I recently read a post about single parents pushing through. I didn't relate to much of it. But I liked that at the end it basically said that I was amazing. I mean, who doesn't want to hear that?
Truth be told. Lone parenting has been amazing for my kids and I. I honestly do not want to find a co-parent, even if I meet a great romantic partner, I do not want them to have anything to do with my parenting. In fact, I don't like the idea of moving in with anyone again until my kids have moved out.
What is so great about having a lower income? Only one parent to meet your children's emotional and physical needs? Let me list for you everything I love about Lone parenting:
1. Lower income (Yep, keep reading) our lower income has forced me to think creatively about housing situations. I needed to think outside of the apt box. So I decided to rent rooms. We lived on a farm for over a month renting two large upstairs rooms, though in the end we left earlier than we thought because it wasn't a great fit, in the meantime we learned all about chickens and horses. We even got to walk a miniature horse on a daily basis. Now we rent two rooms in a large home (way more space and luxury than we could afford to rent if we got an apartment) and we have a lovely and loving housemate. Our lowered income has also focused us on what we REALLY want to spend money on vs just purchasing/doing something because we kind of like it, or it might be fun. We are more grateful for what we have and what we do.
2. Parenting exactly the way I want to. No explanations and no arguments. No discussions outside of my children sharing their feelings with me about my parenting and us working things out. No having to jump in to do "damage control" when the parenting partner uses parenting techniques that I believe to be harmful. This has freed up so much of my time and energy.
3.More time with my kids. Before, I felt like my energy had to be split between 3 people in the home. It's still 3 it's just now one of those people I'm sharing my energy with is me. So I have way more. My kids climb into my bedroom and have a sleepover whenever and I don't have to worry about my partner having to work early the next day. There is no sense of obligation to anyone but my children and myself.
4. Not having enough time to get everything done. I've learned to prioritize. Health first. I've also learned that while waiting for your bath tub to fill up you totally have enough time to wipe down the toilet and sink. The time it takes for coffee to percolate is exactly the amount of time it takes to empty a dish washer. I have also delegated responsibilties to my children. They are amazing at it and they are learning team work and life skills. I can see the pride in their faces when they switch over laundry and help make dinner. I've also taken a good look at what NEEDS to be done. Priorities have been set there as well. Learning to say "No." to some outside requests.
5.The opportunity to build community. When you can get everything you need, in one small family unit, it's tempting not to reach beyond it and build a community. However, being that I am in the market for a car and just learning to drive, we have needed to reach out. I have met great people who have leant us a hand and even become family friends. I was feeling a bit lonely, so I contacted some fellow musicians and went out to sing with them once or twice a month, it has been great for me. I am open to meeting more people in order to keep a healthy social life.
I personally feel that Lone parenting is way easier for me than co-parenting. This may have to do with the fact that I have what some people label as unique parenting views. Mostly though, I think it has to do with the fact that the typical view of the nuclear family and the places of each individual therein does not appeal to me in the slightest. Anything I put my energy into, I want to gain back. I want to forge this path with my beautiful children, I want to do amazing things and I already have. Single parenting does not have to be a death sentence. It can be your ticket to life: YOUR life with no one to answer to but your kids and yourself. Show your children how much love your little family can produce. Show them that being single is a desired state that should not be given up lightly.