Single motherhood is viewed by many differently. Before, society brands single mothers with much negativism and criticism. However, as the years pass, many of us come to realize that there are benefits of being a single mom.
Advantages of Single Parenthood
Not all the effects of being a single parenting are negative. There are numerous gains when one walks the path of being a single parent not only to the parent herself but the children as well.
- Single parents have higher confidence in themselves. Without having someone else to rely on, single parents develop self-reliance and determination. And when they find that they can provide for themselves and their family successfully on their own, they will feel much more confident that before.
- There is less conflict in the household. Disagreements usually occur when a family has two parents. But with just one parent, there are fewer arguments. You can manage finances safely and securely without dealing with questions from your partner. You can also have freedom in choosing your religion as well as raising your kids using your own values.
- Develop strong bonds with your children. Spending one-on-one quality time with your kids allows for relationships to grow. Don’t reduce the importance of your role. Without the presence of the other parent, your children will now rely on you for strength and support. If the relationship that you have today isn’t where you want it to be, you can still work to strengthen it. And if your bonds are strong enough, it will still be present until your kids grow into adults.
- Children develop self-confidence. Children develop independence early in their lives when they live with a single parent. They learn how to be self-reliant and finding out that they can be helpful to their family, they acquire confidence in themselves. However, constant fighting among parents has negative effects on children, especially in divorced or separated parents that are not in good terms. As long as the kids are not exposed to the stress and turmoil, they can grow into mature adults despite not having a “complete” family.
- The kids learn about responsibility. Seeing their parent hard at work, children will naturally develop a sense of responsibility. They realize that in order to strive, they have to help in any way they can. They will see their chores as a necessity instead of dire work. As their parent, be specific in asking them to help out. And most importantly, let them know that you appreciate their efforts
- Kids grow into mature and well-balanced adults. Seeing their single parent hard at work just to provide for the family’s need, children realize that they are indeed a priority without thinking that they are the center of everybody’s universe. The hardships that they experience at a young age force them to face with disappointments and conflicts early in their lives. And with the help of their parent, they can grow from it and in the process get prepared for real-life.
Disadvantages of Being a Single Parent
Even with support from relatives, friends, and various support groups, there are still negative effects of being a single parent. These effects do not stop on the parent but extends to the children, too.
- Poor financial status is common experienced by families headed by a single parent with the exception of the rich ones. Being the sole bread-winner of the family, you have to work full time or extra .A lot of sacrifices and adjustments are to be made in order to meet their family’s basic needs.
- The parent experience psychological instability. Indeed, being a mother or a father alone is difficult. Imagine doing both roles at the same time. Single parent constantly face stress when they try to play the part of being both a mother and a father to her kids. You may feel depressed, angry, frustrated, and helpless among other things. Your children may also be affected and develop isolation and from their parents.
- Single parents tend to discard taking care of themselves. Most single parents find it a challenge taking care of the kids and working round the clock. They spend almost all of their time on their kids and work that they tend to forget to take care of themselves. As a result, these parents suffer from exhaustion, malnutrition, stress, and frequent illness.
- Social Stigma has always been the nemesis of single parents everywhere. Society usually sees single parenthood as a self-inflicted damage resulting from irresponsibility. Children from families lead by single parents are often viewed negatively as well. People expect such families to fail in everything from work to school, and basically, life.
- Children perform poorly at school. Several factors lead to children having problems at school. One factor is that they are affected with the social stigma that comes with living in a single parent family. Another is that single parents have fewer resources to support the kids financially. Also, the parent is too busy working extra for the family that no one is there to help them with school.
- Children exhibit risky behaviors when they have problems at home. This is fairly common in unsuccessful single parent family. These children resort to smoking, drinking, violence, delinquency, unsafe sexual activity, and even suicide attempts just to cope up with the stress.
The negative effects that come with being a single parent can be avoided with proper support, determination, and hard work from the family. And with the right attitude, you can have a successful family life with just you and your kids.
Financial Assistance Hotlines
Child-Support Enforcement Hotline – (877) 696-6775
Child-Care Subsidy Hotline – (800) 424-2246
Mortgage Payment Assistance – (800) 750-8956
Debt Relief Hotline – (800) 291-1042
Free Bankruptcy Advice (800) 379-0985
Or visit www.eap.partners.org for more information
Support Groups for Single Mothers
For more information on available support centers throughout the US, visit www.singlemothers.org
National Support Helpline
Contact them at 1-855- 4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736)
Or visit www.nationalparenthelpline.org for more details.