The 10 Best Things about Being a Single Parent
Recently I wrote the 10 Worst Things About Being a Single Parent, so it’s now time to tell you the ten BEST things. It’s not all bad so it’s about time us solo parents big ourselves up!
I’ve included quotes from some of the lovely single parents I’ve chatted to in the single parent support Facebook groups who have a similar top 10 to me.
Feel free to add any of your best things in the comments section below.
1. You Can Have Complete Control Of How Your Children Are Raised
I cannot count the amount of times I’ve heard married friends moan about their other halves using different parenting approaches to them. This would drive me mad if I had to watch someone parenting my child completely different to me day in, day out, and I imagine it must be so confusing for the child!
Whilst lone parenting is exhausting, I personally feel that my son benefits from just having one parenting style as it helps his routine and keeps discipline consistent. Kids benefit from consistency and the opposite can be quite detrimental to their emotional and behavioural well being.
Whilst my son’s father is now back in his life after 3 years, I try hard to encourage him to use the same approaches as me during the days he sees my son, but those few times he deviates I really see how frustrating it must be for dual parents and it makes me thankful that I don’t have that daily stress in my home.
Other single parents said: “The best thing is knowing you are ultimately in control of the way your children are raised. My ex shouts a lot, doesn’t have much in the way of patience so I’m happy it’s just me that the kids look up to the majority of the time.”
“I love not having anyone interfere in the way I do things and the decisions I make.”
“I enjoy being in control of doing what I want to do and when. No arguments and complete financial control.”
2. No Conflict In The Home
Knowing your child is safe in their own home is the best feeling. I remember when my dad would argue with my mum when I was younger and how it made me feel. This was worsened by seeing the affect it had on my mother and the atmosphere in the home, so I’m thankful my son doesn’t have to experience that.
He doesn’t have to see or hear arguments between his father and I, and he doesn’t have to worry about what kind of atmosphere there will be at home when he walks through the door after school.
As a social worker I’ve worked with many families where children have heard their parents arguing at night whilst they lay in their beds terrified and upset. Research has shown that a child doesn’t have to be in the same room as emotional or domestic abuse- just hearing it has the same impact as witnessing it.
The less stress brought into the home means a much more peaceful home environment and I’m all for that!
Other single parents said: “I like that I am doing things with the kids on my terms and living in a relaxed happy home”
“The best thing is just doing what you want when you want and not having to worry about things being done to please someone. You can just keep you and the kids happy.”
“I love that we are not suffering at the hands of his controlling ways any more. The kids have pocket money now the financial abuse is over, I can dye my hair BECAUSE I WANT TO, my daughter now cries when she is upset and doesn’t sit in silence (believe me this is a healthy and good thing after what he put us through).
I’m decorating MY home, paying MY bills and sleeping safe in bed not waiting for arguments. I’m able to belly laugh again knowing I’m not “mental” when he used this phrase to grind me down”.
3. You Get The Credit For Their Development And Achievements
My son’s daily routine is all down to me. He learnt to eat, talk, pick up toys, walk, socialise and much more mainly through my role modelling and teaching. Obviously he learnt some of it from others but these were people I chose to have around him and to help teach him.
He has met, and actually exceeded, all of his developmental milestones at every stage and I take credit for this. Once he starts school I won’t be able to take all of the credit, so I’m milking it for all it’s worth now!
When I’m told by professionals that he’s far and above in all milestones and when nursery teachers tell me how intelligent they think he is I am the proudest mum you could ever meet. The sense of pride this gives me of myself too is amazing.
I have low self worth in pretty much all areas of my life, so hearing how well he’s doing and knowing most of that is down to my parenting is just out of this world. It gives me the kick up the butt I need and the confidence to feel like I can take on the world.
I look at him sometimes and beam. I did that. I created that. I taught him all he knows.
Yes his dad sees him now and has started to teach him things too but I still formed a lot of the key things that boy will need for the rest of his life; Social skills, communication skills, basic life skills and the ability to attach and bond with others. Nobody can take that away from me or share that award.
Fellow lone parents said: “Best thing is seeing my kids come into their own and knowing I’m doing a good job.”
“The best thing for me is being that one person she runs to when she is sad or falls , being that one person she looks up to and being that one person who has raised her to be a beautiful person.”
4. The Bond Is Strong And Unique
You’re with your child pretty much all the time. You deal with all of their nightmares, their accidents, their pain and their happy times. You calm them down, you reassure them, you make them feel safe.
By being their sole role model, carer, teacher and parent the bond that comes from this is like no other.
The bond between a single parent and their child is so intense and so strong and protective from both sides. It can lead to a brilliant friendship when your child is an adult as well as a parent-child relationship; I know because I have this with my mother.
