4 lessons about being a single parent

6 weeks before Line was to give birth, she suddenly found herself heartbroken, single, and full of questions and concerns. This certainly wasn’t what she had planned for herself or her unborn daughter. We sat down with Line to talk about her unexpected single motherhood journey, and Line shares 4 lessons about being a single parent.

This blog post is a part of BIBS’ Real Parenting. Here, parents share their stories, experiences, and parenthood journey. Parenthood comes to life in the stories we share – whether it is moments of happiness or moments of sadness, we can all learn from each other.

An unexpected single motherhood journey

Today Line and her former partner co-parent their daughter but for the first years, Line was the sole caregiver due to different circumstances like breastfeeding and her daughter’s young age in general.

“It was very unexpected to be pregnant and suddenly facing single motherhood. In retrospect, I maybe should have seen it coming because neither of us was happy but standing in the situation I was completely taken by surprise, heartbroken, and just in disbelief. Being a single mother though has taught me a lot about myself, and life in general, and I hope that by sharing my thoughts and experiences with it, other single parents can know that they are not alone. So many fathers and mothers are in similar situations, and we can all learn from each other.”

4 lessons about being a single parent

The below Line will give 4 life lessons from a single-parent perspective:

1. Learn to forgive

Most single parents have gone through some kind of pain or loss. It is important that you do not let this rule your world. If you hold on to a grudge or become bitter, it will affect not only your own life but also your children’s life. Learn to forgive and accept your situation. I know it is easier said than done. But accept how your life is and stop dwelling on how you imagined your life would be.

Also, it is really worth trying to get along with our ex for the sake of your children. It can be challenging if you’ve been hurt or if you are angry or have disagreements with your ex. However, I have learned that trying to get along for the sake of your children is worth it. And sometimes it means being the bigger person and “swallowing” the injustice and frustrations you feel.

2. Finding your strength and the positive things about the situation

By becoming a single parent I’ve seen another side of myself that I didn’t know I had. I rather quickly become very independent. Also, being the only one I made all the decisions with no arguments or compromises. The benefit of doing it all alone definitely means you are your own boss, and you make your own decisions.

3. Seek out a support system and let them help

I was lucky that I had a support system consisting of my family. Though both my parents and sister – at that time – lived rather far away, they really helped me and showed me support. They came over during weekends and helped me with things like cleaning and babysitting. They were (and are still) a huge support to me and my daughter.

Another thing is actually let your support system help. Because I was doing everything myself in the way I wanted it, it was difficult to actually accept the help.

4. Remember time for yourself

Admittedly I am not very good at this one myself. And in a busy everyday life, taking time out for oneself is perhaps the last thing on your mind. But I found that it is really important sometimes to remember my own needs and do something for myself. I think this applies to all parents and not just single parents. But I think it is especially important for single parents to remember themselves because they are very much available to their children all the time.

Read our blog post ‘A Parent's Guide to Prioritize Self-Care’ here >