Parenthood is challenging in and of itself. For single parents, this challenge carries twice as much weight. The obstacles and hardships that come with single parenthood differ from those found in typical nuclear families led by two people in partnership, but as with all challenges, single parents find ways to triumph, and manage just as well as parents of two.
There are multiple reasons why a person becomes a single parent. It may be by choice, a separation between partners, or a partner’s death. Whichever reason, research provides that single-parent households are not uncommon. According to apa.org, “single parent families have become even more common than the so-called ‘nuclear family’ consisting of a mother, father and children.” The commonality of single parenthood is that it bears more challenges and difficulties since there is only one parent managing the family. All of the responsibilities that come with parenthood are carried by one adult, and this could often result in an overload for them.
According to family.jrank.org, single parents have to cope with childrearing alone, make all the decisions for the family, and must always be available to meet their own and their children’s emotional needs. “Alone or in combination, these result in problems for the single parent, including loneliness, anxiety, and depression.” Being a parent, their children take top priority as well, facing and sharing the struggles of a single-parent household with them.
While the burden seems daunting, and the feelings of desperation and stress become overwhelming, single parents are not bound by these challenges. There are joys and rewards of parenthood that will always come with these hardships, and it’s all in the matter of overcoming them through smart parenting strategies and caring relationships.
Single parents don’t have to deal with everything alone; as support is fundamental in every relationship, especially in families. “Support from friends and relatives can offset the effects of overload, with friends offering a buffer against loneliness and relatives giving more practical help,” family.jrank.org provides again. Childdevelopmentinfo.com also shares that clear communication with your children, maintaining a balance between being loving and disciplinary, and learning to speak directly with them and not at them are good things to keep in mind as a single parent raising children alone.
A parent’s love is strong enough to be undeterred by any challenge, no matter the circumstances, but it’s always good to think about individual needs and taking care of oneself in order to prevent overloads and stress, and to preserve a balance between caring for yourself and your child. This is important for single parents that continuously build up, provide for, and support themselves and their children—as a family.