Welcome to Aha!NOW. Join the community and feel at home.

9 Ways to Cope As a Single Parent


By with 77 comments
Single parent holding his daughter

Parenting is not an easy task, and if you are a single parent, it becomes tougher to raise your child all alone.

Bringing up children alone can be very stressful unless you know how to become a better parent.

I’ve lots of friend’s and a few family members who are single moms or single dads, and yet they are raising their children so well.

Hats-off to all such parents for managing their kids single-handed! I think they inspire people like you and me, isn’t it?

Today’s post is dedicated to every single mother and single father for doing such a great job of raising their children in the best possible way.

So, if you are a single parent, or have been a child raised by a single parent, or know someone who is parenting alone, you might find this post useful.

With changing times and the often seen breakup in families, single parenting has become quite common, especially in places like the United States, where even the divorce rates are pretty high.

Other reasons like personal circumstances, abandonment, and sometimes even death can leave a parent alone to handle and cope with the nurturing, challenges, care-giving, joys, and sorrows meant to be shared by two.

However, single parents, even though they face many challenges while raising their children, do a very good job of it.

“Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride.” ~ Unknown

Let’s try to understand all that they go through briefly here.

Challenges a Single Parent Faces

Single parenthood can be very overwhelming and stressful at times because you have to raise your kids on your own, without your partner.

According to psychologists, single parents are very overwhelmed initially, which can often lead to problems with disciplining their child. In most cases, the parents become too strict or too lenient.

If one of the parents feels guilty for the separation or death of the other parent, then such parents at times avoid disciplining their kids.

Or they become lenient with house rules, and try to overcompensate their children with gifts.

I have an aunt who lost her husband, and to compensate for his loss, she spoilt her kids by giving them anything they asked for. Disciplining them was a far cry for her!

Parents without partners face many challenges while bringing up their children, yet they raise them to the best of their abilities.

If you are a single parent, then perhaps these are some of the common challenges you might be facing –

Fatigue and stress, due to having the sole responsibility to take care of your child, especially the day-to-day child care and development.

Persistent worry and disturbed mental peace because you feel there’s lack of a perfect parental role model for your child due to a missing parent.

Discipline problems handling your child, especially if you’re working or have existing unmanageable work load.

Inadequate emotional support to your child, which could result in behavioral problems in your child. Not to mention that if you have a teen, then parenting teenagers is a difficult task!

• Raising a child and juggling between work, might leave you socially isolated with hardly any friends to share or discuss things with.

• Face lack of adequate financial support or income, and even less access to health care.

This list of challenges that a single parent faces can be endless, and I may not be the best person to talk about it as only the single mom or single dad going through it all, would know more about it.

It might be tougher than what you or I think. But just as there are challenges in life, there are also solutions or ways you can use to overcome such challenges.

Single mother showing the way of parenting for single parents

Ways to Cope With Challenges for Single Parents

It’s not only single parents  but any parent who faces many challenges while parenting.

No matter what, as a general rule, you need to remember to take care of yourself first and reduce the stress due to the parenting challenges.

Here are some ways that can help parents, especially parents without partners, to cope with the challenges of single parenting –

1- Look after yourself

I place this point right on top because parents without their partners are known to ignore themselves as they have a very busy life.

But if you don’t take care of yourself, you might not be able to take care of your kid’s, so the choice is always in your hand.

Try to include physical activities as part of your daily routine. Ensure you get plenty of sleep because sleep deprivation can lead to various other health issues. Also, eat a healthy and well-balanced diet.

Take a break occasionally and go out with friends or other family members – you deserve that bit of an outlet!

2- Follow a routine

As a single parent, you need to play the part of both the parents, while you are at home or at work – to sustain yourself and your family.

Thus, you need to follow a proper routine where you schedule a proper time for your children’s homework, bedtime, mealtime, and other tasks.

This is important because it helps create an automated schedule so that your child also knows what to expect when. More so, you can also take out time for doing other tasks that need your attention.

3- Take out quality family time

Parenting alone takes a lot of your time, but you need to take out time for your child and ensure you are with him or her – whenever need be.

Even otherwise, make sure you are ‘with’ them. Simple things like just sit with them, read, cook, play, watch TV, or perhaps take up any activity that you both enjoy doing together.

Don’t forget to show your unconditional love by appreciating their little efforts, and help them cope with change in their life. Remember, it’s not easy for them too.

You need to give them double the love of both parents, by showing your support always. You have just each other, so make the best of it :)

4- Be reasonable

Single parenting also means you need to be a little more considerate at times, while at other times have a large heart. Yes, you need to discipline your kids, but do it with love.

Explain to your child the rules you lay out and all that you expect them to follow. Things like picking up their toys or clothes from the floor or bed, talking respectfully, or helping you if need be, do help.

If you are a single mom or single dad, you need to keep a limit to the time your child is online, or set a limit to their computer time.

Or at times become strict with them and stop the usage of what they like – just to bring them back on line!

5- Be careful

If you have more than one child, usually the older sibling is a great help and learns to take care of the younger one.

But you cannot entirely rely on them to do so, nor can you trust a new friend or other family members entirely with your children, unless you know them very well.

So, if you send your child to day care, ensure that the people there are qualified, and they provide a safe and secure environment.

On the other hand, if you have someone to baby-sit or look after your child in your absence, ensure he or she is trustworthy.

You also need to be prepared to handle emergencies by keeping your first aid ready at home. Preparing a list of emergency numbers of family and friends can help in your hour of need.

6- Seek help

Just because you are parents without partners doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone!

There are many single parenting support groups, social networking sites that you can join, or seek social service if you want. Or perhaps you can build or join a community of like minded solo parents.

Sharing your life with other single mothers and single fathers, or calling a trusted loved one, friendly neighbor, or family for help does no harm.

In fact, you get to learn much more from each other and can share your joys and sorrows with parents who sail in the same boat as you do.

7- Be financially stable

Single parenthood means you need to first adjust to a new lifestyle, and the sooner you get used to it, the better. You’ve to educate and learn how to make yourself financially secure.

Take into account – your retirement, education, investments, and saving for the holidays too, which are important stress busters.

Being a single mom or single dad also means that you need to cater to the expenses. Write down all that you spend weekly, so that you know how much money you are spending and saving.

Take into account the unexpected costs that suddenly show up, and save money for emergencies. Make sure you’re getting all that you’re entitled like child benefit, tax credits, and income support, etc.

8- Remain positive

Single parenting can be a roller coaster ride, and it’s alright to have occasional mood swings. However, don’t let your attitude and mood swings affect your child.

Instead, be open and share your feelings with them. If they are old enough, they will understand and support you, and if they are young ones, just tell them it’s been a difficult day for you.

You’d be surprised as to the way even the younger children understand things because they see all that you go through.

Reassure them that things will get better. Remember, they are children and need to feel secure, which happens only through your words and actions.

9- Don’t feel guilty

There are times when single parents might have thoughts about depriving their child of the other parents love, and that’s very normal.

If you have a meltdown and find yourself in tears – don’t worry! Gather yourself, and accept that such is life and gather your inner strength once again.

Don’t blame yourself for things that have happened! Perhaps it was the best possible solution and meant to be. Nor should you spoil your child by trying to make up for being a single parent.

“Raising a family is difficult enough. But it’s even more difficult for single parents struggling to make ends meet. They don’t need more obstacles. They need more opportunities.” ~ Bill Richardson

Single parenthood can be really tough. Striking the right work life balance, accompanied with the needs of your children can be tough on one parent. Here are some more tips that can help you –

Single Parenting Tips to Help You

Some single parenting tips that might help single moms and single dads that I’ve noticed a few of my family and friend’s use –

• Be honest with your children. Let them know about the changes in your life.

