No one chooses to be a single parent, in most cases, it is always fate. It comes with its own share of fun and challenges. The challenges surpass the rewards making it the most challenging situation for any parent. The challenges differ from both males and females; worsened by the inclusion of children in the mix. Death, divorce, and separation rob parents of the joys of companionship and sharing of responsibilities. Here are a few challenges-
You have to deal with the loss of a partner and the gap they left in your life. There is no one to offer a shoulder to lean on. There is a part that your partner solely played in your life- emotional fulfillment. It becomes more challenging when your partner has to live with the kids. And you have to come back to an empty house, this drains you emotionally. Who will run to you after work? The reality of all the memories of the good moments you shared with your spouse and the children dawns on you.
Replace negative thoughts in your mind with positive thinking to give you room to find yourself for the benefit of the children. Redirect your energy to more productive activities. If you are in custody of the children then spend time with them; remember, they look up to you for their emotional needs. The partner with no children must go an extra mile to socialize and engage in community activities to pass time rather than wallow in pity.
2. Difficulty in instilling discipline in children
A partner with children may find it difficult to instill discipline. Some of the children, because of the emotional stress, engage in truant activities as a gesture to get the attention of both the parents. Children may also give you an emotionally tough time especially when they realize you do not communicate with your partner. They give you parallel information for their own selfish interests. The financial responsibility may also limit your time with them; children left on their own with no proper guidance may develop defiant behavior which inhibits disciplinary measures from a single parent.
Prior to divorce, set your boundaries and agree on the best way to handle discipline and co-parenting. Regularly communicate to your partner to have full control over the children before you fail to instill the right morals.
A single parent due to death can engage their extended family to acts as a father or a mother figure (whichever is missing) to counter the absence of the other parent. This is only effective when there is a close tie over time. Relationship counselors and psychologists also come in handy to deal with emotional instability in the children that brew indiscipline.
3. Low self-esteem
The society sometimes judges separated spouses instead of giving them the right support at this time. Negative family members and friends give them a hard time to cope with the situation making them to have self-doubt and low confidence as single parents.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and understand your predicament without any judgment. Engage in activities which build your confidence and get rid of self-doubt.
4. A sense of guilt
It is common for single parents to go on a guilt trip after a bitter divorce. What if I could have been patient with my spouse? How will the children judge me when they grow old? How come I have lost friends after the separation? These unanswered questions rob your innocence.
Trying to look at your fault and self-blame is not healthy for single parents. Accept the situation and be confident you made the right decision so as to look at the positive angle of the situation to forge ahead.
5. Financial burden
In a closed family unit, each partner had a financial role in meeting monetary obligations. You may be in agreement on how to manage your finances but the fact that you have to run two houses with the same finances is an uphill task.
You are now on your own; you have to spend more hours at work to meet all your financial needs. If you have children, sit down with them and agree on how to cut on some of the luxuries so that you do not strain too much on trying to maintain the lifestyle at the expense of spending time with them-they need your presence at this trying time.
The faster you accept your situation as a single parent and adjust, the better it is for you and the children. You will heal faster if you allow a new partner in your life.