We all know that there are disadvantages to being a single mom, but people don’t often talk about the advantages of single parenting. Like my mum used to say, “no one ever injured their eyesight from looking on the bright side.”
Let’s be real though, parenting a child is difficult. Parenting a child alone even more so.
Single parenting is not an uncommon issue anymore. There are 12 million single-parent families in the United States alone in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Single mothers head around 80% of these. Approximately 9,000,600 mothers independently take care of their families.
One might ask how they survive solely parenting their children and, more interestingly, if there is something to gain in becoming a single mother.
The Disadvantages of Single Parenting.
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.
Undeniably, being the family’s sole provider is one of the most challenging 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 affect them and their children, who count on them.
Physical and emotional stress:
Being bombarded with a lot of responsibilities may also lead to emotional problems. There are many things to think about – money, work, children – that single mothers often feel like they are carrying the whole world on their shoulders with no one to turn to for support.
There is no one to talk to about her problems at home, for mothers do not want their children to listen to her ranting about how difficult her life is. Single mothers sleep alone in bed, wishing for adult company. Loneliness can also be degrading to her health.
Getting an extra job for more money puts stress on a mother’s health, as she is too overloaded to take of herself. 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 effect on the children:
Aside from being overloaded with too many tasks, it can also reduce the time she should spend with her children. She may provide them their needs, but not her attention. Single mothers’ challenge is balancing their attention between doing their work and spending quality time with their children.
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, giving the children a sense of loss. A mother’s divided attention between work and home may also make the child feel unimportant or, worse, unloved.
Coping with the challenges.
However, it is vital to know that no matter how challenging single-parenting may be, there are always solutions to the problem.
For example, there are many 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. Some friends and relatives may be willing to listen and advise if 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 advantages of single parenting.
Less drama in the household:
In being the sole in charge of everything, there is no fighting over who should do what. There are no arguments over who does what 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 freedom 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.
Raising independent children:
Single parenting also allows the mother to influence their children 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 to understand each other and helping each other out in times of need. This connection also creates more bonding between the children and the parent, considering that they can’t depend on anyone else.
Indeed, parenting a child alone demands versatility and determination.
There are undeniably many disadvantages to becoming a single-parent family, but there are certainly some advantages to single parenting if you take a moment to look for it. Finding a solution to these challenges is always possible, and looking at the positive side makes the whole experience worthwhile.