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Single Parent 101

The Difference Between Being a Single Mom/Dad and a Single Parent.

By Sierra IPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

When you are single with children, you are immediately lumped into that "special" category of being a single parent. But what exactly is a single parent? Are there not many different types of single parents?

Now, I am not saying that the differentiations mean that one does more than the other. I'm simply saying that we should give credit where it is due.

In my opinion, a single mom/dad is single with a child, but still has the other party involved in the child's life. Each parent is given alone time, one of them (most of the time, unless it's shared custody) gains child support, and is not the only one solely responsible for the child.

A single parent is someone who takes care of that child completely on their own; no child support, no breaks, no help. This can be caused by the death of a partner or a parent who just isn't concerned with investing time in their child's life.

Again, I am not saying that it is not hard being a single mom/dad. However, I see so many people complaining about how they have to "share their child" or how they "don't get enough time to themselves" and it makes me cringe. These people really do not see how blessed they are, and how they should be grateful, no matter how much animosity is between the two parties, that the other parent is around at all.

Single parents, such as myself, want nothing more than to have our children's father's in their lives. Meanwhile, these parents, who are lucky enough to have the other parent in their child's life, are complaining because they don't like to deal with them or want more time alone. I'm not saying that there are not some situations where this type of complaining is acceptable (such as an unfit parent and you are worried for your child's well-being or they are telling your child lies about you or to lie to you, etc.), I am simply stating that this should be something to be considered.

My Life as a Single Parent

Let me give you a glimpse into my life as a single parent: I wake up every day at 7:30 a.m. I juggle feeding my kids at the right times, doing laundry, cleaning the house, cooking, and cleaning the house again all while trying desperately to carve five minutes to sit down and actually play with my kids. At 8:00 p.m., my daughter goes to bed and at 8:30 p.m. my son goes to bed. By 9:00 p.m., when both kids are sleeping, I work part-time and go to school full-time. I am normally in bed by 3:00 a.m. and do it all over again the next day. I work from home from 11:00 p.m. until 3:00–4:00 a.m., depending on what needs to be done (after I do two hours of schoolwork). I can honestly tell you that the last time I left my house to go out with friends was over two years ago and, since my gas line broke, the only times I really leave the house are when I take my kids to the store up the street for a few groceries.

I moved back home with my parents and 12-year-old brother, at 23 years old, after going through a horrendous divorce. He has not seen his kids since then. By choice, I may add (he chose drug use over them).

The Perks of Being a Single Parent

For however many cons there are to being a single parent, there are some perks, as there are to everything.

One of these perks is the ability to have total autonomy over the decision-making process involving your child. However, this in itself can have cons since it is not always the best to make these decisions by yourself. It is always nice to have other input and different perspectives involving some of the more important decisions. If you are a single parent, I suggest asking family and/or friends what they think of certain situations and solutions before acting.

Another perk of being a single parent is being able to soak up all of the undivided love of your child. Again, this doesn't come without its own set of cons. Such as wishing they had a mother or father to share these moments with them as well, and teach them certain things that may be hard, or nearly impossible, for you to teach them.

Being a single parent is hard work. It means being a mother and a father to your child. It means sacrificing much more than you normally would have to if you had a partner in the matter. It means extreme hard work and dedication, and extensive time planning if you want to be able to spend any waking moment with your child.

But, it also means being able to soak up the love, tantrums, and everything in between that much more. It means knowing that those long days at the office, or long nights on the computer, are well worth it. It means knowing, even though your kids can't talk, that they are proud of you and that you should be proud of yourself too. It means a lot of tears and a lot of laughter.

Bask in it while you can, because they grow up too fast. Instill in them the values that they need and keep in mind that you can do this!


About the Creator

Sierra I

FT mom, writer, and 'doer'. Coffee obsessed and science-based, I thoroughly enjoy broadening people's horizons and mental processes through the written word.

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    Sierra IWritten by Sierra I

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