Looking After The Emotional Health Of Single Parents

Psychologists, psychiatrists, and councilors can find themselves having to tend to problems concerning the emotional health of single parents, on a daily basis. Most first time single parents find it difficult to adapt to the change in lifestyle, once their role as single parent begins. This is not surprising due to the fact that their responsibilities are usually doubled. Not only do they have to deal with their own emotions, they also have to pay extra special care to their now vulnerable, and perhaps confused children.

How somebody reacts to a particular situation, and how an individual copes with the change that has affected decisions involving families today. Studies have shown that there are effects, whether positive or negative on being a single parent to children.

Stress and solo parenting are the regular topics in self-help books on parenting. Psychologists speculate that raising children and even just a child indeed a stressful task that requires full management of emotional, behavioral and spiritual attitude of a single parent. Without the specific information from self-help books, counselors, group therapy, a single parent will break down emotionally due to stress.

So how could you manage stress and single parenting? More prominent it is to deal with the emotional health of single parents which psychologists say that in order for a parent to manage both stress and single parenting, he or she should determine the things that brings him or her the stressors.

The general stressors in single parenting for a female parent is how she could manage her household while she works her way to earn a living for 8 to 9 hours throughout the day. Self-help books on how to manage stress and single parenting provides single moms with beneficial advice.

Firstly, if their job requires them to be out of the house in the usual office hours, she could hire a nanny during those times that she is away. But if she wants to have a quality time with her child or children, it would be for the best if she would leave her day job and establish a work from home transaction or job.

The internet isn’t there to simply amuse us. In reality, billions of dollars worth of transactions have been transacted through the internet. Of course, this isn’t just on sales transactions — sales on goods sold such as in Amazon or Ebay — but also those transactions that pay off a service using PayPal or other online payment mode. Yes, believe it or don’t, many people, single parent or not, who earn a living through the internet not for selling goods but for offering and selling a service.

There are a number of employers out there who are more than happy to hire “virtual assistants” to help with their clerical or typing secretarial jobs. The employer simply emails the job over to their virtual assistant with the instructions on how they should do the task and the time frame it should be done by. Then it is just a matter of the assistant doing the job within the specified time frame and emailing it back over.

This way you can deal with both stress and single parenting. Even if your two children are howling at each other, you can compose them while you are expecting the next job that your virtual boss will give you. Working online or telecommuting is one of the perfect ways that you can deal with stress and single parenting.

As for single dads, the problem that they generally face is how to keep in-tune with his child or children’s feelings and emotional needs. This is the most normal cause of stress with a male being a single parenting. Of course, unlike a single mom, not all single dads want to work at home. They feel that this is not a very manly job. To psychologists, however, single dads doesn’t have that much liberty to think this way.

Single parenting is totally different to regular parenting (a household with a mother and a father). A single parent must adjust to the usual activities expected of a ‘regular’ parent. So, a single dad must agree to the fact that he can’t be just like ‘any other dad’ and work his bottom from sunrise till night. A single dad needs to be at the side of his children, like a mother. If he can’t admit this fact, he cannot deal with stress and single parenting.

We will start by taking a look at a few factors that could lead to a disturbance in the emotional health of single parents.

Common emotions in first time single parents

Anxiety – undoubtedly plagues anyone under pressure. Single parents may find that they have to start working twice as hard as they were before, in order to be the sole provider for their child. As each month begins and bills need to be paid, one’s hard earned income dwindles away into practically nothing in just a few short days. Monies left over after bills are paid, has to be budgeted in order for the single parent and child to make it through to the end of the month. Some single parents become anxious, wondering if they have enough to see them through. They become nervous at the thought of incurring unforeseen expenses. Anxiety over finances does not have to wreak havoc on the emotional health of single parents, however. There are a few precautions that single parents can take in order to save their pennies. They can cut down on utility costs, like electricity, by ensuring that no light is left burning unnecessarily, televisions are only on when being watched, computers are only on when being used, heaters are used to warm a room then switched off once the room is warm, and making use of energy saving light bulbs. They should take advantage of coupons, sales, and discounts. They can walk to the shops, or travel by bicycle, to save on fuel costs. And, avoid purchasing luxury items if they are not absolutely necessary.