• Don’t try to be the perfect parent. Accept the fact that you cannot be both parents. Just do your best.

• Avoid taking out your anger on your children.

• Let your children help you with small age appropriate chores around the house. You’d be surprised at the amount they’d be able to do, which would be a great help to you as well.

• Listen to your children and give them your undivided attention when they talk. You need to bond better so that your child will open up with you completely.

Setting boundaries for your children helps them understand things they can do and those they can’t.

• Choose a place where kids are challenged to think about their bad behavior when you want them to be punished a little – time out time!

• Switch off the TV when they are doing their homework, and ensure that they don’t watch television during mealtimes. Make that aUs Time” :)

• Don’t be afraid to say no to things you cannot do, like volunteering for fundraising at your child’s school, or doing things that drain your energy.

• Plan out meals as well as your child’s lunches, well in advance. This saves you last minute hassles.

• Shop for groceries once a week so that you don’t spend time rushing to fetch things each time something finishes at home.

• Stock up your refrigerator with a few frozen, boxed-meals or fast-food meals, just for the days when you are really busy.

• Join single parenting support groups, forums, and websites where you get information, andadvice. You can even use their online chat rooms to talk to other single parents. Studies indicate that parents who get support are able to use better parenting skills as compared to those who try to do it alone.

• If your ex is allowed to see your child, don’t make the meeting a bitter one. Nor should you fill up your child’s mind with negative thoughts about your ex, just because you have them. Yes, where money matters and maintenance is concerned, you need to talk those issues out.

• If you are dating, remember that your new partner will have an impact on your child. Wait to strengthen your relationship before you introduce your partner to your child. Your partner should treat you and your child with respect. Give them time to know each other and develop a relationship.

• Have fun! Single parenthood, we all know isn’t easy – but you have to ensure you and your child have your happy moments too, which keep the stress and worry away.

I’m sure you’d like this video on single parents and the way they cope – short and sweet :)

Group Documentary on Single Parents ~ YouTube video 

Being a single parent is a challenging task.

But it can be a rewarding one if you can be honest with your child, remain positive, express your love, which can reduce the stresses of single parenting and help your child to become a better person.

Let me pep you up a little if you are parenting all alone. You do have the brighter side to see to, like – you are the boss, and there is no one you have to be answerable to, unlike normal parents!

You even have a good chance to get close to your kids because you’d have lots of time to bond together with them.
You’d also learn a great deal about yourself, in the moments when you are alone, which makes you a stronger, wiser, and a more independent parent.

“The best situation is being a single parent. The best part about is that you get time off, too, because the kids are with their mom, so it’s the best of both worlds. There’s a lot to be said for it.” ~ Larry David

What every single parent is doing alone IS commendable, and something both parents at time cannot even achieve. I think you are doing great for yourself – rise up and shine! :)

Over to you

If you are a single parent, or have been a child of a single parent – I encourage you to share your experience with others, so that they can benefit from yours. How do single parents cope? Share in the comments.

 Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos



Did you like this post?
Great! Join to receive FREE notifications of new posts directly in your inbox! :)




Profile photo of Harleena Singh

About Harleena Singh

Harleena Singh is a positive thinker and a freelance writer. She loves to write inspiring and thought provoking posts on self-improvement, family, relationships, health, and other aspects of life. She's not another personal development guru, but just an average person with great life experiences. She's also a blogger, who loves to share her blogging knowledge and experiences. Network with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+..

77 Comments

  1. Shalu Sharma

    December 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Excellent guide for coping as a single parent. No one can deny that fact that being a single parent is difficult and coping with it has has lots of hardships. But it does happen for one reason for another and its a fact of life for some men and women. I like the idea of seeking help. It can be a good thing to get help from others particularly other family members.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Shalu,

      Glad you liked the post :)

      Yes indeed, parenting in itself is tough, but single parenting is way beyond I feel. I just marvel at those single parents who are doing it all alone, while we at times have a tough time, even though we are two of us.

      I agree with you that there’s a reason for everything, and we are actually no one to judge. It’s just sad that it’s happened, but the fact that they are all coping as single parents is commendable, isn’t it? Seeking help is a great way to share your joys and sorrows with others – it definitely helps and reduces the burden to some extent.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us :)

  2. Amandah

    December 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Wonderful post! My sister would benefit from reading it because she’s a single parent.

    I agree that single parents need to ask for help. You can’t do it alone. For example, my sister has the support of my mom and me. I love my sister, niece and nephew so I’m happy to help. I think my sister feels ‘guilty’ but you can’t control everything that happens in your life. Some things happen for the reason. Learn any lesson that needs to be learned and move forward with your life. You’ll be all right. :)

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      Hi Amandah,

      Yes, I did think of your sister too while writing this post, though of course, all that she must be going through must be so much more. Life certainly isn’t easy for single parents.

      I know you and your Mom are so much a part of her life, and I love the way you take care of your niece and nephew, which isn’t easy, and no one really bothers much nowadays. I agree with you there – certain things are out of our control and we shouldn’t really get hassled about them, or else we fall ill. With all of you being there for her, I’m sure she’d get through this trying phase of her life. Yes, just keep the faith and move ahead. :)

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us – I appreciate that :)

  3. Ashutosh

    December 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    A wonderful post about Parenting.

    In fact, I found that some of the tips mentioned by you are even applicable to both the parents looking after their child. I specially liked your point about making quality time to your child.

    I am sorry to say, but in this fast and hectic age of corporate culture, many parents are forced to act like single parents. They don’t have time for their children, specially when both the parents are working. Even when one is working, the other is left to take care of the child. They return back late from work and leave either early in morning or the children leave to their schools before they are awake.

    Overall, a tough situation where the child is missing something very important needed from their parents. I have seen people around us, who are forced to this kind of lifestyle. I just hope and wish that the things can improve in future.

    Thanks for sharing such thought provoking thoughts.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Ashutosh,

      I’m happy that you liked the post and could relate to it :)

      Yes, they are. Just as I mentioned, parenting itself isn’t easy, and if you are a single parent, it just gets tougher. Making quality time IS most essential, whether in single parenthood, or even otherwise.

      You are very right about saying that, and it’s the real truth that parents get too involved in their lives to take out time for their children. Honestly speaking, I’m guilty at times of this too, especially when the workload becomes too much, but that’s no reason and no justification either. It’s something that needs to be done – no matter what.

      I agree that with both parents working, which they have to at times to make ends meet, the kids are the ones who are neglected. All that you mentioned is exactly the way things happen and the poor child is left to deal with one of the parents most of the time. I wish things were easier for such families.

      I guess if we know the problems, we also know the solution to such problems. I think the answer lies in trying to be content and happy in the little you have, and perhaps doing less of the work, or rescheduling your work hours in such a way that you ‘make’ family time a part of your life . We need to remember that our kids aren’t going to be with us forever – so give them all your love now, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insightful comments with all of us :)

  4. Binny Oinam

    December 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is my first comment on your blog though I have visited it several times. I am amazed with the range of topics you cover in your blog and with amazing expertise.

    I agree with you that parenting, in itself, is such a stressful and tough job. It’s never a part-time job, you have to be always hands-on 100% round the clock. And it must be a lot, lot tougher being a single parent. You have done a great job detailing all these challenges faced by a single parent and the tips are quite insightful, in-fact helpful for any parent.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 3, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Welcome to the blog Binny – good to have you over!

      Well, thank you for your kind words of appreciation, but that’s because being a writer, that’s exactly what I do – write! And when I do that, I like to give my 200% to the post :)

      Yes indeed, parenting is never easy, but it’s also fun and rewarding if you know the right ways to go about it. You have to give it your best, in your best possible way, and once you do that, you can see the results when your kids turn out to be wonderful adults, isn’t it?

