Parenting a child is difficult. Parenting a child alone sounds very challenging.
Becoming a single parent is not anymore an uncommon issue. In fact, in United States alone, there are 12 million single parent families in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Around 80% of these are headed by single mothers. Around 9,000,600 mothers independently take care of their families! One might start asking how they survive their life solely parenting their children, and, more interestingly, if there is something to gain in becoming a single mother.
The pain of becoming a single mother
Undeniably, being the sole provider of the family is one of the toughest tasks a woman could bravely choose to do. Aside from the financial problems single mothers have to deal with, there are emotional difficulties they have to face. These do not only affect them, but also their children who count on them a lot.
There is always the need for monetary support. A single mother has to get accustomed to spending less and working more in providing for all the expenses: from bills to daily needs to the kids’ education.
Getting extra job for more money puts stress on a mother’s health. Aside from being overloaded with too many tasks, it can also reduce the time she should spend with her children. She may be able to provide them their needs, but not her attention. On the other hand, however, being a single mother necessitates one to do extra works aside from the stressful tasks at home to address their financial needs. The challenge for single mothers is how to balance their attention between doing their work and spending quality time with their children.
Being bombarded with a lot of responsibilities may also lead to emotional problems. There are a lot of things to think about – money, work, children – that single mothers often feel like they are carrying the whole world with their exhausted shoulders with no one to turn to for support. At home, there is no one to talk to about her problems, for mothers do not want their children listen her ranting about how difficult her life is. At the end of the day, single mothers sleep alone in bed wishing for some company.
Becoming a single mother also affects the children. It might take a lot of time before the child could adjust to living with only one parent. This might also give him/her a sense of loss. A mother’s divided attention between work and home may also make the child feel unimportant or, worse, unloved.
Coping up with the challenges
It is important to know, however, that no matter how challenging single-parenting may be, there are always solutions to the problem. For example, there are a lot of grants for single mothers that may provide monetary support. This way, mothers don’t have to work too much to the extent of neglecting their children. There are also friends and relatives who may be willing to listen and give advices in case problems arise. One does not necessarily need a husband for mature conversations. More importantly, one should treat these problems as challenges that allow them to grow and see the positive side of becoming a single mother.
The rewards of becoming a single mother
In being the sole in charge of everything, there is no fighting over who should do what. There would be no arguments over whose roles should be imposed at home. A single mother has the liberty to make all the decisions: from the food to be served on the table to the places to go during vacations. This does not mean that a single mother can impose anything. It only implies that they should learn how to be more responsible and smart in decision-making – a challenge that would help develop single mothers.
With no partner always keeping an eye on them, single mothers can also do whatever they want to do during their spare time. One can focus more on taking care of her children and herself. It would give them enough time to do things they can’t usually do with partners always keeping an eye on them like building a better body or having fun with friends. This way, friendships become the center of one’s life. Being independent also helps a single mother grow as a person as she becomes less dependent and more motivated.
Single parenting also allows mother to influence their children on how to become more independent and responsible. They can help them understand that because there is only her who takes care of the family, they should try their best in understanding each other and helping each other out in times of need. This also creates more bonding between the children and the parent, considering that there is no one else to trust and depend on.
Indeed, parenting a child alone demands versatility and determination. There are undeniably a lot of difficulties along the way, but finding a solution to these challenges is always possible, and looking at the positive side of it would make the whole experience worthwhile.