No one has ever said that parenting would be easy. You have more financial worries to think about and you can no longer be as spontaneous with your plans as you used to be. Unfortunately, these struggles can be a lot harder if you are trying to raise a child on your own.
Whatever the reasons are for being a single mother, you still want your child to have a happy and healthy upbringing. There will be hurdles along the path for any type of parent, but they get much easier once you figure out how to clear them.
Ensure The Father Does Their Part
Even though you may believe that your child is better off without the father involved, there are some legal rights on the father’s side that you must consider. Most of these rights are pushed aside if you can prove to a judge that you and your child would be safer without them. What’s more, you can always opt for a non-invasive parental paternity test if you believe the individual seeking access to your child is not the father. However, the hurdle doesn’t end with a prenatal legal battle.
As your child gets older and interacts with more of their peers, they will start to notice that other kids their age have more than one parent. A slew of questions or intrigue is likely to follow this realisation. As a single mother, your best option for answering these questions is to avoid lying and keep your answers simple. There is no need to not address the topic in a positive light, and you can rest easy knowing that your child will become more understanding as they get older.
No Balancing Act
A common parenting technique is disciplining your children using a good cop/bad cop attitude. Both parents can even switch roles so that their children do not end up viewing one parent as the disciplinarian and another as the ‘fun one’. Unfortunately, a single mother is always tasked with being viewed as the disciplinarian.
As you may notice, a lot of children raised by a single parent can often act more mature than their peers. This is because a lot of single mothers have to find ways of disciplining their children without having to raise their voices or opt for punishments. Instead, you may find it more applicable to try reasoning with your child and coming down to their level in times of crisis. Of course, there will be times when you need to use more traditional methods of discipline. However, try to remember that you are the one who sets the boundaries, so approaching your children in a more mature manner could have just as effective results.
Focus On Quality Time Together
Spending quality time with your child is one of the highlights of being a parent. It is the only time you get where they can view you as a person with your own thoughts and feelings, while you get to check in on what type of person they are becoming. Sadly, a single mother has to worry about earning a paycheque and keeping on top of all the housework. As such, quality time with your child can fall by the wayside.
No matter how busy you get, it is still important to not forget about this quality time. You can even manufacture scenarios where you can kill two birds with one stone. For example, you can catch up with your child as they help you with the housework or when you teach them how to cook. Either approach will give you some quality time together while also teaching them some valuable skills that may ease some of your own burdens.
A single mother has to fill the functions of two parents at once. While this setup comes with the advantage of giving you all the decision-making power in your household, it can lead you to feel overworked.
Doing too much and getting overwhelmed can lead you to fall ill. If this happens, you will be of no use to anyone. Make sure that you take some time to relax when you get the chance and avoid guilting yourself into doing anything that you are unable to do. It may even help to encourage your child to pick up some of the slack when they reach a certain age. Again, this helps them mature and gain a sense of responsibility.
The role of a single mother is one that is going to come with challenges, just like all forms of parenthood. However, there are some that are unique to this experience. For example, single parents also have more of a financial burden. These are just some examples of problems that can be cleared through persistence or a simple change in perspective.