Understanding the Psychological Well Being of Single Parents
Probably the hardest thing to face as a single parent is the intense emotion linked with being both a mother and a father to a child. This is further magnified when the other parent is absent or is deliberately not doing anything to fulfill his part in the caring for the children. More often than not, the single parent's psychological well being bogs down.
Single parents might try to cope with this strain by either trying to compensate by adopting both mom and dad roles, or by scouring the social scene for a partner to help him or her in the rearing of the child. The pressure is definitely high.
However, if truth be told, none of the two methods will help. If anything, they might even cause you to become more psychologically stressed.
Majority of single parents feel guilty for the absence of the other parent, often blaming themselves for the loss. This is especially complicated if the custodial parent is male and he has a daughter or three daughters, making it difficult for him to portray motherly duties.
Chances are, he will go on wild hunting trip to look for somebody to fill the position, which, more often than not, particularly for those who go out to just look for a replacement parent, ends up in vain.
To cope with the other parent's absence, you must first acknowledge and admit that nobody will ever replace your child's mom or dad. Sure, somebody nice and appropriate could come along, but if you make this search your daily goal, then you might as well be driving you and children to loony house.
While finding someone to fill the spot addresses a big need, this should not be your sole purpose in life. Always remember that your children need YOU to care for them, and do not just see you as a nanny or private eye tasked to find them a good parent.
Instead, focus on what you can give your kids, even without a partner. Being a single parent is not a sin. Nor is it a reason for you to go on guilt trips every single day. You should even be proud that you have successfully reared your kid or kids on your own, and prouder that they have you. Whether or not you find a new spouse or partner, your children will still be happy to have you with them.
Always keep in mind that you are only human and cannot do everything at once. Not always being a hero to your kids does not make you less of a person. Remember, what does not kill you will only make you stronger.
Capitalize on the relationship you currently have with your kids and improve on that, instead of just dwelling on the fact that you're alone and don't have a partner.
Kids today are more resilient and understanding than we give them credit for, so never underestimate their power to understand your limitations. Be honest about your feelings and they will be honest with theirs, as well. You could be pleasantly surprised with their responses.