      I do hope this post helps parents as well as single parents deal with the challenges they face. We know each parent is doing his or her best, and surely needs to be appreciated.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. :)

  5. Philip V Ariel

    December 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Good tips here for the single parents, though I am not in that group, but there are many things here to pick it up. I will send this to one of my friends and I sure that will definitely be a help to her.

    The video speaks volumes, the different age group’s testimony, well selected for this post.
    Keep informed
    Phil

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Phil,

      I know we aren’t in the single parenting group even though we have our own share of ups and downs while parenting, so we can well imagine how a single mom or single dad does it all alone! I hope your friend finds something that can help her in her parenting journey.

      Nice to know that you liked the video, which I thought showed a nice variation of parents, including the lady who lost her husband.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views :)

  6. Kumar Gauraw

    December 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Rasing children being difficult? Well, tell me about it :-)

    I have two boys and looking at them and growing them we developed a tremendous respect for our parents because we realized, “OMG! We have such a difficult time raising two…how did our parents took care of us when there was so much less to live with? They had no diapers, they had no cars, no Air Conditioning, not even world class hospitals. Yet, they did a pretty good job!” :-)

    I think that the points you have shared here, although directed towards single parents, applies to any kind of parent (single/double doesn’t matter). This is what makes the real difference in parenthood.

    Thank you for sharing these awesome reminders. Have a great week!

    By the way, I am excited to be in India with my parents by end of this week. I am starting for India tomorrow :-) Home sweet home!!!

    Regards,
    Kumar

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Kumar,

      Lol…I know what you mean! I see it with my two girls too, though I’m glad they aren’t boys or I wonder how’d I handle them! :)

      You are SO right – hats-off to our parents who have managed to raise us even though they had limited resources. Also, I think there was a huge difference in the way we were brought up, the values, respect etc… I really wonder if we are as good at imparting the same to our kids. Somewhere down the line I always feel we are lacking in so many things, and then I remember to what my dad or mom would have done in so and so case, isn’t it?

      Yes indeed, these tips would go for any parents, though mainly to help single parents in some ways because we see so many cases all around us. Luckily not as many our end, as in the US and other countries.

      Oh…that’s wonderful indeed! Must be lovely to be back home finally, and I hope you stay on long, or perhaps it’s the much awaited winter break for you. Welcome home :)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us :)

  7. Corina Ramos

    December 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Raising kids is tough but when you have to do it as a single parent it can be overwhelming.

    I’m so glad you shared these tips I even grocery shop once a week to avoid making extra trips…that does help. And I think joining support groups would be great for them too.

    I know some folks who are single parents and in spite of the cards they’ve been dealt, they’re doing an awesome job. I’m definitely going to share this with them…I know they’ll definitely take something from this post. :).

    Hope you’re having a great day Harleena!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Hi Corina,

      Absolutely! I can never think of raising mine alone…just the sheer thought sends a shudder down my spine!

      We do the same, even though we are two of us. I guess with both of us working, it’s much better to have your life organized as much as possible and to reduce extra workload or making trips outdoors when not required. Support groups help a great deal. While researching a little for this post, I was amazed at the number of them present online for single moms especially, and so many of them sharing their problems, chatting, and just being open about all that they undergo.

      I do hope this post can help single parents in some ways because that’s the sole purpose it was written for :)

      Thanks you for sharing this one with them, and for adding your experiences here. Have a nice day ahead as well :)

      • Corina Ramos

        December 14, 2013 at 6:30 am

        Oh yes there is all sorts of help online nowadays. There are also services provided by their community churches for free too.

        It’s good to know there’s help when we need it, right? I cringe at the thought of raising these kids alone. Although as much as my husband works I do handle most of the stuff with the house and kids I sometimes feel like I’m doing it alone. :)

        Hope you’re having a great weekend Harleena!

  8. Hiten

    December 3, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This was a wonderful and supportive post for single parents, and gave some excellent insights into what it is like for single parents.

    I know a few single parents and it never ceases to amaze me how much they can achieve by themselves. It really is amazing! As you say, there is also plenty of support available and I’m sure many organisations exist to support single parents should they need it.

    Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Hiten,

      Nice to know that you liked this post, even though you aren’t married- but it does give an idea about how tough single parenting is, isn’t it? :)

      Yes indeed, it marvels me too as to the amount they get done all alone. I guess they gather all the strength and courage of both parents, into one – and they keep going because they perhaps know they are the ones responsible and have no other option, and do a great job out of it. Oh yes…just as I was telling Corina, there is plenty of support online, and many websites too that offer support and help to those who need it.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us :)

  9. shiwangi shrivastava

    December 4, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Mam you do commendable job again and again. Thanks for sharing.

    But sometimes I feel that single parents are better than parents living together always getting into wrangles and let their kids grow with unhealthy atmosphere.Its also very tough to give a specific guideline and shape to your baby in the house with violence. But at the same breath kids needs their both parents. So it really depends what the individual is going through. Which part is tough or easy only can be judged through the victim. Your post is very informative for those who is very skeptical about what step they should take next.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Welcome to the blog Shiwangi!

      Glad you liked the post, and thanks for your kind words of appreciation as well :)

      Absolutely! At times it’s better for parents to live apart if they are always going to quarrel and have problems with each other because of the negative impact it has on the kids. Staying apart at times helps in such cases, though either way, it’s always the children who have to bear with one of the parents not being present. I agree with you that the person going through it all would know better, and we are no one to judge the situation of a single mom or single dad.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us :)

      BTW – Do get yourself a Gravatar so that we can all see you. I do see your picture on your blog, so perhaps enrolling the right email would do the trick for you. :)

  10. Donna Merrill

    December 4, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Harleena,

    What a wonderful post! This brought me back to the days where I was a single parent. Consistency was important and making my daughter feel safe. I remember I did “special things” with her like making a formal dinner every Tuesday night. All good china, my Waterford Crystal glasses and well, you know the whole shebang. She will never forget that, plus it gave her good manners.

    Yes, it was difficult, especially emotionally, but seeking out for help was the best thing I could do.

    If a single parent or any parent, for that matter follows these suggestions, they will find it easier to raise a child.

    -Donna

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Donna,

      Nice to know that you liked the post, and I knew you’d be able to relate to it for the time when you were a single parent too, though it was a long time back :)

      You are absolutely right about being there with your child and making them feel safe, which is SO important. I think the real bonding comes when you are really ‘with’ them and doing things with each other, just as you mentioned about preparing a formal dinner. It must be real fun and learning alongside as well.

      It must be tough all through, and I marvel at how you’d managed it right through. But seeking help must’ve helped I guess, from family, friend’s and support groups too I think. I’m sure there must be much more single parents go through and one can’t really pen it all down because each one is an individual case fighting their own battles, but a little help can go a long way, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us :)

  11. Mary Stephenson

    December 4, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Hi Harleena

    My daughter became a single parent when her daughter was about 13. With a husband that was an alcoholic and kept finding ways to lose hours from his job, she divorced him. He was not contributing at all to the finances, as he would buy alcohol and stuff they didn’t need. For years of struggling she decided it would be easier for her to not support him. She did struggle as he was supposed to pay child support and it didn’t always come in.

    As for raising her daughter, she said she just picked and chose her battles. Her daughter is still with her at 20 and dearly loves her mom. She feels her dad is a loser and basically he is. He was eventually fired from his job and became homeless. He never drove until he was divorced. Then about a year ago he crashed his truck. I am still trying to figure out how he managed to put gas in it, since he had no job. Hey, but that is a totally different issue.

    My granddaughter totally understood the situation and being in a peaceful home was much easier on her, than being in a home with arguments. But I suppose that is a no-brainer to get divorced. Where as some break-ups are due just to two people no longer getting along.

