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Being a single parent can be a very hard thing to do sometimes. But at the same time, it can also be the most wonderful and joyous thing in the world.
- You make all the decisions
Sure, you are stuck with all of the thinking, but it also means that you have final say on all of the decisions. Not sure which school little one should go to? Put some names in a hat and pick one – if you’re happy with it, then that’s the one. No more worrying about what your partner will think or want, no more late night discussions and tensions over silly choices.
- Your word is law
No more snacks after 4pm? The kids must just learn to live with it. You are the only adult in the house, and you are the one whose word they must take when it comes to laying down the law. No more fighting over bedtimes with a partner who is either too strict or too lenient. Single parents make the rules.
- You get to discipline and play
Sure, you are stuck with doing all the disciplining, which means that you are the one who is responsible for your toddler crying and throwing a tantrum. But you are also the recipient of all of the hugs, kisses and loving that comes your way once the tears have dried. As a single parent, you’re also the one who gets to run around in the garden with him, or creep under the dining room table and make a fort.
- Your kids know you better
Because you spend all of your time together, you know them intimately and they know you. You share each other’s days, chat about how school and work were, make up silly stories and laugh at random thoughts.
- You decide what’s for supper
No more boring stews – if you want fish and chips, or pasta, salad or even cereal for supper, then that’s what you get. And if your kids are old enough to ask for favourites, then that’s what they’ll get. Your kitchen, your rules.
- Chores shared between you and your kids
Instead of fighting with a partner to get your chores done, you can now make use of your kids and get them helping out around the house, too. Paying them pocket money for each chore completed, or just making a boring task like washing the dishes or packing clothes away a fun, chatty adventure, as a single parent family, you can do it.
- No resentment towards a partner who doesn’t pull their weight
Since you are the only adult in the house, you are responsible for everything. Cooking, cleaning, tidying up, driving little ones around, entertainment. It can become exhausting. But it also means that you can do it all in your own time and your own way. You know where everything is and you take pride in what you can do. Plus you get the little ones to help out!
- No wriggling out of embarrassing conversations and moments
Where do babies come from? You now have to face this question yourself, so finding a good answer is going to take a lot of thought. While this may not be the best thing about being a single parent, it does mean that you learn more about your kids and are able to influence them in whichever direction you want them to go. Want to preserve the idea of Father Christmas for a few more years? You can do it, because you are the one who is in control of the information.
- Taking all the credit
While nobody may ever say it out loud, you are the one responsible for the way your kids turn out. As a single parent, you are the one that people look to when they want to compliment your children, or complain about them. As long as you know that you’re doing it to the best of your ability, you should be proud of yourself!
- More time for yourself, without a partner being second on your list after the kids
When the kids are out with friends or other family, and you have the house to yourself, you can do whatever you want. You don’t have to ask permission, or check someone else’s schedule, or even think about anything but yourself. An afternoon nap, a bubble bath, watching a movie alone or with friends, eating lunch at a fancy restaurant – all for you!