Parenting on your own can be both demanding and fulfilling. If you're a single parent, or you’re thinking about becoming a single mother or father, here are a few important points you should keep in mind. With children to raise, housework to do and finances to consider, time may become scarce. But it is still important that you make time for yourself. Parenting, whatever your set-up, isn’t easy! But is it harder to be a single parent?
In short, yes. One of the main reasons we started the Frolo App was because it’s enormously challenging to be a single mum or dad. But it is entirely possible to thrive as a single parent family, and we’re here to help. But if you want to take a moment to lament solo parent life, we’re here for it! Here, we discuss some of the reasons why life as the solo head of a family can be so hard.
Single parents must assume all aspects of household responsibility, from taking care of the children to making sure there is enough money for bills, as well as any issues that come up at home. Focusing on your strengths and enlisting help when needed is the best way to address this challenge. Furthermore, taking some time out for yourself so you can recharge is absolutely essential so that you can continue to care for your children.
Children require clear boundaries and limits in order to become responsible adults. Whether their parents are in a relationship or single, children need to understand and respect their own boundaries. Setting boundaries can be challenging, especially when you’re on your own. Single parents should lean on the support of friends and family, whether that means emotional or practical assistance; or organising childcare services for social activities like exercise classes or small groups offering child-friendly facilities. Check out the Meetups on the Frolo App to find single parents near you.
No matter the cause - divorce, separation or death of their partner - single parents frequently find themselves struggling alone with what was once the shared responsibility. Unfortunately, sometimes single parents find themselves caught up in the drama surrounding their former partners. Welcome to co-parenting! At all times, it's essential that co-parents try to behave civilly towards each other and never speak ill of each other in front of your children. Your children love you both, and supporting a positive relationship on both sides is wonderful, if possible.
Being a single parent can be incredibly hard, especially financially. You are responsible for everything - bills, food and ensuring they go to school - all by yourself. Single parents may have to work longer hours, which can cause considerable stress and burn out. Financially managing single parenting can be one of the biggest obstacles. This may be especially daunting when former partners refuse to pay child support payments. Therefore, seeking assistance and advice from other single parents (via the Frolo app), your GP or community health centre may be beneficial in managing this aspect of parenthood more effectively.
Being the sole head of a family means you’re responsible for everyone’s wellbeing at home. One of the reasons it is harder to be a single parent than having a parenting partner is that when someone is ill, it’s all on you. Parenting on your own at full health is hard enough, but when you’re ill, it can feel impossible. If you’re a single parent with specific health needs, ensure you have support in your local community and from friends and family if possible. You may find people in the same situation as you on the Frolo app, too.
As a single parent, it can be challenging to find support from family and friends when going out without your children - this can leave you feeling isolated, especially if you also work full time.
Make sure you're not feeling alone by connecting with other single parents locally or using the Frolo App. Connecting with others will help you to regain your self-confidence as a single parent as well as feeling less burdened by challenges you are currently experiencing.
Being a successful single parent requires a combination of organisation, dedication, and self-care. As we’ve already mentioned, building a strong support network can help you navigate the challenges of single parenting, and the Frolo app is a great place to start. Maintain open communication with your children and provide a stable and positive environment for them, as well as you can. Most importantly, be kind to yourself.
And if anyone asks you whether it’s really harder to be a single parent, tell them you’re too busy smashing it to tell them!
If you're a new single parent, download the Frolo app and check the Meetups tab (the calendar logo) for virtual group meets or meetups in your area. This summer there are already a host of events planned all over the UK and Ireland, including a big summer picnic for frolos and their children of all ages. Come along and find your crew!