    Many times the woman gets the short end on divorce, having to raise children and the standard of living being destroyed. My sister was divorced (by her husband’s choice). She had to give up her house and move into an apartment with her 15 year old son (he was the youngest of 3). All her kids were pretty upset with their dad. My sister didn’t have a job in over 20 years and it was extremely hard for her. But luckily she found the other lonely soul from her husband’s affair and they ended up getting married. He ended up treating her like a queen. For that I am grateful.

    Mary

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Hi Mary,

      Oh dear…there seem to be so much you have to share with us about this topic today, and I thank you for doing that as it does help our other readers :)

      I can well imagine how tough it must have been for your daughter to go through that phase of her life, and the decision to leave her husband mustn’t have been an easy one either. Having to divorce her husband with a teenage daughter, especially when it’s that age when the daughter needs the love of both parents, must have been a hard decision. But it was the right decision or else how’d she and her daughter have managed without funds. And to support an alcoholic partner is tough as well.

      I’m glad your daughter has your granddaughter with her and their bonding is evident from your words. Sorry to hear about her father though and perhaps he gave up too soon, which led him to become the way he did finally. Yes indeed, it’s a choice she made, and a wise one as well to live without all the daily hassles – in peace because of the effect it might have had on her daughter, had she continued in the same relationship.

      Sorry to hear about your sister too, which sounds like such a common case nowadays, where the women are left alone to raise the kids on their own, and mostly without any funds or they keep struggling for maintenance and making ends meet. I can understand how tough it must’ve been for her to find a job, especially when she’d never worked all these years. I’m sglad she found the right person eventually – lucky her!

      I guess every single mom or single dad for that matter too, goes through a great deal for whatever reasons. Yet, because of their responsibilities, they get that courage to fight their battles and raise their kids so well – hats-off to all such moms and dads. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us. I’m sure anyone reading your comment would learn a lot from it :)

  12. Babanature

    December 4, 2013 at 2:37 am

    Hello Harleena,

    Nice and interesting post all single parents should learn from indeed.

    My mother was a single parent and I do know the stress she had to put up to train 8 children. Well, one of the things that keep her moving was hope. Yes, she had high hopes for all of us so she raises us to be good.

    I am still not single but if I’ll be, Amma sure use these tips :)
    Thanks and do have a blessed week ahead

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Babanature,

      I do hope single parents can get some help from this post, though a lot of it can help normal parents too I think :)

      Oh dear….8 children and being a single mom!! It must be SO tough on her, yet she did it all alone – commendable indeed. You are so right – hope is something that we all live on, and she must be so proud of her kids, you especially for all that you have achieved. Similarly, you must respect and love her a great deal for all the struggles she went through to raise you and your siblings all alone. Ah…I wonder if we would have the same patience to raise our 1-2 kids, leave alone 8, if we were to become single parents!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us :)

      • Babanature

        December 4, 2013 at 11:29 pm

        Truly Harleena, I love my mother so much and she knows that. Because of the struggle she put up on us, now i’ll gladly say that her struggle is paying off :).
        Patience is the main key to a successful life… Thanks again.

        • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          December 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm

          I’m sure she does, and it’s very evident too Babanature. I’ve read your comments on posts like Mother’s Day, and other parenting articles that I’ve written so know that. Yes indeed, that makes you a proud son of a proud mother :)

          Patience surely does pay. Thanks once again :)

  13. Shefali

    December 4, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Excellent tips Harleen,

    So many of these are applicable to just regular parents too. As you said raising a child is stressful no matter what. Some of these rules have certainly helped me deal with my child better. It does help to have a routine. I have found that the days we follow the routine are so much calmer and better in general.

    Also, the tip about turning off the TV while eating really helps us have family time at the end of the day. Even if we are not eating with her, we make it a point to sit down together for those 15 mins and as she is getting older, she seems to appreciate it too.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Hi Shefali,

      Nice to know that you liked these ways to cope as a single parent, and yes, they do just as well for regular parents too :)

      A routine certainly does help a great deal. I think it works well for the child too because they know what they have to do next and what you expect out of them as well. Making them follow a routine initially is something parents need to do, though once it’s all set – they are pretty tuned to it. Speaking of my kids who are well into their teens now, ever since they were 5-6, they knew what had to be done when, and to-date, they follow it up. Routine and schedules give parents a breather to do what they have planned out. We do follow a regular routine at our house, though weekends and holidays, everyone lets loose! That’s needed too!

      Absolutely! Meal times should always be on the dining table, and with the family if possible. If you cannot manage all the meals, ensure that at least dinner time you are all together – without distractions. In our busy lives, it’s just the meal times when we can really share the day’s happenings with each other, isn’t it? Children always remember all that you share with them, and even meal times are great for imparting life lessons and table manners to your young ones. Television, computer, mobiles – just keep them ALL away and bond with your family first, as much as you can. These times never come again, so make the most of them.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us :)

  14. Kumar Chandan

    December 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Hi Harleena Mam,

    Indeed wonderful, salute-able and speechless post.

    Parenting is not an easy thing; it needs lots of efforts to do. And it is much more difficult for single parent. Raising a child needs two sides of effort, one from mother and other for a father. And single parent needs to manage these two duties single handily.

    I even wonder how my parent did it for me because it needs lots of care and efforts. Though, my parent is not a single parent, still they have managed a lot in raising us.

    A single parent has to play mother and father at the same time and they have to give extra care and love to his or her child. If he/she is working, it may cause another difficulty for him/her. They have to take care their selves, they have to manage home, office and school.

    The ways you have suggested quite good and helping in parenting. At the end of the post, documentary is just heart touching.

    Thank You very much for sharing.
    Have a wonderful week. :)

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Kumar,

      Well, thank you for your kind words of appreciation about the post, which I hope helps parents and single parents in more ways than one :)

      Yes indeed, parenting is not easy for single parents or even parents with their partners. But it is fun and rewarding too when you raise your children to become wonderful adults. Single parenthood is tougher certainly because either of the parents has to play the part of both parents to the best of his or her ability, which certainly isn’t easy. I think the video in the end just showed that, especially the part about the single dad and all that he has to do, right from making food for his son to playing with him, and leaving his chores to do the ones for his son.

      I agree with you, and for that we remain so grateful to our parents. Not to mention that we were raised in a much better way with not as many facilities as compared to what we give our children today, isn’t it? If a single parent is working, which most of them are because they have to look after their children and sustain themselves, they have to manage the work and home fronts, both – single-handed. In normal cases, if one of the parents is working outside the house, the other takes care of the home-front, so the work is divided, which isn’t the case with single parents. I think each one of them deserves a salute, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us :)

  15. Nitesh Sharma

    December 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    A nice post which is very much needed in today’s times when due to several circumstances people have to take the responsibility as a single parent,surely it must be a quite difficult task & emotionally challenging too but this article shows the way to help the single parents raise their children.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Welcome to the blog Nitesh!

      Yes indeed, times nowadays have changed a great deal as compared to what it was earlier. With divorce rates on the rise, single parenting has become very common. It surely is a challenging task to raise a child all alone without the help of your partner, but as you can see from the comments of those who have been through this phase, it’s not impossible. I think every single mom and single dad, or even parent out there is doing his or her best, and needs to be given a pat on the back for their efforts, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views :)

  16. Akaahan Terungwa

    December 4, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    Raising kids alone is a hell lot of a job nobody should wish on his worst enemy. Unfortunately, single parenthood is now a reality that stares us straight in the face.

    The major challenge of single parenthood, just as you mentioned is either over leniency or over strictness. The bottom line of becoming better is to strictly avoid the two extremes religiously – only then can the experience be worthwhile. Luckily, your arsenal of tools are always handy to resort to in case of challenges.

    Thanks for this super informative post. Do have a great day!

