Parenting is long hours, messy houses, caring for and cleaning up after mini, walking tornadoes that are innocently bent on hurting themselves. Single parenting is all the same work without a teammate there to tap out with. When the screaming and tantrums start there’s nobody else’s influence that can act as a threat. In disciplining you are always bad cop, out of necessity. There’s nobody else around to be the mean one.
After bedtime has been successfully accomplished, there’s nobody there to ask you about your day, to decompress and have an adult conversation with.
Being a single parent also usually includes the stresses of navigating the maze of co-parenting and existing peacefully with an ex. This can be a very positive experience for some, while being angry, chaotic and exhausting for others. Even if you are lucky enough to get along with your fellow co-parent, the stress of being without a partner is still present.
Mamalode wants to remind single parents that they are not alone. As a single parent, your priorities are going to change significantly, but the rewards of being a parent make all the changes completely worthwhile.
Sometimes confessing your fears and perceived failures can be a reminder of the amazing privilege it is to be a parent in general. We all have the same fears over our children’s wellbeing or our own inadequacy, single or not.
Dating is something that doesn’t get easier with age, but it gets particularly tricky when it comes to dating a single parent. Communication is vital in making sure your child and new partner are both comfortable in their new roles, whatever they may be.
One of the hardest parts, if not the hardest, of single parenting is the time you’re forced to spend away from your children based on visitation agreements. Special occasions like birthdays and holidays are especially hard. Sometimes all you can do is express your wish that you could be together, and let your kids know that you’re always just a phone call or text away.
Stephanie Land is an all-star Mamaloder and blogger who has been a single mother to her two daughters for most of their lives. She frequently writes about the challenges she faced putting herself through school and working while parenting solo. Here is a short list of her stories on Mamalode, or you can visit her blog to read more.
Team Mamalode wrote a book review on a parenting book called What To Expect When You Weren’t Really Expecting that is directed to single fathers and is another great resource.
Single parenting can’t really ever be made easier, but knowing that you’re not alone can help.