Part 1. “Learning to be a Single Parent”
Those who have lost spouses (through death, abandonment, or divorce) will understand that one of the hardest challenges that must be faced is learning to be a single parent. If you are going through a divorce with children, or if you have recently been through a divorce with children, you may be just realizing the challenge of learning to be a single parent. You may feel like you are must play the role of both a father and a mother to your child.
As a single parent, you must learn to adapt to this situation. There are healthy ways to adapt and unhealthy ways to adapt to the strain of raising one or more children as a single parent.
Although the objective person can easily observe the "unhealthy" methods of adapting to single parenthood, it is surprising how easily the "unhealthy" methods of adaptation become when placed in the situation.
What are these unhealthy methods of adaptation? Many people find themselves jumping into serious relationships, hoping that a new partner will fill the void. Other people will refuse to ask for any help, trying to act as the super mom, super dad, and full-time employee.
While it takes time to find a healthy medium, balancing social life and parenthood, a balance should be the ultimate goal. Do not jump into a relationship: given these rebound relationships rarely last, jumping in too early will only lead to more pain for you and your children. It may also give your ex-spouse (should he/she be in the picture) fodder to claim you are "unstable." Do not try to handle everything on your own. Develop a support group, take some time to adjust to your life before taking on new projects (one "super" soccer mom is hard enough, do not try to be a super mom and a super dad all in one go). If you don't, you may find yourself overwhelmed with even the smallest tasks.
When undergoing this process, concentrate on what you have provided and can provide your children even without a partner (not what you think you could provide if you were the "perfect" parent, that will only set you up to fail). Being a single guardian is not a transgression, and no rational person will expect you to take on all roles without trial and error. Instead, give yourself a pat on the back each day. While you will have had trials, you are raising your children.
If you find yourself on the brink of single parenthood, begin by developing your support system (not another serious relationship). If you attend a church, ask to speak with your ecclesiastical leader. He or she may give you recommendations, or even find a way for your church to support you through the difficult time. If there are other single parents in your neighborhood, make an effort to develop relationships with them. If you have the ability (it may be difficult to find the money if you are only recently single), speak with a counselor.
At Atticus Legal Group, we will faithfully serve you as your family and divorce Lawyers in Salt Lake City, Sandy, Sugar House, Provo, South Jordan, West Valley, and other cities throughout Utah. Call us today at (801) 784-0529 for your consultation.