The Sole Parent…

Constantly we hear how every child needs both mother and father; and I am not disputing that fact entirely, however we live in a society where sole parents doing it on their own has become somewhat of a norm –whether it be due to death, separation, accidental insemination; or partners not being mature enough to step up to the responsibility created… Note how I am steering away from gender conceptualizing as in today’s world the primary caregiver is not always the mother 😉

In my opinion the absence of one parent provides a platform to discover strengths once unimaginable and many a times I get asked, “how do you do it on your own?” my response is simple, “why not do it on my own?”

For the sake of this article I will state I chose (and will choose over and over again) to raise my little human on my own… It has not come without its challenges and I do not wish to glamorize sole parenthood, merely highlight that there are positive aspects to what some may deem negative… image As a person who grew up in a sole parent home, I have learned to assume responsibility and appreciate the little things… I have learned to rely on myself and understood that to get things done, I would actually have to do them, LOL… sometimes we are blessed and if not, be mature enough to move on… after all throwing tantrums gets one nowhere (at best you will get a spanking)…

As a sole parent there are a few things I have had to keep in mind and these are some rough tips that comes in handy:

1.       Don’t be too hard on yourself – being judge, jury and executioner on yourself is only going to break you further, remember you are doing your utmost best and focus on what you have done right thus far and let the positives be your motivation…

2.      Take time for yourself – whether it be finding a corner in your home or the toilet, whether it be 5 minutes or a weekend, you are going to need a break, so take one and take them frequently…

3.       Find ways to reduce stress – the last thing you want to do is explode on your little one for things that may have gone wrong outside the home, so when you are highly stressed and on your bitter nerves ends, try meditation, go for a jog or get a boxing bag and beat it…

4.       Try and obtain a list of reliable baby-sitters – thankfully I have friends, family and my little one’s grandmother who step up, these people are angels in my life and I have huge amounts of appreciation for them 🙂

5.       Have something to work towards – whether it be furthering your education, climbing that corporate ladder or building a substantial educational fund, have goals and strive to achieve them…

6.       Communication, communication, communication – you want your little one to confide in you, as a parent you also need to realize you are going to hear things that you may not be comfortable hearing or speaking about, however I would rather hear about my little one’s feelings from her directly than have to snoop to ensure her well-being… and be an active LISTENer…

7.       Create structure and routine –If my little one’s bath is not on time or supper is not served at 7pm for the latest, the whining will start and not stop, no matter how many times I say “the rice is still busy” or “I’m just waiting for the potatoes to soften”. It could be because my little one is still young and hasn’t grasped patience yet, but listening to the whining drives me up the wall on the best of days so “structure and routine” is almost my best friend…

8.       Budget – something I still struggle with (again I have the occasional support and aid of family and friends) but the months where I can get by comfortably are the most refreshing and somewhat empowering. I have started thinking of my life as a business and being in the green is way better than being in the red, plus the green allows for more fun with my little one…

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The role of parent is rewarding, the role of sole parent is filled with treasures provided you make the best of it… It may not be the ideal choice, but consider it a blessing… I do…

Nicci

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