There’s no Such Thing as a “Nuclear Family” in Modern Society
Family life is changing rapidly in modern society, and the traditional idea of the nuclear family is becoming outdated. The family unit continues to evolve, with new trends and perspectives challenging the traditional expectations of what a family should look like. From blended families to same-sex parental families, family life has never had such a broad and all-encompassing definition as it does at the moment.
However, one group of parents still find themselves carrying a lot of societal stigma – single parents. Single parents make up a significant, albeit relatively small, percentage of the population, and they face additional challenges and worries than parents with partners. They might find themselves under pressure due to a lack of support, neglecting aspects of their lives or simply exhausted from the strain.
It’s not hard to imagine that single parents keep a lot of their frustrations and worries to themselves, but here are a few things that they’re probably not telling their beloved children.
Being ‘Just’ a Single Parent Can Overwhelm Them
One thing that single parents are sure to keep themselves is that sometimes it can be hard to create their own sense of “self.” If they become a single parent at a young age, the responsibility can sometimes lead to not being able to identify themselves as a fully-fledged person–just a parent. Fortunately, it doesn’t last, and single parents are available to continue defining themselves through their work, their families, and their relationships outside of the parent-child bond.
Sometimes, Social Life Is Simply Catching up on Sleep
Single parents can sometimes find that their “social lives” consist of nothing more than napping, sleeping if they’re lucky, and maybe having a chance to catch up on some TV. Most single parents juggle work with home life, which leaves much less time to actually relax and take care of oneself. Single parents might seem like they can breeze through everything and juggle it all—after all, they manage to raise a child and hold down a job—but it takes a toll, and sadly sometimes that toll is treating sleep like it’s a treat.
Single Parents Will Talk About Anything to Their Kids, Even if They Don’t Understand It
As any single parent will tell you, their young child makes a fantastic sounding board. When frustrated with something, moaning about someone else, and/or just fancy having a good old rant at the world, their young child provides happily oblivious ears. Talking to oneself might not be entirely conducive, but single parents might just consider this a great survival technique and a way to keep conversations going–even if that someone can’t exactly converse back.
Sometimes, Single Parents Use Babysitters so They Can Do Nothing
Sometimes single parents call in the sitters just so they can sit back and do nothing, not a jot of anything productive. If they’re lucky enough to have a functioning support system, such as their parents, loved ones, or relatives, who can look after their child for the odd evening, sometimes they might utilise them just so they can relax and recharge to be the best parents they can be, even if they’re away from their kids.
It’s Easy to Catch up on TV When Your Kids Are Really Young–They’ll Watch Anything
Single parents know that this can be a great way to do two things at once. When children are very young, sometimes it’s tempting to put whatever the favourite show on in the background. At that age, they won’t retain the memories, so the single parent decides to catch up on their favourite show while the child plays with their toys. It may be a bit of a guilty pleasure, but when the children are young, there’s little shame in letting them happily play while their parent indulges in some trashy TV.
Single Parents Hate It When People Ask About Being Single
Being constantly reminded of the lack of a partner in a world focused on romantic love isn’t fantastic for anyone, especially someone going through the trials and tribulations of being a single parent. Being a single parent can be incredibly isolating and lonely, and having to field questions about the lack of a partner only serves as a fresh reminder about the challenges they face.
Single Parents Want and Need All the Help Given
Being a single parent is hard, and there is no shame in asking for help. Networks and groups of single people are fantastic resources for single parents. After all, who else better to help you than someone going through the same thing?
Being a Single Parent Can Ruin Your Dating Life
Internet dating has been kind of a double-edged sword for single parents. Yes, it can be an easy way to engage with new people, but it can be more trouble than it’s worth sometimes, particularly when it comes to being honest about their current situation. Hopefully, every single parent can find someone they love – if they want someone at all – and who will love their child just as much. And this isn’t even mentioning how challenging it can be to meet new people when your life revolves around taking care of your little love!
Sometimes, Single Parents Just Do Not Have the Energy to Deal With Stuff
Raising a child is hard work, and single parents may not always find the energy, willpower, or motivation to do some things. Sometimes single parents beg for a night off or for their child to spend some time with a family member. It’s not because they don’t love their child; it’s because raising a child on your own can be incredibly draining. Everyone needs to take time for themselves and recharge their batteries.
In conclusion, single parenting comes with its unique set of challenges and circumstances. Single parents sometimes sweep their frustrations and anxieties under the rug, but it’s essential to understand that they need support and understanding. As society continues to evolve, it’s important to remember that the nuclear family is not the only type of successful family unit. For the well-being of parents, children, and society as a whole, we must acknowledge all family types and provide ample support and resources for all.