Single parenting comes with its own set of emotional and physical hardships, along with all the parenting challenges. Choice or no choice, when we have to go through being a single parent, there are some problems that are collectively faced by single parents.
Being a single parent can suck the energy out of an individual and leave them with low confidence and unhappiness. Acknowledging the problems is the first step to finding the solutions to it. Let us try and get a better understanding of what difficulties are faced by the parents who have to do it all on their own.
Balancing various hats.
Your work is doubled when you become a single parent. Now, you have to look after the house, job, and ofcourse your kids with no one to share your load. Giving justice to each and every aspect is as tricky as walking on a tightrope.
You have to make sure that you do not sacrifice one thing for the other. Managing time becomes a non-optional skill. More often than none, you have to cut corners with your family time. And, that in itself can have its own repercussions.
Understanding the child.
The life of a single parent is filled with challenges, no doubt. But, being a child who has only one parent, or parents who are estranged is no picnic either. It becomes very complicated to know what they are going through.
Children may look fine on the surface. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a tornado of emotions going through their mind that is not easy to comprehend.
As their guardian, it becomes tough for the parents to see their children like this. Getting them to talk is a herculean task. Among all the struggles, seeing your child suffer is the most shattering.
When you have to do something out of the ordinary, there is bound to be doubt. You are constantly second guessing all your decisions because you don’t have a partner with whom you could discuss all of it.
“Should I send him/her to this tuition?” “ I am not sure if this is the right time to let her/him learn to drive.” You are always in two minds. Such a state of mind leaves you confused and lost in your own thoughts.
When you start to think and rethink the same thing over and over again, it is like falling into a bottomless pit. And there is nothing more troubling than having this feeling of being stuck. It messes with your entire self and makes you feel that you are not capable of doing anything on your own.
When you are a single parent, there are a lot of things that you can find to be guilty about. The top most guilt inducing thought is that you cannot give your child time.
Your workload has doubled. And you constantly think that you are not being fair to your child. Another thing that you keep thinking again and again is that, because of you, your child cannot have a normal family. Suddenly everything appears to be your fault.
Social stigma for divorce
If the reason that you are a single parent is a divorce then you are on red alert on society’s radar. Suddenly, every action of yours will be scrutinised. People start to think that somehow, because you had a divorce, all your decisions are up for review.
Even after twenty years of being in the twenty-first century, divorce is frowned upon by the majority of people. And no matter how many times you tell yourself that what society thinks doesn’t matter, it gets to you at some point or other.
Surviving with your head held high becomes a necessity, rather than something that should have just happened without giving it an ounce of thought. Shielding yourself from the judgmental eyes of people around you becomes a time and patience consuming job.
Clashes between you and your former partner
If you had a divorce with your former partner, then there are bound to be some points on which you two did not agree. Now in very few cases, the divorce is mutual and not as taxing. But most of them are emotionally taxing.
When you have kids together, then the chances of rifts between the two of you creating problems even after being estranged are more than few. These conflicts can still create problems in your life. And these harsh encounters can be devastating for your children.
Even a small disagreement can turn into a war within a matter of seconds. These confrontations can emotionally drain you. And seeing their parents fight cannot be a pretty scenario for your child. Every situation becomes a high pressure situation. Both of you can have opinions on how your child should be raised and not being on the same page can cause huge problems.
It is a serious issue that brings along several secondary issues with itself. Exhaustion, frustration, despair are some of financial strain’s friends. They always come hand-in-hand.
Being the sole-earner of the family definitely puts weight on your shoulders. As your child starts growing up, his/her needs will also start increasing and looking after your entire family on your own is going to be stressful. The pressure can become too much to handle.
Not being able to take care of yourself.
With you having to tie up all the loose ends and taking care of a family on your own, there is a very crucial thing you tend to forget. Yourself.
When everything is on you, looking after ‘you’ is also a major responsibility. But more often than none, parents tend to ignore themselves. If you are not fit to support your family, then your family will suffer the most.
Taking out time for yourself, doing something because you like it seems next to impossible. With everything that is going around you, ‘you’ are the least of your worries.
Being strong in the face of adversity is something that comes along with single parenting. But the point is not the hurdles that you are facing along the way. The key point is that you remember to stay happy and positive even while facing these hurdles.