Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Real Challenges of Single Parenting

Being a single parent is more than just a job. It is a major life situation that will dictate how and what you do for years and years. Throughout those years of raising a child alone, your patience, strength, and sanity will be tried to the limit at times. Making the decision to become a single parent is not one that should be taken lightly. It is a very serious decision and your life will be forever changed should you make single parenting your choice. Before you decide, consider this:

Many women and young girls become pregnant unexpectedly every day. You are not the only one. You are also not alone and there are people out there that can help you to work through this situation. Before you just jump into single parenting, understand that you do have a choice. Becoming a single parent is not an absolute and it does not have to be the direction that your life takes.

Think about whether or not you are ready to sacrifice your life for a child. Children don’t come with instructions and there will be so much that you will need to learn in order to properly take care of this child. If you have twins, that will be even more work. Consider whether you are emotionally ready to give up so much of your own life, some friendships, and possibly even time taken from your education. Having a child requires dedication and a willingness to give everything for that child’s wellbeing and happiness. Can you do that?

With this pregnancy being unplanned, have you really considered this child’s father in his or her life? It’s one thing to take on the brunt of the work of raising a child, but imagine how frustrating and tiring it will be dealing with a potentially deadbeat father. How will you explain to your child that his or her father may not want to be a part of your child’s life? Doing that could really put you outside of your own comfort zone.

Raising a child can be an expensive endeavor. Even with different government programs and family members that say that they will help you, there will be times when, financially, everything will be on you. People often have a lot of positive things to say before a baby comes. When the baby gets here, your expectations for their assistance and their actual level of help may be two different things. You wouldn’t want to start a life around the expectation that someone else will be there for you, because if it doesn’t happen, you could end up disappointed, scared, and overburdened with a child to care for all by yourself.

Before you make your final decision to take on raising a child by yourself as a single parent, you should definitely consider these things. There is always the option to place this child for adoption. Don’t discount the adoption option. It could be a major life-saver for you and this child. Remember, you want to give this child the best possible life…even if it means someone else may need to raise him or her.