    – Terungwa

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Terungwa,

      Yes indeed, bringing up kids in itself is a full time job for parents, so we can well imagine how it is for a single parent. And as you mentioned, single parenting has become a very common problem all over nowadays, something that just has to be dealt with.

      I really don’t blame the single moms or dads when they become too lenient or too strict with the kids. I think they try their best to compensate for the absence of the other parent and don’t realize what they are doing most of the times. I’ve seen it happening with my aunt, and no matter how much we tried to explain to her about the negative impact it would have on the kids, she would melt at times, or become too strict at other times. I do hope these ways to cope can help parents deal with the challenges they face.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :)

  17. Efoghor Joseph Ezie

    December 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Harleena, thanks for this timely write up.

    Being a single parent is not as easy as we read on the pages of newspapers and blogs. I remember what’s like being raised by a single mother. Thanks to God and to my mum for what we all are today.

    You have said virtually everything that needs to be said on this topic. However, let me quickly chip in here that single parents must try and create a balance between pursuing after money and having quality time with the family.

    If you devote a greater proportion of your time to make money and fend for the family, you may end up not having an emotional bond with your family. Where bond does not exist between you and the family, the money ends up making no sense.

    Single parents could get worked up sometimes and transfer their frustrations to the kids. This could end up making those kids feel unloved or even feel as orphans. So care must be taken in order not to over hurt those who you are trying to help to survive.

    Thanks once again Harleena. Do have a lovely weekend ahead.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Joseph,

      Ah…seems like you share a similar situation as Babanature’s, though they were 8 of them raised by a single mom. It certainly must have been SO tough for your mom and you too.

      You are absolutely right about single parents striking the right balance. Yes, they do need to work to make ends meet because they have to look after their children and themselves, but they also need to devote time to ‘BE’ there with their children and give them time and attention. In fact single parents need to do more so that their kids feel safe and secure, and not miss the other parent.

      I agree with you totally about making family time a priority, and I’m sure each one of us can work out ways and reschedule our work in such a way that we can devote time with our loved ones and make the bonds stronger.

      I really don’t blame the single parents for the little meltdown time they have, after all doing it all alone isn’t easy for them and they have only their kids they can take out their frustration on. But they need to take care that they don’t overdo it because even their kids go through a lot and as you mentioned, they might end up feeling unwanted or orphaned. Instead, older kids can be explained what the parent is going through and they are quick to understand, while the younger ones need to be just hugged more and told it was a bad day…that itself transfers a lot to them.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. Have a nice week ahead :)

  18. Balroop Singh

    December 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Hi Harleena

    This is an excellent post…it brought tears to my eyes. My mom had none of the tips and resources mentioned by you, she was not even financially independent yet she could raise us, singlehandedly in a society that has only pity to offer as assistance to a young widow. It was no doubt, stressful for her, many times emotions overwhelmed us, health issues too troubled her, she could hardly think positive but she refused to give up and gave her 100%. Today when I look back I can understand her situation more clearly and salute her strength and forbearance, which she passed on unknowingly to us.

    Parenting is all about putting in your best, whether you are single or are blessed with a loving partner. It is challenging, immensely demanding yet so fulfilling! I think it is a 24/7 job and in case of single parent, it must be 48/14!! How they cope up is a marvel…with the special blessings of Almighty, I guess. All they need is to be honest and committed, keep away from self pity and give love to their children.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Balroop,

      Oh dear…I am sorry for the tears – you know that wasn’t my intention, but I can understand what you mean :)

      I feel sorry for your mom, but there are so many people like her going through it all alone. She was a single young widow, which makes her a single parent at that young an age, and yes, as you rightly mentioned, people just pity you when you are alone and in that state and do nothing else. They forget the financial and emotional support a person needs, which is so important.

      I can understand how proud you must be of your mom for all that she did for you, despite the stresses, emotions, and health issues she underwent. Life’s certainly not easy, but unknowingly their kids, in most of the cases, turn out to be very strong individuals as they see their parents struggle and it’s a learning experience for them.

      Yes indeed, parenting IS challenging if you are really conscious about raising kids into good humans. I like that…lol…single parenting surely must be 48/14 hour job – very true! I think single parents do so well, and they do it all for their children – commendable is the word for them :)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us :)

  19. Susan Neal

    December 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I’ve never been a single parent myself and I was fortunate to be raised by a Mum and Dad, but my older sister was a single parent for many years, so I know how difficult it can be.

    Although I can’t speak from personal experience, the advice you’ve given here seems to me to be spot on. To be honest, I don’t know how single parents cope – I think they’re amazing, so I’m really glad you’ve started this list of tips with the advice for them to look after themselves. That’s so important, because if they don’t take good care of their own health and well-being, they’re never going to be able to support their children adequately.

    I suspect one of the most helpful things is to martial as much social support as you can – single parents who don’t have much support from family or friends must find life extremely difficult, also those who have financial hardship.

    I’m sure any single parents reading this will find it helpful, Harleena – as always, you offer sound and thoughtful advice. :)

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 5, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Sue,

      We are alike there, and lucky to have both our parents raise us to become who we are today. Yes, it can surely be tough to be raised by a single parent, and life for single parents too isn’t easy.

      I think I’ve seen so many cases of single parenting all around me, which made me come up with this post as it was on my mind since a long time. I have a few cases in my family, and some friend’s too who are dealing with parenting all alone, while others who have lost a spouse and thus, forced to be a parent without a partner. Looking after themselves is very important, so that they can take care of their kids, home, and work front too. This is one aspect often neglected otherwise, when both parents are present I think, but it cannot be left alone when the parent is alone, isn’t it?

      Finding the right kind of support or help from people, or even family and friend’s helps a great deal. I think single parents as a tis deal a lot emotionally, and if they have someone to share their feelings with, they’d be so much better off. I was amazed to see the number of sites and support groups online present for single moms and single dads. All they have to do is go and join them up and share each others joys and sorrows.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I do hope this post can help those who need a little help with single parenting too. Have a nice day ahead :)

  20. Bren

    December 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I can’t imagine being a single parent in today’s world. The stresses financially alone would be awful. Then schools, growing children, your job, I just don’t know how some single parents do it. Power to them though because I do know quite a few and although at times it’s tough, I know they would rather be a single parent then raise their child(ren) in an unhappy home.

    Very nicely done Harleen!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Hi Bren,

      Nor me! Even the thought makes me wonder as to how I’d manage with my two kids!

      Finances would surely be one aspect, accompanied with the other hassles like kids, job, home front and so much more. I agree with you about single parents choosing to be single at times rather than be in a relationship that isn’t working, or not good for the child. I guess it’s the choices they make at the end of the day, and anything that’s good for them and their child, is worthwhile.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us :)

  21. Sylviane Nuccio

    December 5, 2013 at 5:15 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I’m sorry I haven’t been able to come here lately, Harleena. I think I’ve missed a post :)

    Raising a child as a single parent is really not easy, and I know that first hand having seen my mother raising me and my brother on her own having lost her husband when her kids were only 5 and 2.

    I agree that when you have an older child you shouldn’t use them as the other parent. This is really unhealthy for the child and I’m glad you included this in your post.

    I know that my mother wouldn’t have done that, even if I had been much older than my brother. She didn’t even let her sister help too much because she used to say, they’re my kids, and I’ve got to take care of them.

    A child that has missed one parent is marked for life, there is no substitute for that, so when it’s only due to a divorce it’s very important that they see both parents as equally as possible.

    Another very important topic here.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Hi Sylviane,

      No problem at all. I can well imagine all that you have to cope with, especially with the blogs that you have to manage :)

      I thought of you too while writing the post because I’ve read your earlier comments about how your mom did it all alone, on this blog. I do marvel at her for raising both of you so well, right from that tender age. It must have been SO tough for her, yet she did it.

