Single Parenting

They were not prepared for us 40 years ago, and dare I say they are still not prepared for us.

Throughout the world there are many thousands of single parents rearing their offspring by themselves. The community as a whole don’t realise the difficulties encountered by single parents.

Try cooking dinner, and helping with the homework and ironing school uniforms after a long day at work. Try finding quality time to spend with your child and still having time to undertake studies to improve your own career qualifications.

A single parent often does not have anyone with whom to consult when important decisions have to be made.

Some single parents have the good fortune to have their parents or parents- in-law to support them, but for some of us that support was not available.

Many single parents have no one with whom to share their children’s achievements. I remember sitting beside the sports fields with tears spilling onto my cheeks, and too embarrassed to share her achievements with those around me.

Many single parent families have only their own income on which to depend.

Try to take advantage of ‘hotel specials’ as a single parent. I remember arriving at a hotel with my toddler who was about eighteen months old. At that time the hotel was offering free accommodation for all children under twelve who share their parents room. “ If I book into a single room and my toddler shares the bed with me, can I have a discount on her accommodation?” I asked hopefully. The face of the receptionist was unmoved; “ You must pay full price for her because your husband is not here.” “I don’t have a husband “ I said. “Rules are rules, Madam, you must pay for two”

I paid for two adults.

I had only had one child, but I considered that the responsibility was so much more because it meant that I had to be the mother, father & sibling at the same time.

That warm feeling when your child acknowledges your role, as a ‘double’ parent is indescribable. I received ‘Father’s Day’ cards regularly for many years.

I have often heard that the offspring of single parents are ‘troubled children’. Don’t believe that legend for one moment, children who are troubled come from all types of homes and not necessarily from single parent homes.

There are some advantages of being a single parent.

1.     You can rear your child by your own standards & you don’t have to compromise with a ‘conflicting’ culture

2.     I believe that a child from a single parent home becomes independent much sooner than their counterparts.

3.     Children from single parent homes often become more confident because they are entrusted with responsibilities from an early age.

4.     Children from homes where there is a limited income are frequently more appreciative of the little things in life.

If you are a single parent please remember that your reward at the end of the day will be double. © Teresa Denton.

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