The challenges of being a single parent, whether you are a single mother or a single Father come with a unique set of emotional struggles that can, at times, feel overwhelming. Many single parents grapple with exactly the same issues, namely self-doubt, anxiety over money, missing your child or children when they are with the other parent, and the stress of making decisions alone.
Parenthood is challenging under the best of conditions. With one parent, the challenges are multiplied. Coping with parenting for single parents becomes more difficult because of responsibility overload, when one parent makes all the decisions and provides for all of the family needs; when the demands for work, housework, and parenting can be overwhelming for one person; and emotional overload, when the single parent must always be available to meet both their own and their child or children’s emotional needs.
The reality is that very few single parents can successfully raise their child or children alone, despite the social expectation that the parent who is not the primary carer (usually the Father) should only be responsible for supplemental financial support, while the primary carer (usually the Mother) takes on both the parenting and the financial role.
Whilst single parenting does come with its own set of challenges there are also positive rewards to being a successful single parent. Becoming a successful single parent takes time, and patience, but adopting positive changes will only enrich not only your life, but your child or children’s lives too. Some of the positive changes a single parent may want to consider are:
- Learning to speak directly with your children not at them;
- Loving, consistent discipline with tough rules that matter and are the same day-to-day, providing security in uncertainty are essential;
- Clear communication and firm decision-making will lead the way for and in your new family unit;
- Multi-tasking and managing many different things, roles and responsibilities all by yourself and sometimes all at once too. Making every second count and working smarter, not harder.
- Calling on the support of family and friends and reaching out to others when you need some time out.
Focus on the positive and not the negative. You too can be a successful single parent.
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Author – Kate Bailey – Hill