Parenting for sure is the godliest task in the universe. Right from the moment that you conceive a child the responsibilities, duties and love comes climbing on you and gives you a sense of belonging. You understand how important it is to be stable and aware of everything in life. Parenting brings about a lot of survival lessons and teaches you to survive the hardest days of life. Single parenting in these times is although common but is a lot more difficult than coupled parenting. The fulfillment of the role of the either parents with maintaining the house in the perfect manner with giving the child the right parenting can be the most strenuous time of life.
Who are single parents?
Single parents are individuals who have separated or parted with their spouse and carry the day-to-day responsibilities of raising a child. Single parenting can be caused because of a divorce, death of a partner, unplanned pregnancy etc.
Single parents are people who look after every need of the child and also maintain the house and work to support him in the lifelong journey.
What are the most common single parenting challenges?
Single parenting can be a challenging task especially for those who are in their struggling period of work or are still juggling with their financial stakes. It is very difficult for a person to look after the needs of a growing child along with maintain peace with their own life. The challenges that are most common amongst the single parents are:
- Income: As a single parent you become responsible for handling all the child expenses and the house expenses single handedly and thus getting the right income to support the two of you can be a difficult task.
- Time: A single parent has to fix and steal their time for everything. The amount of work involved from the morning to evening like sending the child to school, making breakfast, cleaning house, going for work, purchasing necessities form the market, school responsibilities, homework of the child, teaching and tutoring etc. all the multiple aspects are done with rush and loss of time.
- Social life: When you are constantly struggling between your job and the child’s education the biggest sacrifice you give is socializing with people. You no more have time to talk to people, attend calls, have meetings or sit with your friends.
- Tried: The constant knick and knack of the child and the job keeps your daily schedule running as much as you are always tired.
How can a single parent deal with these challenges?
Single parenting sure is a strenuous task but with a little effort it can be become all the more interesting, therapeutic and calming. After all, you are now in charge of your own life, house and child and you have all the worldly ways to raise the child as per the best possibilities you can. However, if you have been facing fatigue, tiredness and irritating behavior lately its time that you know that the stress is getting on you. You will have to fight the challenges and for better. Deal with the challenges!
- Develop a routine: It is always better to have a schedule for everything that you can. Keep the meal times, bed times and family times fixed. It may get rough to make way for time during your office days and the child may be missing out on a lot of moments with you but it is not a good idea to keep the child waking up at nights for having that bed time. Keep your schedule and time for the child fixed and give them the importance they need. If you have not been able to make time during the weekdays make sure you make up for it during the weekends by spending as much quality time with the child as you can.
- Make space for play: No matter how lonely or strenuous you both feel. It is necessary to break the barriers and strike a balance. Take the child out for play and spend time with them in their sports or hobbies or any recreational activities they are interested in. The attention should be in enjoying each other’s company and filling out the gaps that may have been arising at the house.
- Help and support: While you are living with your child alone there is a need to have other people in your life that are constantly the hearing ear and smiling faces around. The regular greetings from these people and their advices make your parenting easier and guide you on the different aspects of parenting which you might be missing on. It is nice to have friends whom you can call in case of emergency or people whom you can talk to at midnight.
- Baby care groups: It’s a good idea to join a group of people who themselves are single parents and share their stories and experiences with each other. They can be a helping hand in times of need and can guide you best about the life ways of going about the single parenting. These groups can come to rescue when you feel you are lacking at some point or your child needs a help.
- Show some love: It is very essential for the child to feel the complete love that he is worthy of. The biggest responsibility that a single parent has is to give the child an unconditional love that measures equal to the father as well as the motherly love. The child should never feel that he is in any way lacking love.
- Rules: yes you must be in complete adoration of your child and must love him to the core but you need to set some limits for the child too. Raise the expectations and house rules demanded from that of child and make sure he does them like respecting elders, preaching a healthy and clean life, consistent disciplinary rules etc.
- Give yourself breaks too: It is always good to get a break from your regular life and have a “Me time”. Once in a while consider sending the child to a summer camp or even grand parents house to give yourself the liberty to choose things without having to be an ideal. Hangout with your friends and spend some free time to get back on the regular routine with much positivity.
What it is like to be a single mother?
Being a single mother is sure a herculean task. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions, successes and failures. Once you try to convince yourself that you’re getting better at it there comes a reminder out of nowhere making you feel that you haven’t worked hard yet. The constant struggle to nurse the child and find the right balance with work is always there but with being the single mother comes the prying eyes of the people who have been closely watching you with all the moral lessons and advices. The most difficult problem that a single mother generally goes through is the finances. Mothers are born with care and dedication to the child and nurturing and nursing someone is in women’s one of the traits and so although some women might not be so good at it, the history is clear that women are better at handling the child’s daily problems and diseases. However as majority of women haven’t have planned their finances in the past and have not managed parenting, earning and even planning future finances at an instance, they face very difficult time in calculating their ways and finding their way out of the financial problem.
Single mothers become a role model for their child curbing out all the socialism and worldly matters out of their life and it is them who needs it the most. The single mother fights through different aspects of parenting but the most difficulty arises for them in:
- Managing finances for current and future situations
- Finding the right society and school for the child
- Gossips and constant reminders
- Judgmental people and non-supporting family
- Fulfilling the role of the father
- Finding her own life amidst the situations
It is clear that the woman loses herself in the process of single mother hood and she really has to stick to herself all the time to be the perfect single mother and have that energy of love and independence flowing through her.
What do single fathers do?
Single fathers are parents of child who have been separated from their spouse through divorce and have got their child’s custody or have lost their spouse. There is also an increasing number of men going for the surrogacy process to become single fathers.
A lot has been talked about single mothers, every other book or program about parenting is associated with single mothers and so single fathers are the most unattended and ignored section of society in terms of awareness. Single mothers surely get the rough eyes, and advises for coaching their child but single fathers are even think stick holders and find it the most difficult to fight with a situation. Society looks at single fathers with an altogether different perspective.
- Feeding milk to the child is the first difficulty that men face, they either resort to baby formulas too early or hire the surrogate to do so.
- Changing nappies on the go get difficult as most of the child care stations are built inside the women’s lavatories and so single fathers have to resort to do it in the corners of open.
- They are constantly questioned about the whereabouts of the mother and confirm that they are single fathers to many authorities before they can actually take the child out for holiday.
- Single mother as most think can be an accident but with single fathers, all the blaming games are played.
- Fulfilling the role of mother at different stages of life can be difficult
- The man loses out on his life habits and interests.
It is sure difficult to be a single parent but with being a single father it is an unfathomable explanation to the world about their validity and capability.