Once frown-upon, single-parent families are becoming a normal part of society. In the United States only, there are over 13 million single-parent families. The majority of those are single mothers and their kids; however, there are also a growing number of single fathers.
As single-parent households are increasing all around the world, more and more single moms and dads talk about the challenges they meet along the way and the support they have found to overcome obstacles.
The changing-face of the American family
The traditional structure of the American family has undergone a radical transformation over the past decades. Indeed, the typical family, consisting of two married parents with children, is changing. From single-parent to same-sex families, the idea of what a family is is evolving significantly.
Over 40% of U.S. households are under single parents’ responsibility. The trend tends to be more pronounced among minority populations, as over half of African-American and Hispanic households are led by a single mother or father.
While raising children can present several hurdles for two parents, it goes without saying that the situation can feel even more difficult for single parents. Yet, difficult does not mean impossible, and many find ways to support themselves and their children.
Factors contributing to the rise of the single-parent household
The rise of the single-parent household can be attributed to a number of factors. First of all, changes in social norms have made it more acceptable for unmarried parents to raise children without a partner, whether they find themselves breaking up with their partner or making the decision to have children on their own.
Additionally, it isn’t uncommon for families to deal with the prolonged or permanent absence of a parent due to illness, accident, death, or even military deployment.
Finally, divorce can lead to single-parent households, especially when only one parent maintains custody rights.
The challenges of being a single parent
Becoming a parent is a full-time job that continues even long after your child leaves the family home. But when the child is young and still living under your care, it can be challenging to balance parenting duties with self-care. Many single parents find themselves neglecting their own needs as a result.
As a single parent, you need to manage your household and child’s development without the emotional or financial support of a partner. This can be stressful, straining, isolating, and overwhelming.
There are support systems available
Help is available if you know where to ask. Many networks, such as https://embracegrace.com/, are designed to support single women through their unplanned pregnancy, ensuring she is surrounded by a community.
Additionally, even if a single parent lives far away from their family or doesn’t have a family around, they are not as alone as they think. Friend circles and neighbors with similar age children can be a source of support and guidance.
Many workplaces also have mental health and insurance advisors who can guide future single parents to the most appropriate support groups, whether for financial or emotional assistance.
Research shows that children of single-parent families are just as happy and emotionally developed as those coming from two-parents families. It’s important to understand that whether you choose to have or care for a child alone or with a partner will not have a dramatic difference on the child’s development. On the contrary, there is love, care, and meaning in every family.
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