There are about 11 million single-parent families with children under the age of 18 in the US. Over 80% of those households were headed by single mothers, according to the 2018 U.S. Census Bureau. Yes, the “traditional” home with two parents and two children is no longer the norm. Single parents are genuinely the heads of the families across the nation. So, what is it like?
I’m not here to speak on your behalf, and this might not be the case for everyone, but here’s a little taste of the single-parenting lifestyle.
If parenting with help by your side is stressful enough, imagine trying to juggle everything on your own. Even with the help of family members and friends, single parents are under a lot of stress to make things work. Keeping a job, caring for the children, keeping up with the bills and household chores, are just some of the things a single parent must do every day.
Also, single parents are often dealing with outside pressure from family members, friends, schoolteachers, and even themselves. It’s easy for a single parent to neglect caring for themselves to catch up with everything that’s happening.
Probably every single parent out there has heard their friends complain about the burden of being a “single parent” while their spouses are away on vacation. Sigh.
To illustrate this story, I’m going to bring this excerpt from a story I found in The Washington Post: “Being a single mom isn’t like that. No one comes home after a week.”
Yes, unfortunately, even when your friends and family members try to be there for you, it’s hard to understand what being a single parent truly is like if you’re not actually in the trenches.
Even with all the chaos and stressors that come with being a single parent, one thing will be true: the bond you’ll have with your child is unlike any other. Being a single mom or dad means you’re in it together with your child, and over the years, that relationship will flourish into something no one else will get.
Single parent children also learn early own to appreciate the sacrifices you’ve made. It’s harder for your kids to take whatever you do for granted since they’re the number one spectator of your life’s show – they have a front-row seat.
A Note from GR8NESS
You are an amazing parent. Please know that. As you figure out how to ride this rollercoaster, remember to accept help when someone offers it. Take advantage of local resources so you can give your child exciting chances to have fun and make new friends. Finally, dedicate time for self-care, parents (especially single parents) need it too.