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Please read on to read guest post from the fabulous Ann from My Tenacious Life; www.mytenaciouslife.com
If the answer is an astounding “YES!” then keep reading! Did you know being a single parent has tripled since the early 1960s? Single parenting seems to have an influence of failure and hardship. Furthermore, a married mother can earn more than double than that of her single counterpart. How is that possible? It’s simple: A married mother doesn’t face the same challenges as that of a single parent such as:
● Financial challenges to fund an education
● Being the sole supporter of the family unit
● Childcare issues
● No partner to support her emotionally
● Lack of time for homework in addition to working and taking care of a family
The Emotional Toll Of Single Parenting manifests in Single mothers often being depressed, twisted, anxious, worn down and feel like throwing in the towel. Single mothers are judged, criticized and treated rudely, not only by outsiders, but our own children as well. Since I felt these type of feelings for years, as I reflect back, I now realize there were many times I felt like giving up and finding him a new home. (These are normal feelings!) Raising children and creating a family unit alone is hard work. The struggles and challenges exasperated my own anxieties and depression. In the years following my husband’s passing, I would be riddled with feelings of anxiety, depression, PSTD, guilt and had trouble coping at times. Feeling As If I Were Failing, acting as if I were alright to everyone on the outside, including therapists, left me feeling that I couldn’t open up on how I was feeling. Getting my son the help he needed in order to process his grief after his father’s death was my top priority. I pushed my feelings and needs aside in order to ensure my son had the help he needed. As time went on and the challenges surmounted, I was feeling:
● Like a huge failure as a parent
● Found it hard to live up to what my spouse would have wanted
● The pressure of outside judgement of others and hating their opinions that I didn’t ask for
● Mad at myself for becoming the parent I had judged BC – (Before Children)
● Resentful for the situation I had been thrust into
Inner Strength. Having grown up with a mentally ill mother made me stronger. I realized what I didn’t want in life. My child would not visit me in mental hospitals. My son was not going to hear a parent getting shock treatments as they sat in a waiting room. Children should not be treated different and hated “just because”. I drew from my childhood past in order to be a better parent. Learning To Untwist After watching others’ lives unfold around me – I realized something astounding. I was doing a better job parenting than of those who had so wrongly judged me. After coming to this realization, I made the following changes:
● People I thought were my friends weren’t – and I quietly let them go
● Stayed away from negativity
● Avoided drama
● I learned to love being alone
● Came to appreciate myself and gave myself credit where credit was due
● Learned to LET SOME THINGS GO!
● Learned to pay attention to my gut instinct
Overcoming The Challenges of Single Parenting Gradually, over time (at a snail’s pace) things did get better. After an extensive search, I found a good therapist that my son responded to. I needed to make change in the way I parented. Learning how to trust myself in the decisions I made was a must. Faith and hope had to be brought back into my life. Getting help for myself and seeing a therapist was long overdue. Spending time alone and recharging my batteries became crucial to my success.
Over time, our bonds began to get stronger. I learned to do what was best for my family and no one else. Making the realization that you don’t have to explain anything to anyone else is LIFE CHANGING! However, be warned: When you start making changes, you are going to be met with resistance. This is when the rubber meets the road and you must dig in your heels to stand
strong and stay tough. Trust me, your children will thank you later on and you will also thank yourself for saving some of your sanity!
I am a single, widowed mother to a 21 -year- old son with ADHD son and have ADHD myself. I am the creator of www.mytenaciouslife.com
It is my passion to encourage women to become tenacious in whatever challenge they are facing. My favorite mantra that resonates with me is that of Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Some days, I have had to repeat this hourly or minute by minute.
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