Raising a child is one of the most selfless and dedicated challenges you can take on. However, raising a child on your own is a whole different league. Being a single mom or dad requires welcoming both the joys and the responsibilities of bringing a child into adulthood.
If you’re on your way to becoming a single parent, trust that raising a happy, healthy child on your own is possible. It is even becoming an increasingly popular option across the nation and worldwide! In the modern world, society has become more inclusive of diverse family styles and non-traditional households.
Even if you are not parenting solo but are intrigued about the experience, we all could benefit from being more considerate and educated about single parents. Read on for a guide to single parenthood and valuable resources.
The Upside to Single Parenthood
Raise a child freely
Parents who raise children on their own can teach their children whatever they consider important in life. They don’t have to compromise or alter their values in consideration of their partner.
Focus on yourself
In addition to the typical demands and needs of a child, a parent usually has to consider and meet those same needs for their partner. A single parent, however, has more time to focus on their own personal growth rather than worry about a partner.
One set of rules
When only one parent determines the rules, behavioral standards are easier to follow and implement. The gray areas between what either parent allows disappear, and the disciplinary expectations are clear.
The Downside to Single Parenthood
A critical society
There is no denying that society holds collective stigma and stereotypes against single parents. Despite our constant pursuit for improvement, single parents must be prepared for unfair judgments based on common stereotypes and predispositions.
Single parents face extra pressure to provide for their household. As opposed to the typical dual-income household, single moms or dads must be able to support their children on a singular income. This is a potentially heavy stressor.
A sense of lacking
Children of single parents will undoubtedly grow up alongside peers with traditional family types. As a result, children may feel confused or disconnected from their peers because of the differences. They also may feel they lack something because they do not have another parental figure to rely on.
What Single Moms and Dads Must Know
Communicate with your child
Explain your non-traditional family type to children openly and honestly. Consider how your family may compare to the families of their peers, for example. Emphasize the validity and beauty in all styles of upbringing.
Have these conversations as soon as the child is old enough to understand. The earlier these concepts are discussed, the more confident, secure, and satisfied the child will be with their family in the future,
Single parents should expect and respect the fact that their children will make mistakes along the way. This is normal! The same applies to parents. Life can be harder on your own; parents can learn from their children just as much as they teach them.
Help is readily available
Asking for help shows strength. The assistance gives you ways to deal with particular challenges and improve your parenting abilities:
Unplanned pregnancy support from Embrace Grace helps pregnant single women who are unsure about their next steps.
National Parent Helpline provides resources for parents for mental health, parenting, childcare, basic necessities, and much more.
Single and Parenting promotes local single-parent support groups. Simply search a zip code and get instantly connected to groups that can help.
Planned Parenthood provides health services including all aspects of reproductive care, sex education, and contraceptive information.
Gay Parents To Be resources for LGBTQ parents including fertility information and adoption.
Take care of yourself
Eating well, sleeping right, and exercising directly impact successful parenting. A healthy parent paves the way for a healthy child. Although it may not be the easiest responsibility to manage, it is one of the most essential.
Ultimately, being a single parent is an undeniably difficult job you can’t clock out of. However, It is also one of the most beautiful and selfless acts anyone can perform.
Single parents must remember that they are not alone. There are many resources available for those willing to seek help.
As a society, we can help to ease social stigma by not participating in criticisms or judgments. Instead, offer help when possible and lead with compassion.