Leaving February and coming into March brings about a special day for all single parents out there. A single parent’s daily life can be very demanding yet rewarding. As a single parent of 2 teenagers, I know firsthand what it means which is why I felt compelled to write this. My personal insight helps me understand that single parenthood needs to be celebrated instead of judged.
March 21st is designated as National Single Parent Day and, on this day, single parents out there should take this time to pat themselves on the back by recognizing the sacrifices they make and the resilience they possess even if they don’t believe it.
Defining Single Parent’s Day
According to (Wolf, 2018) It is believed that March 21 was chosen as the official day to coincide with the inception of Parents Without Partners, which began 50 years ago, on March 21, 1957. Single Parent’s Day is an opportunity for the children of single-parent families to recognize the sacrifices that both of their parents make to provide for their needs, collaborate with one another, and maintain a stable home environment where their children can thrive.
Parenting can feel like a blur at times because you are constantly physically and/or mentally on the go. The minds of a single parent can race for long periods of time because of all the checks and balances we must secure to maintain a household, the care of the children, and ourselves.
Depending on the circumstance, experiences vary as a single parent from overwhelming to doable, liberating, or nearly impossible. The stress and pressure you can’t avoid even if you had a partner. Stress management is a must regardless of your household situation to ensure you are giving yourself time to connect and care for yourself instead of everyone else and the world.
As mentioned in my previous article about stress, I detailed some stress relief strategies that can be used to deal with the emotional and physical reactions of stress. These strategies can be tailored to your schedule. It’s a juggling act keeping unnecessary stress at bay and managing stress that is out of your control. In preparation for those challenges proactively applying these stress management techniques can be very helpful and ease the intensity of stressors in your daily routine.
Single Parent Self-Care
As you deal with the challenges you also want to celebrate your accomplishments and hard work as a single parent. Several ways to celebrate yourself on this day are to take time for yourself and plan a self-care day, take time to do nothing, and don’t oversee the day-to-day logistics by implementing support systems to take over and/or highlighting the many achievements you have accomplished. In a previous K&T article written by a fellow writer she touches on self-care tips that can surely “make you feel rested, rejuvenated, and even more inspired.”
Society’s General Beliefs of Single Parenthood
In society, there are beliefs children that who come from a single-parent household are less likely to be successful. Children from single-parent households must experience emotional distress and deal with lifelong effects into their adulthood.
Society doesn’t always recognize that many single-parent households don’t come about from divorce but also by choice. Single parents can be a result of being widowed, unmarried, and conceived a child, adopting as a single parent, single men, and women that decide to have a child through surrogacy or IVF, and grandparents without a partner raising grandchildren.
According to (Smith, 2020) despite the challenges, it can be worthwhile. In single-parent households, they end up becoming a positive role model to their children. Solo parenting and single parents tend to develop resilience, resourcefulness, and perseverance to keep going, even when they hit a rough patch. And the children that see this development oftentimes become resilient and resourceful themselves.
Parenting overall is hard and has its ups and downs. The main components of successful children, whether in a single-parent home or not, are support, love, and nurturing. And this comes with the parent having the ability and intention to also take care of themselves, ask for help, and manage the trials and tribulations accordingly to continue moving forward in growth and progress.
In conclusion, experiencing feelings of failure, self-doubt, and insecurity is very common for a single parent but normalizing this can be healing. If you are not a single parent but you know one, a way to honor them is to express words of encouragement, recognition, and support. Hearing supportive statements are validating and comforting to parents…single or not.
Remember to prioritize yourself so that you give parenting the best possible chance to progress and that the children you care for thrive in an ever-changing and uncertain environment/society. Challenges and celebration of accomplishment can co-exist.