The third cornerstone, is to have a good dose of adult company which involves emotional and at some point again, yes, sexual intimacy in your life! I admit, the first year as a single parent does not allow a lot of time for yourself alone - finding time to shower is even a challenge! and there is no room for dating or beginning a close adult relationship, when you are in the process of establishing a close caring relationship with your child. At times, in the first year it seems that all your 'adultness' gets channeled into two identities- 'Mother' and 'Breadwinner'.
To strike a balance, it is important to get dressed up occassionally and go out dancing, or for dinner, so that the feeling of being desirable and attractive gets lit up in you in adult company. In the future, introducing dating or a prospective partner into your life and your child's life has its own set of considerations such as timing and appropriateness which I will discuss at another time. Right now I am talking about ways to enliven yourself and be appreciated as the wonderful multi-faceted adult that you are!
A good place to begin is with the emotional recharging of yourself, meaning, finding a regular time each week- 2-3 hours- to do something relaxing and enjoyable separate from your child, while one of your trusted community takes care of your child. Just an hour can seem like a vacation at first and is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself and your child.
Once in awhile, Take time to go out with close adult friends and talk about something other than parenting or work! Sit down, breath and eat, uninterrupted, a plate of delicious adult food which you did not prepare yourself and you do not have to share! Although, I have to say, on these occassions, I always end up taking something home to my child! - as well as a happy, relaxed mum.