If there is a group we can all tip our hats to, it is most definitely single parents. Being a single parent requires one to take on the responsibility of raising a child alone. This is no easy feat, but with support and resources, it can be accomplished.
If you find yourself on the path to becoming a single parent, know that raising a baby successfully on your own is definitely possible. Read on for some more clarity on the circumstances of single parenthood.
Benefits of Being a Single Parent
The ability to completely shape a child’s upbringing
Single parents can teach their children whatever they believe is important. There is no need to compromise.
Time to focus on personal growth
Being a single parent can be stressful and exhausting, so having time to focus on oneself rather than a partner’s needs can go a long way in fulfilling personal growth.
One style of discipline and set of rules
This is a great benefit of being a single parent. There is no need to compromise on rules or discipline with a partner. Instead, the single parent can set the standard for what a child does and doesn’t do.
Drawbacks of Being a Single Parent
Dealing with the social stigma and criticism of others
Although we are constantly improving, there is definitely a collective social stigma against single parents. Negative stereotypes and predispositions lead to unfair judgments that single parents need to be ready to face.
Taking on the responsibility and workload of two parents
Single parents are solely responsible for all of the financial expenses that come with raising a child. Without the dual streams of income that the typical two-parent household has, this may place a lot of stress on the single parent to provide enough.
Your child may feel abnormal
Children of single parents will grow up seeing other families with parents who are together. This may make them feel abnormal from their peers or even like they lack something because they don’t have another parent to look up to and learn from.
Tips for Successful Single Moms or Dads
Remaining honest with children from the very beginning
Explain to children openly and honestly the ways a single-parent household differs from a traditional household with two parents. Emphasize that there is no right or wrong way to grow up and that each family is unique.
It is best to have these conversations as soon as the child can understand these rather heavy concepts. This way, they can grow up into adulthood with a sense of confidence and normalcy towards their family’s situation.
Avoid expecting perfection from parents or children
It’s okay if a child makes mistakes along the way. In fact, they should! The same goes for single parents. Life can be harder on your own- parents can learn from their children just as much as they teach them.
Ask for help
Asking for help is never a sign of weakness. On the contrary, talking with other single parents can help you learn new ways to deal with particular challenges and become a better parent in the process:
- Embrace Grace offers a variety of resources for single women who find themselves pregnant and unsure about their next steps.
- Single and Parenting helps locate single-parent support groups in any area. With a simple zip code search, single parents are instantly connected to support groups that can help them.
- National Parent Helpline provides resources for parents for mental health, parenting, childcare, basic necessities, and so much more.
Proper health practices
Single parents have a lot on their plate; it can be hard to remember to care for their own mental and physical well-being. However, staying healthy, eating well, sleeping right, and exercising directly affect successful parenting abilities.
Ultimately, being a single mom or dad is a job one can never really walk away from. It is a tough feat with its own particular circumstances and rewards. There are ways to celebrate the beauty of being a parent such as getting an infinity ring for your daughter.
For single parents: remember you are not really alone. There are many other adults like you who are the sole providers for their children that can offer you support. Help is out there if you wish to receive it. You can do it!
For anyone else: we can always do our best to support single parents. Avoid contributing to negative social stigma and stereotypes. Instead, strive to lead with compassion and non-judgment. Extend a helping hand wherever possible. Donate to help women with unplanned pregnancies.