There are so many things which could land you in a position where you realize that you have to take care of the kids alone. Maybe the father to your kids died, or just left. The fact is, with over 80% of split marriages and relationships with kids involved, the children stay with their mother while their father moves on to start another family elsewhere. Dad may be sending in some money but more money is hardly the solution to the stress single moms have to go through each day. Getting support from the father could indeed be very helpful but you still have to do a lot of work alone. And what if the father of your children is no longer alive?
Things sometimes even get complicated for some single moms when they try to get into another relationship and start all over again. There are actually several difficulties of being a single parent and running a single parent family. The more children you already have with the previous man, the more difficult it will be for you to get another man who can fall in love with you and be a true father to your children. For one thing, men always regard such women as opportunists who want to take advantage of them to raise their children. The single mom on the other hand is reluctant to get into another relationship because she is not sure the man will accept and love the children as his own or if the children will even accept and respect him as a father. There are so many complexities to the issue.
However, you do not need to get another man to help you take care of you or your children or handle the difficulties of being a single parent. Dating with kids may not be right if you do not count the cost well. Agreed, it seems you have to be the father and mother at the same time, but you don’t need to manage those two roles. You just need to be the best mum you can be and know exactly what to do and when to do it. We have provided some important tips that will make being a single mum a whole lot easier for you. Being a mother even with a man is no easy business. You still have to carry out all those stressful duties. So let’s look at how things could be simpler for you.
Settle on this: It has to be one step at a time
Raising kids as a single mum could put so much pressure on you that you may want to handle everything in a single day and get over with it all. However, that is not going to happen and you have to accept it. Kids cannot grow up in a day. It will definitely take days, months and years of hard work. However, if you decide to take it one day at a time, you will be prepared to handle the situation and have an easier task raising your kids even if you have to do it alone.
Trying to figure out how you are going to support them through school, give them the moral and emotional support they will need while growing up will only make things seem more difficult for you than they really are. While you prepare for the future of your kids, you don’t need to worry or fret over how it is going happen without the support of a man. There are so many children out there who have grown up and become successful and responsible without a single parent or guardian to see them through. One way to look at the entire situation is to consider how lucky your kids are to have a mom and how blessed you are to have them around. The situation you have could be far worse. In fact, it is much worse for many people. So you are not facing the worse situation in life. Cheer up and put off some anxiety.
Start by letting go of the past
You may have had terrible experiences in the past which may have directly led you to the point where you are now, but you will not be doing yourself any good holding on to whatever painful experiences you may have gone through. Holding on to past hurt is like taking hold of hot cold because you are angry at your enemy. All the while you will only be hurting yourself and probably those you love. Being a single mum and having to take the responsibilities of the same man who left in hurt is such a hard thing to deal with, but the bitter truth is that you have to deal with it, not for anyone else but for your own benefit.
Make up your mind to let go of everything that you have gone through and concentrate on the blessing you have received through it is all – your children. They still need and deserve your love, and as a mum it will simply be selfish to deny them that because of past experiences. You cannot deal with the difficulties of being a single parent or dating with kids if you do not let go of the past.
Talk to your children about the challenges, gracefully and answer their questions lovingly
If your kids are still very young, you can start making things easier for yourself by letting them understand that they are going to be just fine without a dad. Friends may be teasing them at school or they may feel like something is wrong with their own family because dad is away. Don’t let them go on feeling inadequate or under privileged because they don’t have a father.
If they are old enough to understand, let them know what challenges you are facing bringing them up alone, but don’t sound victimized or disappointed about it. Help them corporate with you to have a wonderful time. The more your children understand and accept the fact that dad is not around and may never be, the easier things will be for you. Sometimes they would have questions to ask or maybe ideas to contribute. Make up your mind to entertain such questions (especially those regarding the absence of their dad) lovingly. At least they have the right to know.
Develop a Strong family bond
One important way of dealing with the challenges of being a single mum is striving to develop a strong family bond. Bringing up children alone as a mother will be a whole lot easier if there is some level of commitment and love shared amongst family members. With the absence of a dad, kids need the support of each more than ever. And you need their love and understand too. So instead of just figuring out how to make things work out each day, seek out ways you can make the family connection and bond even stronger.
There are a lot of activities you can all engage in as a family to strengthen the bond. Some of them, like always eating together and watching movies and other TV programs are things which come at no extra cost but have the potential of strongly connecting everyone together.
Never break out in frustration on the children
Too much pressure and the anxiety of having to take care of the children on your own may bring with it the strong temptation to express disappointment by either yelling at the children or just being occasionally mean to them. You are going to negatively influence your kids and possibly make them resent you in future if you cannot deal with the difficulties and put yourself under control. Children have a fragile heart and the last thing you want is for them to resent you after years of painfully and patiently taking care of them because they did not feel loved while you did it.
Be clear on what you expect from the kids
Your children are not going to figure out how you want them to assist you simply because you wish they would. They are still children and you have to teach them some things. You don’t have the luxury of handling all the chores around the house alone along with all other things you have to do. So teach them betimes what they have to do and let them know that you expect them to help out.
Assumption under the present circumstances is not a good thing. Don’t assume that your children will automatically understand what you are going through and be willing to help out. Talk to them and make them reason with you.
Make the kids feel free talking anything through with you
As a single mom, you have to deal with all the issues your children face. From adolescence to youthful age and when they become young adults. Usually children are confused and misled about certain issues in life. They will definitely bring their challenges home and if they do not feel that they can talk to you, you will have a hard time playing the role of a mum. This is simply one of the difficulties of being a single parent. However, it could be very easy to deal with if you with such issues wisely.