I respect my mother hugely, and I admire her even more because she did it all and on her own despite huge physical health problems. Our bond is rock solid and I want that for my son and I.
Another lone parent said: “I love looking at my daughter- watching her be kind, caring , funny and feeling an enormous sense of pride and love knowing that I’ve managed to raise an amazing child single handed from birth.”
5. You May Get More Adult Time Than Other Parents (if co-parenting)
This is only for those who co-parent, which I’ve recently started to do.
You get time for yourself when they spend the day or overnight with their other parent. This is amazing and something that many dual-parents rarely or never get.
I use this time to sometimes get the boring chores done, to socialise, to work and to just recharge my batteries for when my son returns. I occasionally use it to work on myself by taking the time to study things such as mindfulness and life coaching which can be so useful when you want to check in with yourself.
Kids can be exhausting so having breaks helps to keep you sane!
6. Your Child Has A Strong, Positive Role Model
Going through what we did which made us single parents in the first place, as well as parenting by ourselves gave us the maturity, strength and resilience that not every adult is fortunate to possess.
Lone parenting makes you strong, wise and independent. A single parent’s child learns from their parent’s experiences and behaviour. We are a pretty good role model for them to have because they learn how to deal with life’s ups and downs without depending or relying upon others.
Single parenting can be tough and for some of us it can include a lot of difficult financial, emotional and practical times that our children have to experience too. Their experience of these things helps to build their resilience, emotional intelligence and strength too.
This is important to me because life can be so hard and I want to feel sure that my son will be able to confront all the bad things that come his way in a healthy way. I don’t want him to run away from them or find destructive ways to deal with them, so I hope I have role modelled different, healthier ways he can cope with life.
By growing up in a single parent family children can learn from this and it can positively affect their adult relationships, because our mistakes can teach them to avoid making the same ones when they get into relationships. Research has found our children can become more responsible because they have watched us run a family by ourselves which is never a bad thing to be.
7. You Get All The Love And Cuddles
This is pretty self-explanatory; All of the fun times, cuddles and affection come are ours!
Another single parent said: “The best thing for me is the belly laugh moments and fun we have together.”
8. You And Your Child Socialise More
It can be isolating with no adult to talk to and you can worry your child is getting sick of just you and him, so you tend to get out more.
You try to find people to spend time with during the day so you can both socialise, so you arrange more play dates, find social activities and get involved in your local community to meet other families.
Lots of two-parent families tend to just stick together at weekends after a week of work which can be very socially isolating. During the week there is work, school and chores, so these parents may only get out by visiting the occasional play group when the kids are small, and then spend time together of an evening and weekend
Whilst that’s nice, it’s not a wide variety and I’ve noticed for many this can cause a feeling of loneliness within a relationship and boredom. Now I’m with someone I’m very conscious of stuff like that, so I remain as active as I was before with my friends and playgroups to avoid this happening to us. I also enjoy the variety and love seeing the bonds my son forms with his little friends.
9. It Turns You Into A Better-Skilled, Strong, Resilient And Quite Amazing Human Being
Being practical and having that thing they call common sense are two things I’ve lacked throughout my life, but single parenting has changed that.
I’ve learnt to unblock drains, put up net curtains and blinds, build flat pack furniture, wallpaper and pretty much run a home by myself.
My confidence in being able to assert myself for the sake of my child and family has risen as I’m the main provider, protector and role model.
You learn to deal with problems large and small rather than run away from them because you cannot palm them off to anyone else.
You become a warrior in your own right.
10. It Can Spice Up Your Love Life And Make You Choose Better Partners
I recently read that single parents have a funner sex life than married couples. The argument is that married couples or people who have been together a long time have to constantly find ways to spice their love life up.
Single people get the option and enjoyment of dating and switching partners. They get to explore new partners and this experimentation keeps an excitement going.
I can understand this, because whilst the dating game was a bit of an emotional roller coaster during my three years of singledom and single parenting, a lot of it was fun and never got boring,
By breaking up with the parent of your child you also become a lot more picky I found, because you don’t want to risk your child’s heart being broken as well as your own. So you raise your expectations to find someone who will be a great step-parent as well as lover, and who seems likely to be a stable figure in your life.
I put up with so much with my ex before I got pregnant, which showed how little I cared or respected myself, but the minute he was born I wouldn’t put up with it any longer. I may have not felt worth being treated well, but I knew my son was worth far more than what we were getting.
Oh and another plus? You don’t have to share your bed so you can starfish til your heart’s content!
(Or should I say there’s plenty of room for your little one when they wander in during the middle of the night).