      Oh yes…I myself sometimes tell my older one to see to her younger sister when I am busy, but thankfully that’s only now when they are grown up a little and not when they were young. I think we forget that they too are kid’s and we shouldn’t expect so much from them, isn’t it?

      Exactly! They are your responsibility, and you cannot put them on to someone else, you shouldn’t. Yes, if help is required, make sure you leave them for a limited time period, if at all, or else find ways to manage them on your own. Even the children of single parents feel insecure if left alone with others for a long period, and it’s not even safe, if it’s with any outsider.

      I agree with you there, and who better would know about it than you, having gone through it. Divorced parents need to come to an understanding, and if they wish to, both sides can still have a healthy relationship after divorce, for the sake of the kid’s, or else ensure it’s a total break-off, but don’t talk ill of the other parent to your child, especially if they were old enough during divorce because they remember and might be liking the other parent, though not saying it out aloud for all you know. We as parents need to take care of their tender hearts, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us :)

  22. Jeanne Melanson

    December 5, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I don’t have any children, but I can appreciate how difficult it must be to be a single parent. Oh, my. I enjoyed reading your article because you have some very wise advice. Thank you. I will share this with a few of my friends. Peace out.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Hi Jeanne,

      It sure is! Ask the parents who have kids…lol…and just as Babanature mentioned in his comment above, his mom had to deal with 8 kids, all single handed! Can you imagine that?

      Glad you liked the post, and thanks for sharing it with your friend’s – hope they find it useful too :)

      Thanks for stopping by as well :)

  23. Evelyn Lim

    December 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I like the focus of your article: single parenting.

    I have a number of friends who are single parents and your tip on having to take care of oneself first is great! I can imagine how stressful it can be as a single parent. Then, there is also the feeling of guilt that has to be dealt with. Money issues also come to the front. If both parents continue to fight or experience conflict even after the separation/divorce, there can only be negative consequences on the child.

    Great tips, Harleena!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Hi Evelyn,

      Glad you liked the post on single parenting :)

      I guess I put that point right on top because if single parents don’t care of themselves, how would they be able to manage their kids, home, work, and so many other tasks they have to accomplish single handed.

      Yes indeed, the guilt factor remains I think, or perhaps it keeps coming up every now and then to create a turmoil within single parents. Money is important because of the added responsibility they are faced with, and to make ends meet, they have to work. Having conflicts in your marriage can surely have an adverse effect on the child, and it’s better to move out of such a relationship that you know isn’t working for you, rather than having you and your child suffer right through.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :)

  24. Jodi

    December 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I love the movie About A Boy, where the boy talks about needed more than one other person. This makes so much sense to me. You need buffers when one person is at their limit. This I think is one of the worst parts of single parenting, being the only one, even when it is rough!
    love,
    jodi

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Jodi – nice to have you back :)

      I’ve not seen the movie you mentioned, though it sure sounds like a nice one. Yes indeed, we all need buffers, and if it’s a child or even a single parent, who do they turn to in such cases? But it’s good in a way that the bond that eventually develops through such hardships between the single parent and child, is a strong one, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views :)

  25. Mayura

    December 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    When I read first few lines, I felt I’ve already read this post on this very blog. Searched for a similar post, but couldn’t find :D Must be a Deja vu! Or not? ;)

    Agree! Hats off to single parents for taking care of the future, and unless they had to lead their path into single parenting, I hope they didn’t ever wish to spend life as a single parent :)

    I feel it’s so tough, ’cause the parent has to give so much even without thinking of oneself. Their dreams are no different from other parents, but they tend to draw a line around themselves (including the children) and keep their distance from others. Well, that’s how I see ‘em in most of the time, unless they didn’t unite with a new partner.

    When you talk about the characteristics of single parents, I recalled some parents who take care of their children while their dad or mom away, Harleena. I have a few relatives fit in to the profile too.

    I mean, not divorced or lost, but working miles away and can’t really get to the home few times a year. I’ve noticed similar characteristics in the parent who with the child / children too. The type of scenario I’m talking can still fit into “raising your kids on your own, without your partner” category in a way too. Isn’t it? :)

    The first point really makes sense, Harleena :) I observed, how busy they are. Still we forget to look after ourselves sometimes too. But when it comes to single parents, that’s too much of a responsibility. Sadly, there are some just don’t think about that at all, and work all day and night to take care of their children. I don’t think there are many single parents who enjoy their time out there, unless they have someone (Parents etc.) to support all the time.

    I think quality family time matters a great deal dear. As far as I noticed the children lives with a single parent, tend to be tough and more individualistic. They are smart, but I kinda feel that those who lack family time or love, seems to suffer too.

    I know some who made to the top of their career, but still alone. Defensive on engaging with people and making friends. You know, it’s interesting that even they offered a drink from a friend, they find it’s kinda offensive and imagine others pity ‘em. But, you and I never think like that. Isn’t it? Perception :) Well, yet there are many others who are having very successful lives enriched with love too :)

    Ha ha… There’s a lot to go on, but you covered almost all already in your post Harleena :) I really liked your tips. Especially, the one about trying to be perfect and setting boundaries. I always think they are very sensitive points to think about and indeed, they will affect on children too.

    Comments from single parents in here will definitely make this post more complete, Harleena :) Yet, I don’t think I can ever imagine their lives without really watching it all and knowing what thoughts circulating in their minds all the time. Anyway, I believe this is another wonderful post that must read by any kind of parent too :)

    You have a wonderful weekend ahead Harleena ;) Almost there!

    Cheers…

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Hi Mayura,

      Glad you could relate so well to this post, even though you aren’t a parent yet, nor been raised by single parents :)

      Ah…did it seem you’d read all this somewhere? Perhaps in your dreams or you might be knowing I’m going to write on this topic…lol…Yes, I too wish no parent has to raise kids alone, yet we know of so many who are doing it so well without their partners, while there are many who find it a real struggle too. I got a small email from a single parent today asking me for help. I wish I could have helped her in her time of need, and other than directing her to support groups and forums that might help, I really could do nothing more than listen to her woes…it’s sad.

      I agree that some single parents do that and prefer to remain away from others. Perhaps because they fear their own, and their child’s security being alone, and might not want to mingle with other parents who aren’t alone, as they or their child might feel bad and miss the other parent. There could be so many reasons, and we are actually no one to judge, but such cases are seen all around. However, there are many parents who are seeking help and support, especially when they realize that doing it alone isn’t possible, and they feel much better when they share their feelings with others like them, through the forums and online chats.

      Oh yes…grandparents do come to the rescue in some cases, especially when the single parent is working, and we have many such cases our end too. They are a part of the family, and in some cases, if they are alone too, these grandparents shift in with their single child to help out. That’s what makes them so wonderful, isn’t it?

      Sometimes one parent is forced to live alone, just as you rightly mentioned, because the other parent has to work overseas to earn – that too is kind of single parenting, and we have an immediate neighbor who lives in the same way with her kids. But such parents are happy internally because they know that their whole family would catch up and meet once or twice a year at least, and the kids too look forward to meeting their other parent, which is unlike the ones who are divorced, separated, or lost their partner, where the grief and sadness is much more, isn’t it? But yes, the parenting part surely is done single handed in all of these cases, which isn’t easy.

      I really don’t blame the single moms and single dads out there regarding taking care of themselves. Where would they have that kind of time? And even if they do, they’d prefer to devote it all on their children. But they need to understand that if they are not healthy and well enough, and if something happens to them, their kids would suffer. Not to mention, that even other parents hardly manage to take out time for themselves, unless some illness comes forth, or their kid’s grow up a little. I think very few do, if I’m not mistaken, and I do fall in that category, though now I’ve started doing just that. :)

      Your observations absolutely right! Yes, those kids who get more of love and family time, grow up to be stronger individuals as compared to the others, and I too have seen that with kids of single parents. I think their bonding with one parent is good and so strong that it takes care of them right through.

