Being a single parent is hard…
Being a single parent after an abusive relationship? Even harder!
As you all may know, and for those who may be new, I have a child with my abuser.
After gaining the strength to leave him while pregnant I knew one thing… if I thought breaking up with him was hard, this single parenting thing is going to be even harder!
I was right.
Parenting is by far the most challenging, stressful, adventurous, mind blowing, unpredictable thing that I have ever experienced in my entire life.
Every single day is something new.
Just the thought that I am responsible for a tiny human, for the rest of its’ life blows me away.
Responsible for literally everything:
- Medical expenses
- Kissing Boos Boos
- Giving “The Talk” one day
- Prom dresses
- Wedding gowns
- College tuition
I found myself asking
“How am I going to do this, alone?”
“How in the world am I going to provide for her all by myself (especially at 19 years old)?”
“What am I going to do?”
When I began to constantly worry about the future I started to remind myself, If I could get through the abuse and have the courage to leave, I can do literally anything!
It truly helped me to remember all of the crazy things I went through and how I overcame them.
I was still alive. I was healthy (somewhat). I was out of a dangerous situation.
All these things reminded me that yes I can do this alone and I will get through it!
In “society” being a “single teen mom” wasn’t seen as a “good” thing.
Yet, I never let that break me down.
I knew being a single parent was going to be tough, I eventually learned to completely ignore the stares and the gossip.
Yet on my second Mother’s Day I decided, you know what?
Let me address this once and for all!
I posted this on my social media:
If you can get anything from the post it’s that you shouldn’t judge single mothers or fathers because you never know what they have been through.
After getting out of an abusive relationship I knew that I needed to go above and beyond in order to make this parenting thing work!
Here are many of the things to do as a single parent in order to Survive & Thrive!
I made sure to stay in school. If school is for you definitely stick with it, whether that be a four-year university, vocational/trade school, community college, or a certificate program. Any type of credential will help you in the long run.
Many people love to talk badly about those who “receive government assistance”, who freaking cares! If you and your child/children need the help, apply for it! There are SO many beneficial programs dedicated to help single parents who are struggling trying to make ends meet.
Find affordable child care
Just like there are financial assistance programs there are also child care assistance programs. I was paying $225 a week for three days a week before applying for assistance, now it’s less than $100 an entire MONTH, for five days a week! If you are lucky enough to have a relative for child care? Even better!
Other mom friends
Making mom (or dad) friends can help you as a person. Having that support system who understands the struggles of parenting as much as you do truly makes a difference. Whether you do a weekly meetup or even a simple FaceTime call every other month, having someone there to support you that understands the difficulty of parenthood is a plus.
Although part time jobs don’t make big bank, they do come in handy. If you get to work from home? Even better! Set your own hours, work at your own pace, no child care needed, dream come true.
Make time for yourself
ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. As a parent, especially a single parent, I would lose sight of this. I would make everything about my child, about school, about work, about taking care of others, yet would never set aside time for myself. Just setting out 2-3 minutes out of your day to step back from your busy schedule and take a few deep breaths can help you relax and unwind.
Self care is essential in surviving anything in life.
Never give up!
This of course is the most important, never give up! Yes, it’s hard, (really really really hard) but it’s also rewarding! All your hard work and dedication as a single parent will pay off! You can do it!
Download Free Surviving Single Parenting Checklist PDF
Direct links to resources are provided!