Guilt – is another emotion that seems to linger in the lives of single parents. Some single parents experience guilt about leaving their child at a school, or with a caregiver, for the day. As the single parent turns to walk away from the child, the child cries as their own separation anxiety builds up inside of them. The single parent feels as though they are betraying their child, and this ultimately leads to guilt. This guilt can eat away at the core of emotional health of single parents. However, there are alternatives. With the use of the internet, single parents can find themselves freelance online work, which can be done from home, allowing their child to be with them all the time. This also saves money that would usually be spent on day care, or a caregiver. If the parent has to work away from home, they should maintain a positive outlook on the day care centre that their child attends. Make it sound exciting. Make friends with other parents of children that attend the same daycare centre, so that your child will always have a friend there. Try to pack a surprise in your child’s lunchbox every day. And, when you collect your child from day care, praise them no end. Leave everything to do with your day at work behind. Make your time with your child a positive time, where the only thing that matters is the fact that you are together.

Resentment – is also detrimental to the emotional health of single parents. Not only can resentment lead to depression, it actually manifests as physical symptoms like jaw clenching, teeth grinding, fist clenching, and frowning. This resentment can be aimed at the single parent’s ex partner, or it can be felt towards the circumstances and complications that arise due to being a single parent. Resentment can only be negative, and although it is good to acknowledge its presence, it has never contributed in any way to the successful emotional health of single parents. You must let it go, if you want to live a happy existence. Look for friends and family that can take your mind away from the source of your resentment, and make you feel good about yourself. Do not speak badly about your ex partner in front of your child, as your child must establish their own relationship with your ex partner, without influence. Also, remember to spend some time doing something that inspires you.

Shame – also has its way of affecting the emotional health of single parents. Shame can go hand in hand with guilt, but they remain separate emotions. Many first time single parents feel as though the responsibilities they are suddenly faced with, out – weigh their personal abilities. They can end up feeling worthless if unable to carry the burden of these responsibilities. In a world where everyone seems to be successful, as portrayed on television and in fashion magazines, the single parent feels they do not have what it takes to be a part of a successful society. They feel ashamed. Single parents that experience this emotion must be reassured that no single parent is ever required to make it through life on their own, without assistance. Friends and family should offer to help wherever they can, and the single parent in turn must embrace this assistance.

Pressure, and especially peer pressure, plays a role in the outcome of emotional health of single parents too. Many single parents rely on their social interaction with others. When they are faced with decisions concerning their children, they may find that a few of their peers may not agree with the choices they make, or intend to make. This peer pressure can make the single parent doubt their choices, which could have a detrimental effect on the confidence of the single parent. Unless a peer has a solution better suited to the choice you are faced with, you must assure yourself that the choice you are making is right for you and your child. Do not seek approval from your peers, instead confide in friends who will support every decision you make.

The emotional health of single mothers can vary. Although there are single mothers who feel they cannot cope, there are also mothers who feel that the weight of the world is lifted from their shoulders, the minute their divorce is finalized. Most mothers notice marital problems before their husbands do. If these problems cannot be solved, a separation will be inevitable. The now single mother feels relief when the problems created by her marriage come to an end. Some single mothers find it easier to rely on support systems. They feel an increase in self esteem, and feel privileged to play their new role as sole provider.

In conclusion we would like to leave you with a few tips that could help you to stay positive and balanced. Remember to always keep your sense of humor. Try to befriend you inner critic, after all it is a part of yourself. Forgive yourself and others as often as you can, a grudge will only lead to illness. Seek help for depression. Let your guilt be your guide. Let your children do what they can do for themselves. Avoid clutter around the house, it only clutters the mind. Breathe deeply and take time to enjoy yourself. Make a list of the issues that cause you stress, and try to find solutions for them.

Finally, feel secure in the fact that every question regarding the emotional health of single parents has its own unique answer.

Originally posted 2011-08-04 23:55:29.

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  1. Myisha Brown says:

    I am a single parent who is considering a new job opportunity that will require me to be away from my child in the evenings and on some weekends. The stress alone of finding help in this situation is wearing on me heavenly let alone knowing that I will not be spending that time with my son I feel he needs. I wanted to know any information that you have on such jobs as a “Virtual Assistant”. I am educated with a Masters in Education but I have been unseuccessful in finding a position in a school like my original plan when I did my post graduate. (not able to get liscenced as a teacher, just as a guidance counselor). I know a lot about the struggle of trying to stay emotionally healthy as a single parent. My son is ten and his farther has been in prison since he was two. I would appreciate any tips or advice on this matter.
    Thank you

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