      I think such kids who turn into adults, sometimes carry those kind of feelings that are based on their past experiences from their childhood, or perhaps they might have seen their parent go through and react the same way, so they do the same too. They might be slow at first and take time to open up, but they eventually do I feel. I guess they are just a little more cautious as compared to the other kids, having gone through a lot in their childhood perhaps.

      I enjoyed your wonderful comment, as I always do, Mayura. And as you can see, there are many single parents out here and many children (now adults) who were raised by single parents too. I was shocked to read how Babanature’s mom managed to raise 8 kids – all alone! I guess we have NO reason to complain about parenting being tough them, especially when we are two of us doing it ;)

      Thanks so much for your insightful comment, and for adding so much more value to the post. Have a nice and relaxing weekend too :)

  26. Ashley

    December 6, 2013 at 10:39 am

    This is a great post Harleena.

    Very informative! I can relate to this first hand. There are many challenges to single parenting. But the upside is that preparation is especially helpful for single-parenthood. I really like your ways of coping (#6,7,and 8). It’s not easy but it’s got to be doable and for the benefit of the children.

    Thanks for sharing this info and your perspective!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Ashley – nice to have you back :)

      Nice to know that you found the post as informative and could relate to it too. Yes indeed, I think if you have a positive mindset and take it as a real challenge that also rewarding at the end of the day, single parenting is very possible. Not to mention that it’s very common too nowadays, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us :)

  27. Pramod

    December 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Harleena !

    I know a lady who has been divorced by her rich husband. The lady stays with her 23-24 year old son in the same housing society where I live . The lady works in a nearby call center for around 12-14 hours (including extra time ) and after coming from work she takes tuition classes for 3-4 hours ..The reason why she’s working so hard is because she wants to see her son get married .If she had no money problems the life would have been much easier for her and her son. Thus I think it’s very difficult to raise a child as a single parent having money problems. Thanks for sharing these tips and have a great weekend.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 9, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Hi Pramod,

      That just goes to show how much that lady truly cares for her son, and how hard shes working to achieve what she aimed for – to get her son married. Yes, had she been happily married with no worries about money, she wouldn’t have been in this situation.

      It’s certainly tough to live a life alone as a single parent, and all that they do always falls short because they need to work double the amount as compared to other parents, as they are playing the part of both parents. I just wish it were a little easier for them.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us :)

  28. Christy Garrett

    December 7, 2013 at 2:03 am

    These are great tips and suggestions for single parents. I was a single parent for about 8 years and it was very difficult. I think the hardest part for me was the loneliness and financial struggles. I suggest getting involved in a church group so that you have a network of friends that you can hang out with. This is something that I wish I would have done sooner. Also, don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help when you need it.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 9, 2013 at 10:06 am

      Hi Christy,

      Glad you liked these little suggestions, though having been a single parent, you’d be the right person to guide us and throw more light on this topic :)

      Yes indeed, the loneliness can really get to us, whether you are a single parent, or even otherwise. Financially too, if you aren’t sound, how do you cope? And if you do manage to that, it becomes tough to find family time, or strike the right work-life balance, isn’t it? I like the idea of getting involved, and that could be in any place that you like as long as you meet other people and have friends you can share your joys and sorrows with. Absolutely agree about asking for help when need be, something more single parents forget to do, but it’s essential because this does help as we can see from the various other commenters who’ve been through the same phase earlier.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us, which is bound to help many others :)

  29. Kingsley

    December 7, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Wow, very comprehensive, well written and helpful article, Harleena. This was shared on the Internet marketing social site, Kingged.com, by Piyush Mathur.

    Even though this topic doesn’t quite fit in with the content we allow on Kingged, Piyush shared it in the right category – Motivational. It should help those IMers and bloggers who are single parents.

    About the article itself, I personally think it’s amazing job that single parents do and they should be praised. Doing the job of mother and father all rolled into one is not easy, especially having to also be the sole provider.

    Really great and helpful tips to help not just every single parents out there, but particular single parents that are Internet marketers, affiliate marketers, bloggers, etc.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 9, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Welcome to the blog Kingsley!

      Nice to know that you liked the post, and yes, it was indeed a pleasant surprise to see this one being shared on Knigged by Piyush. :)

      It was indeed very kind of him for having shared it there, especially when it’s more of an Internet marketing social site. I’ve visited your site earlier and had wished that more categories be added for the like of us, where we could add inspirational, motivational, family, relationship kinds of posts too, which again would help IMers and other bloggers because such topics affect everyone, as is evident from the comments. I’m glad this one made it to the motivational category, though I couldn’t locate it. I do hope it helps single parents in some ways.

      Absolutely! I think all that single parents do is worthy of appreciation. Being a mom or dad, in addition to what you already are isn’t easy, yet single moms and single dads are playing their parts so well, for the sake of their children, isn’t it?

      I think we find single parents all over, whether they are bloggers, IMers, affiliate marketers, writers, or just a simple, hard working parent. What matters most is that we reach out and help them in the best possible way, and if such posts can make a difference in their lives, I’d be more than happy :)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. Once again, I do appreciate Piyush for sharing this one on your site, especially when I don’t even know him :)

  30. Amy Tippins

    December 7, 2013 at 4:17 am

    As a future single mom, I am terrified of this. Scared I will be exhausted all the time and that I will end up failing as a good parent. Will I discipline too much or not enough? Will I be successful in raising them to be responsible members of society? Will my child look back and be able to say “my mom was tough, but she taught me alot and she was an amazing mom”. What makes a great single mom?

    • MTaylor

      December 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      To Amy, being a single parent is difficult but definitely worth it! I am a single mother of twins with no family and hardly any friends so I understand the overwhelming feeling you are having at the thought of doing it on your own. Just remember to always have an outlet for your emotions such as positive journaling. Also remember to keep yourself educated on the development of your child so you understand his or her limitations and also potential. As you grow with your child you will learn which way is best to discipline your child. Behavior tolerated is behavior repeated. Hope that helps.

      • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

        Harleena Singh

        December 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Welcome to the blog MTaylor!

        Although this comment is addressed to Amy, but I thought to just step in to welcome and thank you for replying to Amy’s comment here. I think with your experience of being a single mom of twins, she’d surely gather the courage to move ahead.

        It must be pretty tough to handle it all alone without any family and not many friends, yet you are doing it all so well – hats-off to you! Keeping a journal does help because that becomes your friend, when you have no one else. I used to keep on, though when I was in school and college just to pen my thoughts in there. I agree about your advice on keeping yourself educated about the development of your child so that you understand them better – something that all parents need to do.

        Thanks for stopping by and helping Amy – much appreciated :)

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Welcome to the blog Amy – nice to have you over!

      I think your fears are so natural, and perhaps had I been in your situation, I’d felt the same way. I guess the fear of disciplining the right way is a common factor where single parenting is concerned. When both parents are present, if one is a little strict, the other parent tends to be lenient, so a balance is maintained for the child, or the poor child also knows whom to run for, for solace. But if a single parent is too strict for example, I wonder what the child would do!

      However, I think a single mom or dad would know they have to play the role of both parents, so would be a perfect blend of both, don’t worry! I think your child would be very proud to have a single mom like you who is so caring and loving, and concerned most of all. I think MTaylor too left a reply for you after having read your question, and being a mom of twins, she’s the right person to answer your doubts.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. Remember, tough times don’t last – tough people do :)

  31. Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    December 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    You do a great job here of not only explaining the challenges facing single parents but also offering solutions. All parents want what is best for their children but single parents encounter the most challenges in providing for their children. You’re right that the challenges occur in many areas such as income, health care and judgment calls. Having someone to give you a reality check is important, when that can’t be your partner, try to find a trusted friend.

