or every-other-week custody arrangement, what do you do with those long stretches of time without your kids? How do you recharge and stay healthy so you are ready to be the single parent again?
Just over a year ago, I began a journey to help me better understand how to approach life in a healthy way. Long story short, I began a mentoring relationship with a remarkable man after we met at Donald Miller’s Storyline Conference in San Diego in 2014.
Wes is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Leadership Design Group – an organization focused on developing men to view life in a balanced and multi-dimensional way.
You can check out their website for more detail, but I love the way LDG challenges us to look at our lives in eight dimensions and encourages us to seek a healthy balance between each of them.
So, for a start, look at the detailed descriptions of a healthy, balanced life (see the detailed description on their website when you put your cursor over each symbol). If you are like me, you can pretty quickly determine where you need to spend some time recharging/reorienting/repurposing.
For me, I needed to focus on the physical aspect, and I spent some time dialing in my diet and attempting to exercise consistently. Physical fitness helped me parent better.
Taking a few minutes to look at the dimensions and asking yourself what needs some attention is a great first step to recharging and preparing to be the best parent possible.
So, take a minute and do it now. And maybe consider what it could look like to have a mentor in your life…maybe an older, wiser dad or single dad.
Which of the eight dimensions could use some attention today? What simple steps could you take to address an imbalance?