Becoming a single parent is a big adjustment. It can be challenging to raise a child as a single mother or father, but also rewarding. You are likely to have many questions as you adjust to becoming a single parent. How can you manage on one income? Where can you find help and support when you need it? If you have a child with special needs, your day be filled with additional challenges. How can you create a positive environment for your child(ren) while taking care of your own needs?
As you look for answers, remember that you are not alone. More than 1 in 4 households in the U.S. are headed by a single mother or father. This article has tips on how to thrive, not just survive, in your role as a single parent – something you never expected but a critically important job you now must do.
How you may feel about being a single parent
You may be grieving for your loss as you plan for a different type of life for your child(ren) than you had expected. Early in widowhood, grief can be overwhelming, and you may find it difficult to think straight let alone properly care for minor children. You will feel complex emotions that include shock, anger, guilt, loneliness, and fears for you or your family’s future. For example, you may be mourning your loss while at the same time feeling angry that you are now managing children on your own. All these mixed emotions are normal and very common. Fortunately, they are likely to become less intense as you adjust to your new circumstances. In the meantime, try to be patient with yourself. Keep in mind that even in households with two adults, many parents at times feel lonely or overwhelmed or wonder how they will cope with all the stress.
Here are ten tips on making the adjustment easier:
Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on. However, studies show that growing up in a single-parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life. You’ve suffered the worst loss possible, but so have your children and they need you more than ever. Follow these tips to take care of yourself and be the best parent possible for your children.