    I have only had a small taste of how it feels to be a single parent. When my husband was transferred to London he moved there three months before our daughters and I could get there. I had so much to do in arranging for an international move and getting the girls into an international school in London that we had to live here in the US for three months without my husband.

    All of the move details were stressful enough but the calamities kept coming. The worst was when my daughter contracted pneumonia and strep throat and had to be rush from the doctor’s office to the hospital emergency room via ambulance. Ironically, the window of the emergency room cubicle where my daughter was being treated overlooked the office building where my husband had worked until he left for London.

    All turned out well but I was so scared for my daughter and felt so alone with my husband thousands of miles away. When she was released from the hospital I had to call a friend to drive us back to the doctor’s office where my car was still parked.

    As difficult as that incident was, I realized that I was very fortunate to not have the worries about paying for the hospital visit as my husband was gainfully employed. No matter how bad it gets, someone else has it worse.

    I have quite a few friends who are single parents and I am always in awe of their devotion to their children. They do such an amazing job of parenting in spite of the challenges they face.

    I will be sharing this far and wide, Harleena, as I know it will help not only the parents but the children as well.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      December 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Hi Carolyn,

      Well, thank you for saying that! You always know the right, uplifting words to make my day. :)

      Yes, I did try to offer the solutions to the problems, though I know there must be so much more left unsaid that single parents would have to say about this topic. I agree with you there – trusted friends at times turn out so much better than our own families.

      I can well imagine how those three months must’ve been for you! Being kids, we too stayed away from my dad for a few years, when we was posted in the field areas (where families aren’t allowed), so we stayed away and have seen our mom manage it all. Then we also stayed with my grandparents and aunts and uncles, in a joint family, so had the taste of that too, all of it when we were very young and in school. Life surely wasn’t easy, yet we lived through it all and learnt so much, which we wouldn’t, had we been with dad as a normal family, because he’d have taken care of everything, as he always did.

      Oh dear…having the kids fall sick when you are alone is the toughest thing I think. You just seem so lost and alone, yet you need to have the courage to handle the situation and remain strong in-front of your kids. I’m glad it all worked well out for you, and yes, everyone isn’t as lucky. Sometimes even children sense the loneliness of a parent and fall sick, it used to happen with my younger sister when dad used to leave after for his field station after visiting us for a holiday.

      Yes indeed, single parents are truly amazing for the amount they do for their kids, and doing it all alone, we know is not easy! I wish things were easier for them.

      Thank you for sharing this post, Carolyn, and I hope it helps those single parents who need a little guidance and help. Appreciate your wonderful contribution, and thanks for sharing your experience with us too :)

  32. William Butler

    December 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    What a wealth of information you’ve provide here! A great resource for any single parent. A couple of observations and experiences to share with you.

    As to point 3, the key word is quality because paying attention to this aspect of time spent means you are creating quality future memories for your child(ren).

    When I was young, I wished that I had a stable, nuclear family. My childhood was one of orphanages, receiving homes, relatives I didn’t know for brief periods of time.

    The happiest year of my childhood was when I was 4 and lived with my
    father’s step-mother.

    By age 7, my father regained custody, remarried to a lady with 3 of her own. That’s when the abuse of every form started.

    When I confided in a “guidance counsellor” at school, she tape recorded
    my meetings with her under the guise of having her husband (a minister) listen to them. Instead, she played them to my step-mother, who inflicted more pain and punishment on me.

    The reason I share this is because parents need to understand how to control their emotions so they don’t do harm to their own children… which is why Point #6, having a support system is so important.

    I can only thank God for watching over me. I am headed of my past. What I’ve been through has taught me deep compassion for and understanding of others, hence my motto: BE LOVE TO OTHERS.

    I hope every single parent read your post.

    Warm Regards,
    Bill

  33. Jennifer Kennedy

    December 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I’m not a parent, so I can only comment based on my experience as a teacher and interacting with parents and students on a daily basis.

    I have to imagine that being a single parent is extremely tough! I know parenting in general is a lot of work. But, I saw a lot of parents that I worked with not follow rule #3! I know life gets busy, but spending time with your child is essential to their growth and development (both personal and social).

    One thing I suggest is creating a family “tradition” night. This can be any night of the week where you create a bonding time. That way both parent and child have something to look forward to! It can be a movie night, a date night, etc. But, it’s a standard “appointment” you have with your child.

  34. Latha

    December 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I am not even going to make an attempt to understand how a single parent copes. As a parent of two kids, I find it totally stressful at times to take care of their needs and mine and hubbys.
    There are good days and bad.
    This article is very helpful to understand how to handle issues as a parent. Thank you so much especially since it is helpful to know that their are many others struggling day to day.

  35. Cathy Taughinbaugh

    December 11, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Wonderful post Harleena on being a single parent.

    I was a single parent for a period of time when my children were growing up. It is challenging and I could completely relate to the video. Being a single parent takes a lot of courage, patience and flexibility. It is so important to find a way to reach out and get along with your former spouse.

    I will add that because of my experience with my children’s substance abuse, I have since learned that the percentage is higher in divorced families that the kids will struggle with substance abuse. If parents can be aware of that and be even more proactive, it may protect their child from going down this path. There are no easy answers and everyone has to do what is best for their family, but just being aware, can help.

    Thank you for a very thorough and informational post!

  36. Manickam Vijayabanu

    December 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Very nice and thoughtful post. Indeed, it’s quite common these days and most of us face with this busy lifestyle. Due to job nature many families have engaged with Single parenting situation and it’s really a tough challenge to handle.

    I would say, If anyone could handle single parenting moments very well, they are absolutely capable to handle any difficult issue or problem in life. Perfect project leaders. Because the task hugely involved with, Time management, responsibility, courage, affection, engage, emotion, love, educate, learn, communicate and many more. Wow..Wonderful!.

    I can feel these days, As my wife puts up similar situations when I move out of town for business trips. Those weeks are really hectic and It’s really difficult to run the cycle successfully. We need lots of work around even with one kid! We always wonder how people could manage with 3-4 kids and run the show successfully. Simply great. :)

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful post and have a good week end Harleena. :)

  37. Tanya

    December 14, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Great post, Harleena!

    Single parents have my admiration. They are unsung heroes with very full plates. While I am not a parent myself, I do remember being a kid and the handful I could be at times and I had both parents trying to keep me in line! A good reminder to be a little extra supportive and understanding to single parents and help out whenever possible.

  38. Maggie

    December 14, 2013 at 6:02 am

    These are really wonderful suggestions. Taking care of yourself, sticking to a routine as much as possible, and accepting help is essential in my opinion. You did a great job with this, Harleena! Enjoy your weekend!

  39. Ahsan

    December 14, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Hello Harleena,

    As you said, parenting is always difficult task. For a new mother & father, it is more tougher. I think the main reason is that single family are increasing rapidly from joint family. Previously if you live in joint family for any help, you can take help from other members. But now its not possible.

    All the things you have to do alone. If husband & wife both do job, then life becomes hell to take care of new kid. I think its better to take home near other relative. So for any help, they can take help from other relative.

    Another thing, single parent must follow a routine to maintain the family. Although it is said that mother do most things of baby, father also try to help in this situation. Their joint help can make a better & happy family.

    Finally a very helpful resource for every new parent.

  40. Carol B

    December 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    What a great and helpful post!

    Though I am not a single parent, I have several family members and friends who are, and I realize just how difficult it can be to juggle the needs of a family without a partner to help share that load. Going to pass your post along to them.

  41. Arelis Cintron

    December 17, 2013 at 2:09 am

    I can’t imagine being a single parent, but I think if it came down to it, I could do it. I know I’d definitely have to have a good support system in place!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *


« »
join community