This is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Single parenting is no easy task. Taking on the incredible responsibility of raising children alone, requires a special kind of person. In celebration of Single Parent’s Day on March 21st, we’ve teamed up with Angel Soft and The Motherhood, to honor single parents everywhere, and to share 5 important lessons I’ve learned as a single mom.
In the United States, there are more than 12 million single parent households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Eighty-four percent of those families are led by single mothers, while 16 percent are single father households.
My family is part of that statistic. For most of the nearly 18 years that I’ve been a mom, I’ve parented alone. Single parents all have different situations, or events in their lives, that led them down the path of single parenting. While their stories are unique, their day-to-day experiences are often similar.
I’ve heard people say that life is the best teacher, and I couldn’t agree more. Here are just some of the valuable lessons I’ve learned as a single parent.
Life rarely turns out as planned
I certainly didn’t set out to become a single parent. I always wanted to have kids, but I had no idea I would be raising them alone. Throughout my years of single parenting, I’ve grown and changed tremendously. I’ve learned a lot about life, about myself, and about the strength I have within. Sure, there are times when the stress and responsibility of caring for 4 children on my own can be overwhelming. Most days though, I look at my amazing kids, and realize just how fortunate I am to be their mom. I’m proud of the family we’ve become, however unconventional it may be.
The good times outweigh the bad
For every rough day, there are many more fantastic ones. Life with kids, whether you’re parenting alone or with a partner, is full of challenges, as well as joy and laughter. Children are inspiring, and they truly make life worth living. The hard days, which are few and far between, are easily forgotten when you focus on all the good times.
Some people will never understand, and that’s okay
The stigma and stereotypes associated with single parenting are rampant. There are people who will always make assumptions, have preconceived notions, or who truly believe it’s not possible to successfully raise happy, intelligent children without two parents. I’ve simply learned to ignore it all. I focus my time and energy on raising my kids to be their best selves. I surround myself with people who support me, and I no longer worry about trying to change the way others think or feel about single parents.
Self-care is vital
As a single mom, I have many tasks and responsibilities each day. It’s too easy to get caught up in making sure the kids have everything they need to be happy and healthy, while completely neglecting my own well-being. Years ago, I thought it was selfish to take time for myself. Now, I realize that the only way to be the mother my children want, and deserve, is to be intentional about my own needs.
Children can (and will) thrive in a single parent household
It is absolutely possible for kids to thrive in a one parent family. To grow and develop into happy adults, children need a supportive, nurturing environment filled with people who adore and respect them, while encouraging their dreams. There are positive role models all around us, who also help to shape children’s beliefs and values – teachers, grandparents, coaches, neighbors – whether the child is from a single parent family or not. I am 100% certain that kids are better off with one parent who genuinely loves and supports them, than in a toxic, unhealthy family life with two parents.
In honor of National Single Parent’s Day on March 21st, Georgia Pacific’s Angel Soft toilet paper brand has created a heartfelt video that recognizes and celebrates the joys and challenges associated with being a single parent.
The #SingleParentsDay video highlights the stories of three single parents who have overcome incredible odds, through raw, personal interviews. The video culminates with a surprise that will help make their everyday lives a bit easier.
Whether you’re a single parent yourself, or know someone who is, this is a video we all need to watch. To encourage and recognize single parents everywhere, let’s spread the word about the “Be Soft. Be Strong.” initiative piloted by Angel Soft, which highlights the softness and strength of all types of families.
Are you a single parent, or were you raised in a single parent home? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.