Being a single parent is tough enough without other people’s input. Still, it’s common for people to have an opinion on your lifestyle and often times, those opinions are based on Myths Of Being a Single Parent.
I was a single Mom for quite a while before I met my husband. It was hard, eye opening and many times I cried myself to sleep. The constant wonder if you are doing a good job raising your kids takes a toll on yourself mentally and emotionally. I always set aside time for the kids and me to be together. Whether it was reading a book, watching a movie, going on adventure walks, having water fights with sponge soaker balls, etc I wanted them to know and feel that I wanted them. They mean the world to me and I did everything in my power to make sure they knew and felt loved.
Because you can not control what comes out of a young child’s mouth, I was put in awkward positions quite frequently. Walking down the aisle getting groceries and my daughter would just start talking to another person shopping…
Daughter: “I don’t have a daddy anymore”
Shopper: “Oh I’m sorry to hear that, honey”
Daughter: “He packed up his stuff and moved away, we don’t see him anymore.”
The shopper at this point turns to me and all I can do it nod in agreement with my daughter.
Oh, course this is a day that I went home and took a shower so I could cry and no one would hear me. The whispers, glances, and rumors are a whole nother story. Being a single parent isn’t contagious but I swear people think they are going to catch it if they get too close. With single parenting being on the rise statistically, there are a lot of misconceptions about being a single mom or dad. Here, we will take a closer look at some of the most common myths about being a single parent.
Myths About Being a Single Parent
- Single parents get a “break” on weekends – Many people assume that single parents have it easy because there’s another parent to help out. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Some single parents are only parents because the other parent isn’t in the picture, which means they don’t get these weekends off at all. Even when the kids do stay with the other parent on weekends, single parents often have laundry and chores to catch up on, not to mention the worrying their kids are being taken care of.
- Single parents raise “screwed up” kids – There’s a common misconception that children who are raised in single-parent households tend to grow up to be depressed, emotionally damaged or “bad apples,” but this just isn’t true at all. Studies have found that children are more likely to thrive after divorce since they are often in happier, healthier home environments.
- Single parent households are “broken homes” – As mentioned above, children who come from single-parent families can – and do – thrive due to happier, healthier home environments.
- Single moms can’t raise boys and single dads can’t raise girls – It’s a myth that “boys need a father and girls need a mother.” It can be useful for kids to have a male or female figure in their life who they can talk to about uncomfortable topics (e.g. sex, puberty), but children can thrive in a one-parent household just as well as they can in a two-parent household.
- Single parents are desperate to get remarried – Although this may be true of some single parents, many single parents actually enjoy being single. Most single parents are also more cautious when it comes to dating and bringing new partners into their kids’ lives.
- Single parent households lead to children with low self-esteem – There’s a common misconception that children raised by single parents have low self-esteem. In reality, children who grow up in low-income homes are more likely to have low self-esteem. While this can mean that children from single-parent households may have low self-esteem, it can also affect children from two-parent, low-income households.
- All single moms are “welfare moms” – Although some single parents may require assistance, single moms and dads are no different from married parents. They often own businesses, hold college degrees, have successful careers, and provide for their children.
- All single parents are divorced – Single parenting can happen for a number of reasons. They may be widow/widowers, were abandoned during pregnancy, chose never to get married or may have chosen to pursue artificial insemination or adoption.
- Single parents don’t get along with their exes – While some single parents don’t get along with their parents, many single moms and dads do get along after they’ve divorced or separated. This often means that they tend to make decisions about their child’s health, education, and overall well-being together, even though they may no longer be romantically involved.
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These are just some of the most common myths about being a single parent. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that every household is different. What may be true for one family doesn’t necessarily mean it is true or will be true for your own family.