Parenting| last modified: July 25, 2010 10:01 pm

Single parenting issues

Whether a single parent for the indeterminate future or just for the week, beware of the temptation to handle everything alone. While the Helen Reddy tune, “I Am Woman,” may be playing in your mind, you do not need to be strong and independent perpetually. Caring for a child, home, finances, and all responsibilities involved is time, energy, and thought consuming. Being extremely independent may be detrimental to you and your family. If you find yourself resistant to accepting help, examine your reasons and consider some changes.

There are numerous reasons you may maintain total self-reliance. One is to prove to yourself that you’re a supermom. Challenging yourself to reach a goal is great for the daily workout, but not for life 24/7. The human body needs rest for optimum health and the mind needs periods of quiet to recharge. Your family requires a healthy mother to nurture them. But a non-stop supermom will eventually falter with impatience, mistakes or illness. Staying healthy and keeping your mind sharp results in safe driving, correct medication, and patient help with homework.

Another reason you may be strictly self-sufficient is to prove your worth to others. Whether you are trying to show up someone who has voiced reservations about your ability or trying to impress someone with your skills, you may sink your own ship by overdoing. Your focus should be to take good care of yourself so you can take great care of your family. Leave the judgmental thoughts of other people where they belong, in the other people.

Once you have examined the motives behind your reluctance to ask for or accept help, think of how you have been demonstrating it. You may have telegraphed your feelings to others without knowing it. Do you occasionally invite others to your home and offer to visit? Do you exchange pleasantries with your neighbors and show sincere interest in what they offer to share? The manner in which you decline an offer can speak volumes. If an offer is rejected coldly, a potential friend may never offer again.

Family and community interdependence has been a necessary part of life from earliest mankind. Clans and tribes formed because no individual could have survived natural elements for long. But society today presents the ability to live within yards of others and still be in seclusion. The modern mum may be isolating herself without meaning to. However, opportunities for new relationships abound and lost ones might be regained. Consider the benefits of shedding some independence and opening your life to others.

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