Single mother - I do it alone
And then all of a sudden I am standing alone after 10 years. Every day early to get the children to school on time. Fighting every day to keep financially afloat and if I want to have a night out, I first have to put my shame aside to ask my mother if she wants to take care of the children one more time. I would really like to whine a game, but for my kids I prefer to play nice weather.
Believe me, sometimes it's wonderful to be able to decide everything and not have to take another account, but being alone is really too much from time to time and a helping hand would be very nice at the same time ...
A single-parent family includes all families where at least one minor child lives with a parent. According to Statistics Netherlands, there were no fewer than 510,984 single-parent families in the Netherlands in 2012. In 2000 there were 384,317. This means that in almost ten years there was an increase of almost 33%.
No conscious choice
For many singles it has been a conscious choice of both parents to stop the relationship or marriage. However, it does not have to be a conscious choice ... When your partner dies, you are also alone. Or if you have accidentally become pregnant and the father lets it know, it is not a conscious choice as a single mother or father to go through life.
Single mother - heavy
Whether you have consciously opted for it or not, being single parent is extra heavy. You are the one who has to get out of bed every night to feed or comfort the baby. You have to keep the household going all the way and in most cases you have to combine everything with your job. Being sick for a day is not possible, because your children need you every day. You are responsible for all decisions that have to be taken regarding the upbringing, limits, quarrels between the children and the problems at school. When you only come to be alone later on, it also becomes financially more difficult, now that you have to do it with one income. After all, children cost a lot of money. All loads rest (now) on your shoulders. That is heavy.
Standing alone has many disadvantages. Fortunately, there are also a number of advantages. In this way you can decide everything yourself within your own household, you do not have to take a partner into account and you can schedule everything in your own way.
Children from single-parent families would, according to researchers, be more independent. Your child is faced with greater responsibilities at a young age, which others will only encounter later. Children who already had to deal with difficult situations (such as divorce or sudden relocation) would be able to deal with problems more easily as adults.
A social network is a plus for every parent. It is almost indispensable for a single mother or father. It is nice to be able to discuss experiences, doubts, problems with someone else. Especially when you are used to doing this with your partner and this has now disappeared. Maintaining a social network can be difficult when you have little time to work through social work, but do not forget that it can also deliver a lot when you have people around whom you can fall back.
Prevent social isolation
To avoid becoming socially isolated, you could increase your network by actively searching for new contacts. Share your experiences with others. Through contact with fellow sufferers, friends / girlfriends you will feel less alone and single parents are no longer alone.
Think for example of parents in the schoolyard, parents of friends and girlfriends of your children, et cetera.
Getting help is difficult
Getting help is difficult for everyone. For a single mother or father it is already difficult to accept that they may need more help. You do not want to be dependent on help from third parties, you do not want to be treated differently and you do not want to give the feeling that you are "benefiting" from your situation. But you can never be alone.
Experience has shown that single parents are more likely to ask for help when they can do something for the other person. When they can not "pay" back help, it often gives a feeling of inferiority.
Do not hesitate
Do not hesitate to ask for help. You really do not have to ask for help just in case of emergency. It is important that you reserve time for yourself. This is important not only for yourself, but also for your child. After all, when you are comfortable with yourself, your child also enjoys it. Go for an afternoon of sports a day, a day of sauna or an hour spent under the solarium. One small moment of relaxation for yourself can already make a huge difference.
Experiences from practice
"You become not only a one-parent family, but also an organizational talent. You have to learn how to organize, otherwise you can not do anything anymore "said Gerda. Gerda has stood alone for ten years. There is no father in the picture who looks around or assists in the corner. According to her, there are more disadvantages than advantages to the situation. Leisure is entirely in the hands of others and they prefer to get money for it too. Nothing is still free, not even the babysitter, " says Gerda.
According to her, one of the advantages is the bond between her and her daughter that has become closer. She and her daughter against the rest of the world. Besides being an advantage, it is partly a disadvantage. "They are more dependent on you, they keep an eye on everything and you are less free to do what you want."
What Gerda also runs against is the lack of understanding. And then of two-parent families in particular. She finds it difficult to have to take care of a babysitter every time and to ask for help, but the fact that others think so easily about it sometimes makes her very angry. "You can just bring her to your mother? It does not have to be that difficult to find a babysitter? " When Gerda hears that kind of statement, it makes her fierce. It is not that easy and she thinks she only really feels understood when others have been in her shoes.
It is not easy. Especially in these times of crisis not and certainly not when you seem to be alone. Dare to ask for help from people in your immediate environment. You are a single mother, but you are never alone.