Being a parent is the best thing that could happen to anyone out there, you get to experience a different kind of love you never thought you would. The 21st century has so many differences when it comes to relationships and parenting compared to recent times or rather when our parents were growing up. As a parent, I clearly understand the struggles many young single mothers go through trying to raise a child of noble character alone.
There’s no woman that would want to raise their kid(s) without the help of a spouse, but sometimes the unexpected happens. Though today’s society shames single parents especially the woman people need to understand that being a single parent is sometimes not a personal choice.
We have heard of cases of young teenage girls who get pregnant as a result of rape, these girls are left stranded with a baby nine months later without a single clue of what to do next. Domestic violence, divorce, the death of a spouse are also some of the reasons many young women are single mothers.
Recently I read a post on Facebook of a certain single mum who had been looking for a kindergarten her son would join but the institution wouldn’t admit him stating that they don’t accept children from single homes. Although the mum was heartbroken she never gave up, kept searching and eventually found a better school for her baby.
So many young women ask how in this day and age they can raise children as single mothers, below are a few pointers that may help make you a stronger while the years go by;
1. Don’t feel guilty
Many young single mums always feel guilty about raising their kids without the help of a dad, a thing that even leads some to depression. Never feel guilty about the choices you make in life especially if they involve your child since as their mother you know best and want the best for them. Try Stay and live positive, quit blaming yourself for your current status especially if you were in a relationship that was only draining the life out of you because after all, you might have made the right decision by walking away.
2. Show your full support and love
It’s a fact that one day your child will want to know who their father is, especially when they begin to notice that their peers have dads in their lives. Try explain to them in the best way possible why their dad is missing, shower them with all the love they need and assure them they are no lesser individuals than other children. Support their dreams and make them know that you will always be there for them no matter what.
3. Join a single moms support group
This might not be a common thing in Kenya but trust me there are such support groups out there but just in case you never come across one, talk to a close friend or family member. Support groups have a great impact on single moms which may reduce stress by a great deal. Close and trusted family members can also offer support in unimaginable ways, they don’t have to be single parents themselves but mature people that understand where you are coming from.
4. Make friends with the opposite sex and even introduce them to your child
I know this might sound off but I learnt that making male friends can have a positive impact on your child. Do not despise men because your relationship failed, male friends can also play the role of a father figure. Teach your child that it’s okay to mingle with each and everyone no matter what happened between you and their dad. With time they will get to understand you and even open up more.
5. Find a fitting and accommodating working schedule
Do not bury yourself in a lot of work and forget that you have a child that needs your love and attention. Do not let the nanny take over your responsibility, sure they may help in raising your child but might not raise them the same way you would. Find time and spend it with your child, teach them the right paths to take in life and also let them know it’s normal to make mistakes. Whatever your work schedule make time, have play dates, go to movies, lunch/dinner dates or anything that excites them.
6. Take good care of yourself
Raising a child by yourself might be a lot of work that you forget about taking care of yourself, try to find something fun to do even if it’s twice a month. Hook up with your girls for coffee dates, spa sessions, a weekend trip out of town, anything to get you feeling good again. Do not forget that even if you have responsibilities and someone else is 100% depending on you, you also need some me time.
7. Be and stay positive
Your relationship might not have worked but be positive and open minded. Keep in mind that there are plenty of good men out there who would love you with all your flaws. Do not completely shut the door that leads to love, you never know but your king in shining armour is somewhere out there and if and when you meet him take your time. Your child may have difficulty adapting to a stranger as their mum’s boyfriend but have a one on one talk with them and try to explain that no matter what you’ll always love them.