Raising children is one of the greatest and most difficult responsibilities for any human being. This responsibility becomes more difficult when a person has to raise a child alone. Single parents feel guilty and have the added pressure of believing that they may not be able to provide enough. Please know that you are not alone. Give your best into parenting through your strength and love and know that it is possible to still raise happy, positive, and productive children. Additionally, there is always that hope that you can have a more positive family unit in the future.
I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to participate in a blog collaboration with eleven other amazing bloggers from all over the world! The theme for this collaboration is strength. I decided to write about a time in my life where I felt I grew stronger: during single motherhood. I was a single mother in my early twenties while I was attending nursing school, living on my own, and working. Those years were some of the toughest years of my life, but I found strength in me that I never knew existed.
Letter to My Son
To My Dear Precious Son, Kobi,
I looked at you, and I wondered where did I go wrong and right?
You were so right. Curly dark hair. Beautiful mocha skin. And eyes that loved and wanted me more than I thought was possible.
I was so wrong. Did I choose the wrong time to have a child? I was barely 21 years old, trying to figure out my own life, but I had brought you into my mess. I was still in school. Working to barely pay the bills. I was gone more than I was with you because I was trying to provide a better future for you. I spent all day at school and work and cared for you at night. Squeezed in homework. Repeat. I was getting skinnier. Not by choice. I was losing sleep. And all the while you looked at me and trusted in me that I would take care of you. Your limitless brown eyes had faith that everything would be okay. And with all of my imperfections, you loved me.
I could never provide you, my son, with everything, but I could provide you with love and the best of me. I never thought I could make it alone, but I had to. For you.
It took more strength than I ever thought I had to become a single mother, but the risk was worth it for you, my dear son.
Stats of a Single Parent
The odds are not in favor for single parents.
- Single parents often have lower income levels
- Often there is a decrease in parental involvement
- Children’s chances for well-being decreases
- Children are twice as likely to drop out of high school compared to those in two-parent families.
- Children from single-parent homes are twice as likely to become single parents themselves.
- Teens in single-parent households have a higher risk of depression and lower self-esteem.
Single parents include mothers, father, grandparents, relatives, or anyone raising children predominately alone. It requires strength and self-sacrifice. Know that you are not alone. Here are some positive strategies to help raise happy and productive children. These tips are a combination of my personal experience as well as the advice from Mayo Clinic.
- Quality time: You will have less time with your child because your responsibility increases when you are raising a child alone. Give your child quality one-on-one time, even if it is for a few minutes a day.
- Don’t forget about “me” time: You will wear yourself out if you don’t take some down time for yourself. It can be as little as a bubble bath in peace or a massage. You need time to recharge.
- Ask for help: Carpool. Ask help from family members and friends. Don’t feel like you have to do everything alone. You will wear your sanity thin.
- Do the best that you can: Don’t kill yourself trying to be the “perfect” parent. It doesn’t exist. Know that you are trying your best and your child will feel that.
- Guilty: You can feel guilty for becoming a single parent, and then, get over it. Face that the situation is real and walk forward with a plan and boldness. Spend your energy on positive steps toward raising your child.
Today, I commend all of you single parents out there all over the world. Your strength is unmeasurable. You are the real Superwomen and Supermen of the world. You are raising our future generation, which is the hardest task ever given to a human. Give your child your best with all of your strength, and this is enough until you can provide him/her with more.
Please let me know if you have any positive words on single parenthood!
Here are the other collaborators who wrote on strength! Please check out their posts. The lovely, Nicolle @ Stories of a Highly Sensitive Introvert, wrote a great summary for each blogger:
- Addison D’Marko (“If you want to achieve complete happiness one of the things you are going to have to do is care less. By this I mean stop putting so much thought into the things that do not matter.”) Finding Strength
- Ajibola Sunday @ Inspirational Motivation (“The true definition of success is being happy and living up to your potentials.”) My Innate Strength is my Impeccable Courage
- Barb Caffrey @ Brab Caffrey’s Blog (“So, if you believe in any sort of Higher Power, one of the things you need to remember is to forgive yourself once in a while.”) What is Strength?
- Camilla Motte @ Moms on the Go (“We want to be help to the helpless. We all need love and support, and I pray this community will be that for you.”) Finding Strength Through Witnessing Physical Abuse
- Jothish Joseph @ TheJothishJosephBlog (“Anybody can write “Extra” before “ordinary” but only people of courage dare to earn it…”) The Power of Mental Strength
- Ipuna Black (“None of us are perfect or come from perfect backgrounds, but this doesn’t mean we can’t aim for a positive and fulfilling life. The life we all deserve.”) Strength: Single Parents
- Jane Love @ Harmonious Joy (“People who have a genuine say and a true voice of their own… not just an echo of some celebrity they think they love.”) You’re Still Here so Stay Strong
- Manal Ahmad a.k.a. iamthatgirl @ Sensible Nonsense (“Who says oblivion happens to all of us? A single act of kindness makes sure you live on in somebody’s heart.”) Strength
- Mylene C. Orillo (“Where I’m at right now is a testament that ‘Dreams really do come true.’”) 5 Important Lessons on Strength During Difficult Times
- Nicolle K @ Stories of a Highly Sensitive Introvert (“Success, for me, is when I spend my days feeling happy, peaceful, fulfilled and without fear of lack. 😊”) Strength- Defining My View of Strength
- Sonyo Estavillo @ ‘Lil Pick Me Up (“I am here to champion anyone from the successful and confident folks, to those that are clinically depressed.”) Finding Strength in Death: The Mohamed Bzeek Story
- Tajwar Fatma @ LifeAsWeHaveNeverKnownIt (“When life hits you hard, hit back harder!”) Takes Strength to Be a Person of Substance
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