Single Parenting: Is it as Easy as They Make it Look?

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Single parenting requires a lot of courage and outside support.“My friend is a single mom. No problem. I can handle it, too.”

That’s a can-do attitude. And that’s admirable.

But is it realistic?

Being a parent is arguably the most important job in the world. Doing it right is crucial.

And doing it right may not be as easy as your friend makes it look.

How can you tell what single parenting will really be like for you?

You can start by honestly thinking through some of the challenges you’ll face as a single parent. (We’ve listed most of them below.)

Take a minute to ask yourself: How would I deal with each of those challenges?

Then, before you start to worry, read on to find ways to get the help you’ll need.

Facing the Challenges of Single Parenting

The biggest challenge you’ll encounter is this: It’s all up to you. Single parents take sole responsibility to do these things and more:

  • Nurture their children—emotionally, physically, mentally, socially, spiritually
  • Provide financially for their family—by holding down a job that can pay all the bills
  • Consistently discipline their children—without letting the stress of working and parenting make you react in anger
  • Maintain a home—when all the chores are yours
  • Make all decisions—about what to eat, where to live, who’ll do child care, when it’s bedtime, whether to call the doctor…
  • Deal with an ex—if they are part of your family’s life

At the same time, single parents have to:

  • Care for themselves—mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually
  • Maintain good friendships
  • Balance dating and child-raising
  • Reach their own personal goals

Keys to Single Parenting Success

Those lists can look overwhelming. Single parents who are making it work—and work well—are heroes! Successful single parents have several personal traits in common. They include:

  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Patience, endurance, and courage
  • Ability to put their children’s needs ahead of their own
  • Self-confidence

Successful single parents are also rich in outside support. They have some or all of these:

  • Trustworthy child care providers
  • Caring friends to confide in, bounce ideas off of, and share resources
  • Access to practical support such as WIC (Women, Infants and Children), Section 8 housing assistance, and CCAP (Child Care Assistance Program)
  • References and other help finding and training for a job (like PIC, Partners in Careers)
  • Family members who pitch in with everyday needs like household maintenance, transportation, emergency help for the child or parent, etc.
  • A church family for friendship and spiritual guidance

What About You?

As you look over the lists above, how close do you feel to being ready to face the challenges of single parenting?

You don’t have to do it alone.

Enlist the help of Choices Pregnancy Center. We enjoy helping parents like you develop workable plans for the days and years ahead. Through our Earn While You Learn program we can provide you with education in parenting and life skills like money management. We can also connect you to the helpful resources mentioned above–and more. And if you’re curious about making an adoption plan, we can help you explore that option, too.

Hey, have you heard about the new support group for parents in Redwood Falls?
It’s the Parenting Circle, where parents like you meet together in “a safe and sacred space to talk about struggles and successes being a parent,” according to coordinator Eric Johnson. He adds, “It is connecting families that may feel isolated or may feel alone in their parenting role.”

Contact either Gwenn at Choices (gwenn@choicespregnancycenter.com) or Eric at eric_j@co.redwood.mn.us to learn how you can get connected.

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You have time to decide the best way to provide a great life for your child.
Making Choices Pregnancy Center a part of your support network
is a strong step toward becoming the parent you want to be.

Contact us today. That part is easier than you think.

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