Single parenting comes with a unique set of emotional challenges that can, at times, feel overwhelming with issues that plague an individual sapping them of their energy, confidence, and happiness.
Most single parents aim not only to nurture a child but give the baby everything that a family should.
She passes through, practically, in the immediate world of chaos, insecurity, fear, lack of confidence, financial pressure, and above all depression.
Being a single parent can result from the death of a partner, ill health, divorce, among other reasons. No matter the reason for being a single parent, it is not easy to bring up a child alone.
Apart from effective time management and financial management, single parents need to know ways to deal with their everyday challenge.
Nonetheless, single mums are living symbols of unlimited feminine strength. This is because there are thousands of single mums around the globe who have successfully overcome these challenges and still thriving.
Challenges Of A Single Parent
One of the challenges single parents face is that there is no one to offer a shoulder to lean on. There is a part that your partner solely played in your life in terms of emotional fulfillment. It becomes more challenging when your partner has to live with the kids. And you have to come back to an empty house, this drains emotionally.
Who will run to you after work? The reality of all the memories of the good moments you shared with your spouse and the children dawns on you. Even if the kids are in your custody you are still going to feel the vacuum of not being around your partner, most especially in terms of decision-making.
However, if you go on and on with this, it may affect the way you see life in general, instead, redirect your energy to more productive activities by replacing negative thoughts in your mind with positive thinking to give you room to find yourself for the benefit of the children. Remember, they look up to you for their emotional needs.
2. Difficulty In Instilling Discipline In Children
Being a single mother can leave you wondering how to navigate the unknown avenues of single parenting. One of the problems faced by single mothers is lack of discipline. Some of the children, because of the emotional stress, engage in truant activities as a gesture to get the attention of both parents.
However, if you are a single parent due to divorce or mistake in the past (most especially during teenage age), set your boundaries and agree on the best way to handle discipline and co-parenting.
Taking solo decisions and self-doubting yourself is common in the world of a single parent. Believe in your values and groom your child your way. You are the mother and your guidance can never go wrong with your child.
At the end, remind yourself that no one is perfect. If any decision goes wrong, take a lesson from it, don’t crib, cry if you have to and get up to be the best single parent for your children.
4. Financial Burden
You may be in agreement on how to manage your finances but the fact that you have to run two houses with the same finances is an uphill task. One downside of single parenting is financial responsibility. The extra financial burden may also limit your time with them; children left on their own with no proper guidance may develop defiant behavior.
The faster you accept your situation as a single parent and adjust, the better it is for you and the children. You will heal faster if you allow a new partner in your life.
5. Low Self-Esteem
Do not let single parenting erode your self-confidence. Engage in activities that will help you regain your lost sense of self-worth. One of the problems single mothers face in society is bearing the brunt of harsh societal judgment. Society sometimes judges separated spouses instead of giving them the right support at this time.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and understand your predicament without any judgment.
6. A Sense Of Guilt
It is common for single parents to have a sense of guilt after a bitter divorce or mistakes. Single parenting poses several questions in the mind of an estranged spouse such as what if I could have been patient with my spouse? How will the children judge me when they grow old? How come I have lost friends after the separation? Accept the situation and forge ahead.
7. Organising Your Life
If your children are a bit older, they can start helping out with small chores around the house. Not only will this take some of the weight off you, it will also give them a sense of responsibility.
In this way, your children will be able to put themselves in your shoes and you will teach them the key life skill of empathy. You can also ask your extended family to help out or have friends sleep over. By so doing, you will be able to organise your life.
8. Living Your Own Life
Living your life is a choice. But remember, you are single now and have needs, other than being just a parent. Try to find a new hobby (if that is your choice), make new friends, go out every once in a while, and maybe start dating. Your children may try to discourage you at first, because this situation is new, strange, and perhaps even scary for them.
However, if you take the time to talk to them and explain why you are trying to start a new life, gradually, they should understand.
9. Communicating With Your Ex
It is key to keep at least a small channel of civilized communication open between you and your ex-partner. Whether it is through phone calls, texts, e-mails, the mediation of friends and relatives, at least the important information regarding the welfare of your children needs to be conveyed.
But avoid using your children as the messengers, as you don’t want them to suffer the consequences of your ex being angry at the messenger. Let your children know about the changes in the family. Sit quietly with your children and allow them to talk about their feelings.
9. Frustration Transforming To Anger
Frustration transforming to anger is one of the phenomenon of single parenting but don’t let it have control over you. Get your kids to sleep when you feel like yelling.
Overcoming The Challenges of Single Parenting
Be consistent: Mean what you say, and say what you mean. You’ll hear this one a lot because it’s so important.
Keep an open mind: Life as a single parent rarely runs smoothly, so being flexible, both literally and figuratively, is a good policy.
Tell the truth: Honesty is a two-way street. If you want children who value the truth, make sure to show them how important it is by being honest with them.
Lose the guilt: Second guessing yourself is a single parenting trap you don’t need to get caught in. It’s easy to wallow in guilt, but guilt never washed the dishes or made the beds. Use the energy for something useful instead. If you made a parenting mistake — and you will — learn the lesson and move on.
Put your child first: Kids need attention as well as love. If it’s a choice between vacuuming and spending time reading your child a story, the dirt can wait. While you’re at it, save some time for yourself once in a while, too; you’ll need it to recharge your batteries.