Parenting is a tough call, and having to do it all alone is a daunting one. I believe no one wishes to parent alone (or single-parent). But when circumstances arise, and the norm of both parents raising their children together becomes understandably impossible, then single parenting sets in. Single parenting can also occur when a spouse or partner is living far apart.
Single parenting can be quite challenging, especially in our fast-paced world today. Knowing how to overcome the challenges of single parenting will not only make you stronger, but you will also be encouraged, and in turn encourage others in the same situation.
Many reasons such as divorce, death, abuse, domestic violence and several others, can make people resort to single parenting. Whatever your reason is, please don’t give in to the fears and pressures around you. Focus on becoming the best form of yourself and raising your children to do the same.
Of course, it is not going to be easy, but you can overcome the challenges of single parenting. Below are the few listed challenges and how you can overcome them.
1. Having no one around or loneliness
One of the major challenges of single parenting is having no one around to talk to or turn to. This loneliness often leaves one depressed, confused and even downcast at times.
Having no one around to help out when you are overwhelmed with parenting, or simply to help out with some of the chores in the house can drain one emotionally. Also, just returning to a house that your spouse or ex and kids used to grace, and now, your partner is not there, can leave one feeling lonely as well.
A practicable way of overcoming this challenge is to take a moment and breathe. This can mean settling the kids with their favourite past time such as TV or book, then get into your room to unwind. You can clear your head by talking to someone very close to you that genuinely cares about you or just relax for a short while.
If your kids have grown above the age of requiring too much attention, endeavour to get involved in activities that impact you positively. Also, build yourself to become the best form of you.
Please endeavour to replace any negative thoughts with positive ones for your well-being and the benefit of the children. Overcoming the challenge of loneliness will enable you to juggle the task of single parenting.
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2. Having to make all the decisions alone
Having to make all the decisions alone without inputs or suggestions from a partner can also be quite challenging. If a decision you made alone didn’t turn out well, you might feel even worse.
To overcome this, you have to trust your guts and be confident in yourself. Irrespective of how your decisions turn out, it can only get better. Learn from any decision that didn’t turn out well and keep moving. Over time, you will see things begin to work out well, and you too would have built a certain level of independence and confidence in yourself.
Talk to friends, counsellors and experts depending on the type of decision that you want to make. Your partner not being there does not mean that you cannot navigate the storms of life successfully.
3. Having to cater for the kids alone
Catering for the kids alone or most of the time comes with its worry and can be really uneasy. Most single parents worry about providing or being the only one having to supply the needs of the kids.
With the responsibility to cater for the children resting on the shoulders of a single parent, he/she is likely to be stressed out. Please ensure to ask for help when you need one. You will be surprised at some of the responses you will get from other family members, friends, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, etc.
"Single parenting is tough and overwhelming, no doubt, but understanding what you are facing or going to face gives you a leeway in overcoming the challenges of single parenting."
4. Having to worry about money
Another major challenge of single parenting is having to worry about money (financial resources). Sometimes, a single parent can run low on cash to handle some pressing family needs. This can sometimes leave a single parent changing jobs every now and then or make him or her to juggle two or more jobs to be able to meet up with the family needs.
To avoid being in debt and overcome this challenge, you will have to restructure your expenditures. Plan ahead and write out your budget monthly and yearly. Go for absolutely necessary things that you can afford. Borrow for very important things and plan to repay as soon as you can.
You can also seek help from some government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and also friends and family. You are not alone, so don’t try to walk alone. First, seek help.
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5. Having self-doubt and feeling inadequate
Some single parents find themselves feeling inadequate or having self-doubt. No doubt, when one considers the responsibilities before him or her, one cannot but wonder if he or she is capable of surmounting such.
I just want to assure you that you are the best for the job and that you are more than capable of raising your children and looking after yourself too. Believe in yourself and never doubt yourself again.
"Many reasons such as divorce, death, abuse, domestic violence and several others, can make people resort to single parenting. Whatever your reason is, please don’t give in to the fears and pressures around you."
6. Having to deal with the continuous pressures from family and society
Pressures from family, friends, and society tend to put more stress on a single parent. You are expected to be or act a certain way, and when you don’t, you end up being pushed aside.
You are not a superhuman. Go at your pace. Appreciate yourself and keep moving.
You might not agree with your family on some issues or regarding some of your decisions, but that should not make you diss them. They are still your support system and perhaps number one fan.
7. Having to manage stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are some of the main concerns of single parents. Stress from juggling work, family, decisions, and society can be draining. But, with better planning and sound decisions, you will be able to overcome this aspect of single parenting.
Set your priorities right. It is you and your kids first. You don’t have to honour every invitation, and you are not out to please anyone. Accept what you can handle and keep moving.
Single parenting is tough and overwhelming, no doubt, but understanding what you are facing or going to face gives you a leeway in overcoming the challenges of single parenting. Have in mind that sometimes, single parenting might not be a choice but a thing of fate or happenstance.
Be strong, determined and brace-up for it, and yes you can do it! As a matter of fact, you can have smooth single parenting with proper budgeting, plan and good decisions. Believe in yourself, because we at Dazzling Insights believe in you. While you are at it, keep dazzling!