Being a parent is one of life’s greatest joys. But for at least 11 million all over the country, it’s a path that is walked alone. If you’re a newly single parent, you’re likely grappling with a combination of emotions while also trying to manage the emotional tenor of your household. It’s an unfortunate fact that single parents have something of an image problem. We’ve been conditioned to believe that theirs is a life of poverty and drudgery devoid of any benefits. But there’s really no need to shackle yourself to this stereotype.
There’s no reason why life as a single parent can be every bit as rewarding and satisfying as when you were living with your co-parent. In fact, in many ways, it will be advantageous. So, take heart newly single parent! Because while you may feel as though your life as you know it is over… it is, in fact, just beginning.
That all-important first step
Of course, your journey as a single parent will get off to a better start if you can ensure that you and your child will be cared for in all the ways to which you are legally entitled. Even if you and your ex have parted ways amicably, it’s still in your best interests to seek appropriate legal counsel. Use a trusted website like Birdeye to find a family law group that can be trusted to get you the best outcome with a minimum of stress, hassle, and heartache. When an amicable arrangement has been reached you can start your journey as a single parent from a position of emotional and financial strength.
You might just find that you and your ex are better as friends than you ever were as a couple
Did you ever see that movie Ant-Man? One of the most refreshing and edifying things about that movie (and its sequel) was its depiction of separated co-parents. Yes, we saw all the things about our eponymous hero that drove his ex crazy… yet we also saw that they were able to co-parent better as friends than they ever could as a couple. What’s more, there was (after a bumpy start) a healthy emotional relationship between the protagonist and his ex’s current partner.
It’s nice to see pop culture buck the trend of presenting separated parents as eternal enemies destined to be at one another’s throats forever.
Yes, it may take a while. No, you probably haven’t had your last argument. But you might just find that the distance between you (physical, temporal and emotional) makes you better friends and co-parents.
You can be sure your authority won’t get undermined
Kids are smart. And if one parent won’t let them get their way… they’ll quickly sidle over to their co-parent to see if they have any better luck. While there are some chuckles to be found in this behavior, it stops being cute really fast when it undermines your authority and prevents your child from taking you seriously. If your co-parent has always been a softer touch than you, whether they meant to or not this may have undermined your authority. When you’re the sole parent in the household, however, what you say goes!
You can make your home your own again
It’s okay to admit it. When you’re making a home with a partner, there’s always an element of compromise involved… and one party often finds themselves giving more ground when it comes to the idiosyncrasies of your interior decor.
When you’re a single parent, not only do you have complete autonomy over your home’s decor and design, your rules go in the house. You want shoes off at the door? Shoes stay off at the door. Do you want no feet on the couch? Not a toe is going on that couch. It can all help you to feel as though your home is your own… and that’s important for your psychological wellbeing.
Believe it or not… your child will be happier
Finally, many parents are loath to separate because they worry about the emotional consequences for their kids. And while it’s absolutely fair to say that separation can take its toll on kids, this pales in comparison to the emotional weight of living with two parents who are constantly at one another’s throats.
As much as you and your co-parent try to be civil and even affectionate for the sake of your kids, this is much easier to do when you live separately, raising your children in a spirit of platonic love rather than beating a dead horse by trying to live as a couple.