Title: Single Parenting: Part One
We all know how difficult parenting can be. Articles and the pros will tell you how important it is for parents to work together and be a team. But what about those parents who do it alone? This month we are going to talk about the difficulties of being a single parent. As many of you know (or maybe you didn’t), I was raised by a single mother. I remember the frustrations that my mother had trying to do the job of two people by herself.
Perhaps you are reading this and thinking, “ I am not a single parent, so I will wait until next month for a topic that is more suited for me.” or you may be happily married and think, “I don’t need to hear this because this topic doesn’t apply to me”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I am guessing that if you took a moment , you could think of many single parents within your family, school, and church that you come into contact on a daily/weekly basis. Perhaps this could give some insight into how single parents are feeling and how we can assist them.
Parent Ministry stated this about single parenting, “Single parenthood is not easy, for parents or children. Single parents can feel isolated and alone without another person to share the daily tasks of raising a child and maintaining a home. Parents can easily become too tired and distracted to be as consistent with discipline and rules as they need to or would like to be.”
They also offered up a few suggestions;
- Take advantage of all the resources you can in finding childcare for your child. Ask around with people you trust that have been (or are currently) the same situation. What did they do?
- Set firm but reasonable limits and rules for your children and don’t be afraid to enforce them. Having clear rules to follow help children to know exactly what is expected of them and what behavior will not be tolerated.
- Do what you can to create a support system for yourself. Do you have family nearby? Friends from work or church? These are your support system people. You cannot be afraid or unwilling to accept or ask for help. If someone offers to help, take them up on it! If nothing else, you need someone you can call if an emergency comes up.
As overwhelming as it can be at times, Single parents often develop extremely close bonds with their children. Many children in single parent households may become more independent and mature because they have more responsibility within the family. Don’t let yourself get caught up in couple envy thinking that things would be better or easier with a partner.
Maybe you aren’t a single parent, but often a solo parent. These are the parents whose partner travels often for work, works odd hours or is in the middle of a military deployment. Some of these suggestions can also hold true for you.
Isaiah 41:10 says “Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my Righteous right hand.” Cover your family in prayer and ask people you trust to pray for you and your family. Don’t neglect your spiritual walk in the middle of your busyness.
Be watching for our next email. We will dig deeper into these suggestions with practical tips and also give suggestions about how you can reach out and help single parents you may know in your life. After all, we all need to work together.
Family Life Pastor