Being Single and Being a Parent

There is one simple fact making single parenting difficult. And that simple fact is, you are single, and you are a parent. Okay this may be obvious, but here’s how it goes:

being single
So I know there are those few out there who are perfectly happy living a life without a partner, but for the most part, the majority of us want to find someone to be with. A partner to have and to hold, someone who makes us laugh and brightens our day with a small token of affection, someone to share life’s joys and challenges with, someone who puts the scissors away in the wrong place, someone who pushes all our buttons and someone who we love, learn, and grow with. That does not change after a divorce or separation, we still want those things. Of course there must be time taken to heal however, after that there is this whole brand new world if singledom.

So here you find yourself after a divorce once again in the dating world, getting asked out out to dinners, movies, bowling, dessert, a plethora of dates and sometimes having to say no, or schedule something a week out, or go home after the date earlier than you normally would, because you are also something else, and you are that first, a parent.

Being a single parent is a different and interesting world. There are some parents who have their kids always, some who are custodial parent (having their kids 3/4 time) or non custodial parent (having their kids 1/4 time), and still others who split kid time 50/50, and every imaginable combination in between.

being a parent
There is so much that goes on in the single parent world. Some parents take their kids with them every where, to singles parties and functions. For the most part, it works out well, the kids have other kids to play with, the parents spend time mingling with each other forming bonds and alliances, enjoying the sisterhood of single mothers and the brotherhood of single fathers with some good flirting mixed in.

Sometimes it is to the detriment of kids, being dragged to strange places to meet strange people, not receiving the time and attention they need from their parent as that parent talks and flirts with other adults, being kept out past bedtimes or through nap times, all for the sake of the parent having some much needed down time and adult time.

Being a single parent is exhausting, whether you are co-parenting or have no interaction with the other parent, you often still don’t have the support needed to truly offer what you think is in the best interest of your children because the other parent has their own idea of what they think is in the best interest of the children, or they act on their own personal interests. Or you lack the support all together.

being a single parent
I really believe there is a reason families have been structured with two loving parents, it is so much better for the kids and the parents, to have the love, support and solidarity that comes from a complete family unit.

I was lucky enough to have a dear friend who was a single parent for much of the same time I was, and we vacationed together, went to events together, took our kids to the park together, we were able to offer that support to each other of giving our only child a playmate and each other that adult counterpart to talk to.

There is a solution for each single parent out there, a balance between the single life and the parent life. Remember to keep your kids needs and interests in mind, most especially that time with you. No matter what role you play as a parent in your own family, love yourself, be patient with yourself, know that you are doing the best you know how. Put your child first as much as possible, listen to their needs and wants, and ask for help; ask your extended family, ask your friends, ask your neighbors, ask your fellow church goers and religious leaders, ask angels, ask God or your Higher Power. The saying ‘it takes a village’ is as true today as ever.

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