Being a parent is hard. As much as we would like, there isn’t a handy manual that tells us everything we need to know. For those who are lucky enough to play the primary role in your child(ren)’s upbringing, things can be twice as tough and there still isn’t a manual to help us through. However, there are few things that can help make being a single parent a little easier on you and your child(ren).
Remember That You and Your Child(ren) are Unique
The internet is full of want-to-be experts who are more than willing to tell you how to raise your kids based on their experience. While many of these individuals have some great ideas, they aren’t you. These helpful tips and tricks may generate some excellent ideas of things to try, but don’t take them as the only option or the law. This will only cause you stress and leave you feeling as though you aren’t measuring up to someone else’s distorted view of reality.
Finding a New Family
Finding a new family doesn’t mean that your single parent family isn’t enough and it certainly doesn’t mean jumping into a new relationship before you’re ready. However, no one can be island and still thrive as a person. This is true for you as well as your child(ren). Finding a supportive network, or family, that you can trust and rely on can be invaluable. For some, this may be blood relatives that live close by. For others, it can be a neighborhood with a strong sense of community. Other times, building a network around your child’s interests, such as a sport, may be the best option. This family can provide necessary emotional support as well as potential child care options from time-to-time, especially if you are able to embrace the world of car pools and sleep overs.
Ask For Help
It is shocking how hard it can be to ask for help, but remember everyone needs assistance now and then. If your former partner isn’t holding up their end of the deal, you can pursue legal avenues of holding them to their responsibilities. The same concept applies if your former partner is threatening you or you need domestic violence help to ensure your family’s safety–there are legal protections in place for single parents in these situations. Don’t be afraid to ask for help–whether it’s from a friend, an attorney, or even the police–especially when you really need it.
Remember That No One is Perfect
We all make mistakes. Accepting that not everything is going to work as planned every time, is vital for your own mental sanity. It can also be a great learning lesson for your kids, if they are able to see some of your struggles as you work to persevere.
Even though being a single parent is an extremely difficult job, it is still possible to thrive and to watch your child (ren) thrive as well.
About the Author: Emma Sturgis
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys baking and indoor rock climbing. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2