I read a blog post the other day written by a happily married person saying that if your single or married there is no difference to how hard it is when raising children, what a lot of rubbish…
When you are single you are it, there is no-one to help you. Even if you are lucky enough to have family or friends to help they are not there all the time.
It can also depend greatly on the ages of your children, babies and young children take a lot of work but you can have a break, during nap times or quite time with entertainment such as the TV, playing games or happily playing with their toys.
When they are older, say primary school age it is harder. Children demand your time, there is no breaks, they are not old enough to help out and they want everything. Then there is the secondary school years. In some regards this is easier as they usually have friends to spend time with. They can help out more around the home and they spend hours doing god knows what in their rooms, while you get to sit alone – which can be good on some occasions but sometimes you want to spend time with them and they are texting their friends or watching some ghastly show or playing video games and don’t want you around.
Then there is the after school activities driving one child to one location and at the exact same time you should be driving another child to another activity and supporting both children simultaneously – which simply can’t be done.
One of the hardest things about being a single parent is of course money, you don’t have any!. The Child support system doesn’t work and you never get the money you should – not enough anyway to support your children. If you have to or choose to work there are all the child care or after and before school costs and living is so expensive. Children throughout time think that money grows on trees and nothing has changed except the cost of living which is so expensive.
If you previously had money prior to the separation it is always hard on the children if the money is no longer there.
If you are one of the lucky ones and both parents support and love the children and you received a fair settlement and both parents don’t lie to child support and the parents support the Children’s activities and money is not an issue then well done – you are a rarity among separated parents.
Most single parents have to struggle through and learn when to say no, which can always be difficult if the other supposedly poor parent showers the children with presents, holidays and the latest gadgets.
Being a single parent can be so rewarding, you get to spend quality time with the children. It is really hard, so if need help, ask for it!. Seek help from family, a BFF or a child minding service to give you a break, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Go speak to a counsellor if it gets too hard, treat yourself where you can, take some time out just for you.
Your children are the best thing you have done in your life, enjoy them and also remember to look after yourself. If your happy and well -you’ll be a better parent to your children.
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