It’s never an option, it was not planned, it just happens. Solo parents didn’t expect and mean to be a ‘single parent’, watching and growing kids on their own, living without a spouse, balancing their time for work and family, sacrificing things they want to do and dealing with (sometimes) a complicated love life. They have bigger responsibilities, filling in the absence of the other parent and acting as a mother at the same time a father. Even the separation with the partner is a tough decision but for me, if it ‘s not working anymore, your relationship will affect the people surrounding you especially your children. Yes, thinking about the sake of your children is the first thing BUT would it also help if they see their parents together but not in good terms being awkward and cold to each other. We wouldn’t want them to bring that as they grow up because we still want them to believe that having a happy and loving family can happen.
I’m a 23 year old single parent whose life had a big change when I had a child but I am not saying I regret it ’cause little angels just don’t come into your life by accident. Raising and taking care of a child is overwhelming and tiring but it’s something you’ll appreciate when they grow up a better person. Maybe I can regret the relationship I had with the dad (sorry ’bout that *ex if you happen to read this) ’cause it’s one of the things that destroyed me. Totally. I am not being bitter and totally not dwelling on the past, it’s just that it has changed my beliefs and view of things, I have trust issues now, my patience decreased and I easily get paranoid. Well what’s done is done but what’s important is I got my little angel with me. I know I am still young and there are a lot of challenges that I need to deal with as she grows up – the pressure, stress, hardships and predicaments, but no matter what happens I’ll give her all my love and support and try and give her the good life she deserves.
Sacrificing Other Personal Pursuits
Sacrificing your time to spend more with your kid instead of going out with your friends and doing different activities at the beach or anywhere else or going to the gym are a few examples. You’ll have to wait for your child to grow up before you can bring her to different places with your friends. It’s just scary losing a kid and you’ll never know what could happen. Your time and energy is reduced, but your stress level increases. In my case, I do feel the pressure even though I can still do a few things even party at night (sometimes) but most of the time I am MIA during barkada reunions and night outs. The reason why most of the time I go out is during the night because that’s when my daughter is at rest and I can do my thing. Well, I thank my mom for looking after my daughter when I’m at the office or whenever I’m not at home. I owe her a lot.
It just didn’t work out with dad/mom
So how do we explain this to our children? Honestly, I don’t know. Wait for her to grow up? Most likely. But sooner or later they’ll be asking why their dad/mom is not living under one roof. They have to know that you have separate lives but the connection is still there. My daughter lives with me and she only sees her dad like once or twice a month so she’s very clingy with me. She doesn’t want to go anywhere else without me so sometimes I accompany her with her dad when they go out. She at least feels we’re a family but she knows at the end of the day it’s still me and her against the world. I wouldn’t take away the rights from the father, of course (Thank God he helps in supporting as well).
Finding/Having a partner
Some would think that it’s gonna be hard to find a partner because you already have a kid but that is not true. It will be a little hard but in the long run things will get better. When someone loves you and wants to be with you, he/she will accept you for who you are and will treat your child as if their own. Although at times, your time will be spent more with your child and he needs to understand that. And that in all of your plans, your child is always in the picture. The only thing is, make sure you don’t jump to one partner to another ’cause you wouldn’t want you child seeing or calling different guys their dad. Well I wouldn’t make mine call them dad either ’cause she only has one dad. Tito (it means uncle. We don’t do first name calling here and this somehow shows respect to elders) will do.
Being with your partner might confuse your child but then it’s also a way of exposing them to reality that you won’t end with the dad/mom anymore. I am currently dating someone and so far, so good. I am hoping that he would be the last ’cause I don’t want to be wasting my time and efforts anymore. I’ve been into tough relationshits and all I want is a partner I can treasure for life and someone who accepts both me and my daughter to be a part of his life.
Being in good terms or friends with the ex-partner
Well it took some time being friends with my ex before of course because both were dealing with the breakup but you can’t stay that way for your kid. So now we’re in good terms. And I mean we’re good friends now because that’s all I can offer. Even though my friends would tease us before and to get back together, the thought makes me cringe already. I am not being mean. I just can’t.
This can also be one of the reasons of an argument with the partners. Like hello, who would be okay if your girl/guy is in good terms with the ex and they share something in common, the child. They’ll need to communicate once in a while or meet (when necessary) but there is nothing wrong with that because it’s for the sake of the kid and not all of the burden is on you. But then again, JUST ABOUT THE KID AND NOTHING ELSE. I also thought about family days and other school activities that require the parents to come. We had some family photos of course during the graduation and other activities. I guess it’s okay? I don’t know how to react about it but oh well you have to make your partner feel secured about this and make things clear from the start. You wouldn’t want him/her to be left out.
Planning for the future
I still live with my parents ’cause I can’t afford a place yet and transferring to another place seems like a hard thing ’cause who’s going to look after my kid? Getting a maid now a days is scary and you would not be sure if your child is in safe hands. So parents or other relatives is still the first option unless you know someone you can really trust. It’s not like there are day care centers in here but even so, it’s so hard to trust people. It may be hard but I know I need to start saving for my own pad which somehow I think would make things a little bit easier. Learning to be independent is what I need and being smart and tough when it comes to making decisions for me and my daughter. We are all getting older sooner than we think so we need to prepare everything for the future for our kids.
I am always in the process of adjusting and learning to accept the consequences little by little. I am always waiting for the right time, waiting for things to fall into place and trying to stand up on my own. Sometimes I don’t know how to open up and tell what I feel ’cause you know, I think I don’t have the right to complain, well not really complain maybe just rant and talk about the things I’m dealing with as people will only tell me that I did this, whether it was my choice or not.
To all the young and single moms out there, good job! Your children will be more than thankful to you for keeping and loving them. Stay strong and get help from family or friends when you need it because you don’t have to be alone. Good things will come. 🙂