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Being a single parent is hard. There’s no doubt about it. You’re responsible for the well-being of your children, you have to keep up with all of their extracurricular activities and make sure they are doing well in school, and if something goes wrong you might be the only one who can fix it! It can be really frustrating at times and there will always be days where you feel like giving up. But being a single parent doesn’t mean that life is over – it just means that you are going at this parenting thing solo (and doing an amazing job!). So instead of focusing on how tough it could be, we want to focus on the benefits of being a single parent. Strap yourself in!
The days come without judgement
You’ve got the reins, and you decide how to run this race! Chicken nuggets for lunch again? So what! You called all the shots from sun up to bedtime! Maybe you’ve let your personal grooming slip or are struggling to keep up with laundry – it’s okay! Children don’t care much for practicalities like those!
Your household routine is…whatever YOU want it to be!
Couples often have differing parenting styles, which can be confusing for their children if there aren’t plans and agreements in place. When a single parent drafts up their family’s routine, they can predict things going as planned (in and outside of the house). This often results in a more efficient organization than when there are two parents.
After the kids go to bed, the time is all yours
When the day is done, it’s all about me-time – no partner to discuss what movie to watch or looking after the tasks together, it’s just you and your space. Whichever you choose, do it on your own terms and don’t feel ashamed. Whether reading a book in bed, taking care of yourself with a bath or watching old family favorites, you are in the driver’s seat.
Less adults, less mess
It might seem like a messy burden to care for children by yourself, but adults bring their own set of challenges! One less grown-up in the household equals fewer empty water glasses lying around and less dirty laundry all over the house.
There is a good chance you’ll have daycare centre priority
Some preschools or childcare centres offer priority to single parents on waitlists over families with two working parents. This is because childcare is an important need – single parents have to work, so childcare is an essential service.
Your kids won’t be exposed to parental conflict in their home
A recent study shows that the smallest argument between parents can have a negative impact on their children. Fighting with your partner is both draining and disruptive in addition to being taxing on the time limited by other commitments like work or childcare. With only one person at the forefront for managing tasks, there’s no opportunity for arguments to break out. All your kids will see is what you choose to show them.
You can indulge in a bit of time off
For single parents who share custody of their children with another parent, it can be nice to take a break from parenting every so often. This time lets you do things like catching up with old friends, going on dates or hairdressing appointments, and getting to know yourself again outside of your parenting role.
The bed is all yours, baby!
With no partner to hog the bed and crowd you into the corner, single parents have a better chance to get a good night’s sleep. It also means there’s space for your child(ren) for those cuddles first thing in the morning!
Your motivation benefits your kids
Single parents typically have more incentive to pursue activities that will benefit them financially, such as looking for a better-paying job or refining their budget to save a few more dollars. They also want to be good examples for their children in other ways. When it comes to activities, they’re committed to making sure their children live a fun and balanced life without leaning on others.
Your kids learn core life lessons early
Children who grow up in single-parent households are often more independent and resilient because they have had to take on more household chores and other tasks to contribute to their home. Through their day-to-day, those kids more instinctively tidy up after themselves and chip in around the house. It’s a two-fold benefit; they reduce your workload while they’re living with you, and they’re so much more prepared for life after leaving the nest! Bonus!
Yes. Being a single parent is hard. You’ve absolutely got this though! Try to take care of yourself as much as you can, and remember that these more challenging years come with rewards you and your kids will reap for years to come.