Some of the Most Common Single Parent Struggles

While most of us know how difficult and trying it can be as parents; think of working through all of our stuff without someone, partner, to support us through all of it. Single parenting just tends to be a little more trying and difficult than being part of a 2 parent family. Not only do you have to play the roles of both parents, but you’re financially responsible for a set of bills that are usually paid by two incomes.

Here are some of the most common single parent struggles with tips and strategies on how to overcome them.

Illness: When illness strikes in the single parent household, this time can be very trying. Sometimes even more so if it’s the parent who is ill. As a single parent, there is nobody to fall back on so you are able to recuperate. The need to be available to your child or children at all times is ever so present, depending on the age of the family members. A parent struggling with poor health will still feel the need to get on with household matters depending on the age of the children. This down time will also affect the financial income for some time may be taken off.
When the children are sick, it may require the parent to take time off work to care for them, bringing further financial hardship. There is never any reprieve from a sick child and their need to be comforted.

Money challenges: Going from a double income to little or no income can become the most overwhelming issue to overcome. Being responsible for your own monthly payments becomes a big deal indeed. If you find yourself in a dilemma where there never seems to be sufficient funds to make your payments, think of simplifying or even downsizing. Rid yourself of any extra expenses that you may have incurred while you were bringing in two incomes and make life as simple and easy as possible.
Some ideas on how to be more frugal:
Clip coupons
Shop the sales at your local grocery store
Review all of your bills and consolidate services if possible
Shopping Goodwill stores for your household needs
Buy less expensive computers for children

Selecting Safe and Affordable Child Care: Many single parents are at the mercy of the childcare available in their area. We all want the best in childcare and look for but that for our children. Sometimes the best comes with a with a condition; a higher cost. Private daycares are available along with the different childcare centers. Shop and compare charges and services that they have to offer. Ask each one for references and check to see if there are any financial assistance opportunities available like reduced price lunches.

Discussing Life Matters and Gender Issues: Talking to your child about the facts of life may be a little uncomfortable. Especially when our children are the opposite sex and they have a tendency to feel uncomfortable about this life’s subject. A mom may have a hard time teaching her sons about the things a dad would normally cover and a single father may have difficulties talking about female issues with his daughters. If there is an uncomfortable situation that presents itself in this manner, you should enlist the help of a favorite aunt or uncle or a close family friend to act as a “surrogate parent” for your child. It may be easier for your child to open up to this other significant adult and facilitate this whole process and lessen the pressure and tension that may arise.

The World’s Pressure on You: When there’s only one parent in the household, all of the family responsibilities lay on that person’s shoulders. House Chores, cooking, cleaning, yard word, financial concerns and monitoring, being a chauffeur, and every day tasks of being a parent this makes it that there is not much time for you. It’s easy to see that every single parent needs a break every so often. Make sure you take a break to revive yourself and re-energize. Look for a local teenager who could use some extra money, even if it’s just for a few hours. Maybe even drop them off at a family member for a few hours, giving you the option to do what you want not what you need to do.

The Feeling of Being Alone and Lost: Being a single parent have a difficult time relating to people who do not have children and find themselves isolated at one time or another. They find it difficult to associate with singles who cannot comprehend the responsibility that being a single parent brings. If you find yourself feeling a bit lonely and you want to communicate with people who can relate to what you’re going through, look into joining a nearby support group for single parents. Besides just chatting with other adults and exchanging thoughts and ideas, you may meet a new friend and enlarge your social circle.
After the separation occurs, the parents much be aware that there are emotional turmoils that are transpiring within our children. Often these children often blame themselves for the parent leaving. As they are children, they cannot process the situation without emotion.

Schooling: Taking care of the children’s needs at school is another challenge for the single parent, having to be available for school visits, being home in time after school and dealing with any concerns arising for their children during school hours.

Dating and the Introduction: The timing for introduction will vary for each individual. It’s a situation where you need to be aware of the surrounding and how many people you are dating. Introducing your children to each individual that you have dinner with may not be the most appropriate. While it’s never good to hide a growing relationship from your child, watch that they don’t become emotionally involved with someone you’re dating unless you really think the relationship is going somewhere. This may be an appropriate time to plan an outing and see how they “get along” and possibly move the relationship to a deeper level. Remember, your children will be sensitive to anyone who “tries to take their parent away” from them. There will be some explanation as these relationships progress and move forward. Be aware of the feelings and emotions that become involved as time progresses. Sometimes it happens, but try to minimize the revolving door.

If a child has one stable adult in their lives , they will be thrive. It is your responsibility to be THAT person.

Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach



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