Facts about Single Parenting

Most of single parenting happens through divorce. It also happens when a single woman decides to keep her baby as a result of an unplanned pregnancy and the father of the child doesn't want to have a part in it. Quite a number of single women choose to become single mothers and adopt a child.

Ask any single mother and she'll tell you that it's so stressful and challenging most of the time. If she isn't getting any child support, her biggest concern is to make ends meet. Whatever she earns is for childcare, food, and other household needs. Usually there's seldom any money left to spend on herself.

Time is another major issue. A single mother who works full time will spend about ten hours away from her home to be at work and commute. She has to get up early to prepare for her children to be sent to the day nursery or to school. After work, she has to rush back, prepare dinner, help them with their homework and get ready for the next day.

If her ex is involved and spend time with the children during the weekends, she can have a breather. Otherwise, the only alone time or me time is when her children are asleep. But by then she is normally so drained and tired with all the daily demands.

Effects of Single Parenting

The effects on children in single family households depend on a number of factors. Among them are the levels of maturity of the parents, how much nurturing, attention and support they are getting, influences from those who are involved in the children's upbringing and the environment they are in.

Though it's healthy to grow up in a household where both parents are present, what's more important is the quality of parenting. On top of the factors mentioned above and several others, children will become responsible adults if they receive love and are guided to develop a sufficient amount of self esteem.

Advantages of Single Parenting

One of the advantages of being a single mother is that you will become a stronger person emotionally and mentally over time. Being there and getting involved, giving and receiving love, and seeing your children grow through your sheer effort will compensate for all your heartaches and anxiety.

The other advantage of being a single mother in a single parent household is that you become more sensitive about money and will develop into a better money manager You'll become more frugal and cost conscious. Out of necessity, you'll get creative and resourceful and look for ways to find an alternative income and save.

And in spite of the big responsibility, worrying about whether you are making the right decisions and giving your child the best childhood, the best thing about being a single parent is that you are the one who make the decisions. There isn't any disagreement or argument about raising your child.

Disadvantages of Single Parenting

You are alone and everything is on you. There are times when you will feel overwhelmed and wish that your children's father is around to help out. And you have very little freedom to do things impromptu or on your own. Everything you do and everywhere you go involve your children and you must bring them along especially if they are young. The only exception is when you are out at work.

You have to work extra hard. There are quite a number of single mothers who take up two jobs to support their single income families. If you do this, you'll have less time to spend with your children, will feel exhausted and lack rest and sleep.

Bringing Up Children in Single Parent Household

In order to overcome the overwhelming tasks and keep you physically, mentally and emotionally stable, it's best that you allow your friends and family members to participate and help out in the upbringing of your children. You cannot be in two places at the same time.

Let your parents or siblings attend your children's school activities if you can't make it. But be there for the important ones because they would want and expect your presence. Your father and brother can help out to teach and talk about the manly things that your son might feel uncomfortable talking it over with you. And getting your nuclear family into your children's life can help instill family values.

Protect your children from unhealthy influences. The environment and people you and your children associate with affect your children's growth. Allow your children to socialize and participate in activities that teach them about accountability and responsibility and that will help them develop their confidence and self esteem. Have constant communication with them to build the trust. When they can talk to you and relate, they won't hide things from you.

One of the ways is to improve yourself as a single parent is to connect with other single mothers and talk to those who have gone through single parenting and seek advice and ask for suggestions. Their experiences can help you out in managing your single family and avoid the mistakes and trial and errors.

Additional Resources

Children and Divorce. How to Raise Happy, Healthy Kids

Parenting Agreement

The Single Mom's Survival Guide

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