For me, already being part of a single parent household
and knowing it was just me and my mom,
you’d wake up times and hope that the next day you’d be able
to be alongside your mother because she was out trying to make sure
that I was taken care of.
But all I cared about was her being home.
Single parenting can be a tough thing to face. This is especially true for people who had not planned to be doing their parenting alone. Some are just not ready for all of the responsibility they will need to assume. Taking care of a child can be a pretty daunting task, I speak from experience. It is all the more difficult when your little ones depend on you for everything – food, shelter and even education in the distant future. You have your work cut out for you. But try not to feel overwhelmed. Like every challenge that you will need to face in life, there are ways to getting around some of it and finally overcoming it or coming through it. You may not be a situation that you can solve right this moment, but you can certainly find ways to make it easier and more manageable. Here are four things that can you survive your single parenting.
1. Join a support group
Just knowing that there are people like around who are going through some of the same things can be very comforting. So look around your community for some support group for single parents like you.
Joining a support group is a wonderful way to learn from the experiences of other people. You do not have to reinvent the wheel every time you face a new task or trial. Other people can offer advice or perhaps refer you to someone else who can help you. Often people who are in the same support groups band together and help each other out. It can be almost like having a second family, with people that you can depend on for help.
2. Develop a strong and close relationship with your child
Your child is your partner now. You are the only person that he or she can depend on right now. Establish a close and loving relationship with your child while they are still young. You will be glad when you did this when they grow up.
I am continually amazed that I have such close relationships with my adult daughters now, and I can only attribute it to taking advantage of bonding when they were much younger.
3. Know what your priorities are
Be clear on who your priority is and set some ground rules and boundaries for your behavior. It should, of course be your child, and perhaps your career, which you need in order to be able to provide for your child. By knowing your priorities and having clear-cut goals, you will be continually reminded of what you should be doing. This will come in very handy during those moments when you are feeling overwhelmed and you are tempted to turn your back on your responsibility or just plain give up.
4. Give yourself time to heal
You have been burned. It’s okay, you’re not alone. Do not make the mistake of rushing and to find love again right off. Give yourself time to heal and to find and be yourself again. Jumping right back into the dating scene for the simple reason that you want to find another mate right away is a no-no. For now, your child is the center of your life. Accept that this particular aspect of your life will come together when the right time comes. And when is that? You will know when it arrives.
Single parenting is a tough road. You are trying to heal yourself, while being the best role model you can to your child and providing for their every need. Those are a lot of balls to juggle. Be kind to yourself. Take time to heal. Get some help. Find out who you are before making things more complicated than they need be.
Love yourself, love your child/ children. And the rest? One day at a time…
What other words of advice would you offer to a newly single parent?
For more information, see www.martinamcgowan.com