No loving parent will seat back and watch their children frustrated over any issue. We all want to help out, to make things easier for our kids. We definitely cannot do that successfully if the kids can’t trust or feel free discussing any issue with you. giving your children the impression that some subjects are No Go areas only scares them away from you when they need you the most, and believe me, as a single mum you don’t want that to happen. It will only make carrying out your responsibilities as a single mum more difficult and complicated.
Take care of yourself
You may not know how much easier things may be for you if you would take better care of yourself. There may be a lot of stress you are already going through and instead of taking out some time to relax and rest, you are even more determined to push harder. Relax, take a break and have some fun. Make a routine of going out with the kids to some place exciting or visiting friends alone. Activities like this help release stress and prepare you mentally and emotionally to move on with more determination and strength.
The other aspect of taking care of yourself which is also very important is feeding properly and exercising frequently.
Make use of child care if you have to
Most parents do not like using child care services, but as a single mum, you may have to work and still take care if certain household chores, so you really may not be able to handle everything on your own. Don’t hesitate getting child care services. Though friends and family members may always be available and willing to help, they may not be the best option. And they may also not have the time or even care enough to.
In any case, when you decide to make use of child care, be sure to get a professional and preferably an elderly person. There are so many people out there who are actually just out for money, so while you are looking for someone to take care of your children be careful to make the right choice.
Stop trying to be both parents
Single mum problems become even more complicated when mums try to be both parents. That is not going to happen. You cannot be a mother and a father at the same time. You will only stress yourself out. All you have to do is let the children know that you love them and are willing to do your best to take good care of them despite the challenges.
They will love and respect you for who you are, not for trying to play the role of a father who is not there. Kids too can understand the challenges of running a single parent family if you open up to them rather than resolving to work even harder to meet up. And when it comes to playing the role of a father, it is clear that you will have to pay bills and work harder to provide. However, going the extra mile to provide emotional support and fully play the role of a father is out of the question.
You don’t need to feel inadequate or guilty
If you are a single mum, you have to realize that there are many people out there like you who are actually having a great time and making a difference. Their kids too are growing up just fine and many are even doing better than other kids. Don’t feel guilty or think that your children do not have enough parenting simply because you are doing it all alone.
Another thing you should watch out for is trying to make up for the absence of a father with excessive care and pampering. You are going to spoil your child and regret it in the future. Treat them with love, and that will also mean applying discipline whenever it is necessary.
If you get into emotional ties, don’t hide the fact that you have children
Single moms often fall in love again and dating with kids is complicated. First you wonder if the man will even accept you when he gets to find out that you have children. Then if your children will accept him as your “man” or more importantly as a father when it gets to that. The children may not have been old enough to understand but if they are, open up and explain things to them. Help them love and accept the person you have fallen in love with. They may not like the idea, most children don’t feel comfortable knowing that their mother is in love with some other man, even if their father is dead. It’s a natural thing.
It may also be difficult for you to make the decision to get into another relationship but you can. Be open and willing to love and be loved again. It may be challenging but dating with kids is really not an impossibility. The truth is you may also have a few failed relationships because of your status as a single mum but don’t let that discourage you. There is definitely a right man out there who will love and respect you despite the fact that you are a single mum.
When you finally fall in love again, don’t be quick to introduce the person to your children. Sure, you have to tell them you have a child or children but you don’t have to bring the man to your home until you are sure that he is serious and willing to accept you and the children. You also have to ensure that the children are willing to accept him, else you will only cause more pain and open up wounds that were healing.
Set Goals for yourself and for the family
To deal with the challenges and stress that comes with being a single mum and running a single parent family, make plans for yourself, things you want to accomplish for yourself and for your kids in the future. Let those plans be things you are passionate about and which your kids will be interested in. It could be starting up a business in a few months, travelling to exciting places or maybe getting a better home.
These goals will definitely help keep your focus away from the challenges you are facing and keep things interesting and fun for you. you don’t have to abandon your dreams and passions simply because you have to take care of the kids alone. You can incorporate the things you always wanted to do into your plans of taking care of the family. The mistake some single parents make is that they leave whatever goals and plans they had for themselves before having children and breaking up to concentrate all their efforts on taking care of the kids.
No matter what happens, you have to be resolute to make it through to that day when your children will be grown up and have families of their own. Believe me, some day, when you look back, you will be proud to know that you went through it all and persevered up until then. The challenges of running a single parent family may force you to think negatively and simply give up along the way. Whenever things seem so difficult that you don’t think you can hold up under the pressure by staying positive. Always look at the bright side of things and you will muster the strength to go on.
Despite all single parent family challenges, there are a lot of people out there who have brought up children personally and successfully too.
Set family rules
You cannot let the family run without rules if you must face and overcome the difficulties of being a single parent. There could be daily routines for example so that your kids too know what they have to do in the morning before going to school and what is expected of them when they return. Family rules help build and enforce routines which in turn work to ensure the smooth functioning of the family and takes some of the stress off you.
Family rules may also have to stretch to the issue of dating. Dating with kids is not all that simple. You could also set rules as to how they will behave around visitors and their attitudes towards the person you might be dating.
There will also be a need for putting some ground rules in place regarding how the children relate with their father if he is still alive. The difficulties of taking care of children as a single mum become even more challenging if they develop the habit of playing games between you and their father. For example, they may call their dad to ask for things which you rightly denied them. since he is not around them and may want to make up for the broken relationship, he could approve of things you did not agree the kids can have or do. You can deal with this by talking with your ex and setting ground rules regarding how you two will relate with each other.
Summarily there are really many difficulties of being a single mum but you have to overcome; and yes you can.