Dealing with the challenges of being a single mum
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Kate Megase MBACP
22nd September, 20160 Comments
Being a single mum can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. You are responsible for playing so many roles on a daily basis including being a mum, dad, friend, mentor, teacher, cheerleader and a working mother to make ends meet within the home. It takes a woman of strength and courage to apply these roles, since it is a very demanding role to play.
Some women became a single mum by choice, where most do not.
If you are a single parent having difficulties bringing up your children, I want to encourage you not to be dismayed. Keep up the good work.
There are 2 million single parents in the UK and 92% of them are single mothers. Research shows that children from single parent families are more likely to suffer poor health, do badly at school, and fall into crime or drugs abuse when they are teenagers. These facts are not entirely true, as there are many children from single parent families who have excelled in all areas of their lives and are very successful.
Avoid being super-mum
Always remember that are you are not super-mum and there is no such thing as a perfect parent, you can only do the best you can. Juggling a career and running a home is not easy for two parents let alone one.
Get the help and support from family and friends.
Learn to heal and deal with unresolved issues from the past
It is important to forgive people that have hurt, disappointed, rejected, betrayed and abandoned you, specifically your children's father. There is nothing worse than being a bitter woman; this will not help the relationship with your children. Even when you decide to date again, no man wants to hear negative things about your ex, as it shows animosity.
Never say negative things about your children's father in front of them, because this actually reflects a negative image of you, and children believe what they hear. If things did not work out between you and your ex-partner, try and avoid getting your children involved. The relationship was your choice and not your children's.
Allow your children to have a relationship with their father
Not allowing your children not to see their father because you are hurt and using them to get at a man is never a good idea. It is manipulation and you're actually hurting your children more. Playing these emotional games, especially when the man desires to be involved in the child life, it is not healthy and can be emotionally draining.
Be open and honest with your children
Children are more intelligent than you think and they have the ability to recognise when you're not being your true self.
Children need your time and love
The most valuable thing that you can give any child is your love and time. No amount of money, gifts, toys can replace this. Keep your children busy by engaging them in regular activities.
Boundaries within the home
No matter how close you are with your children, always have boundaries, you are the adult within your household and you need to be respected.
Enjoy your hobbies
Have time to recharge yourself, meet up with friends and enjoy your own hobbies.
Don't give up on restarting another relationship because you're a single parent
Take your time to get to know the other person. Remember that dating is no longer about just you. You now have to take your child into consideration.
Avoid getting new partners to meet your children too soon
It doesn't reflect a positive view of you in your child's eyes or your new partner. Remember it is always your responsibility to protect your children and be careful about who you invite into your home.
Be a positive role model
Encourage your children to believe in themselves and always speak positively about them. You are the person that is responsible for building their esteem, from birth.
Set goals and enjoy your life
Remember not everyone is blessed with children, so be grateful for what you have.
About the author
I am a counsellor, coach and motivational speaker. I specialise in issues associated with relationships, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
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