Essay Paper on Being a Single Parent

Being a single parent is challenging, and a stressful way of life. If you can find the balance between work, home, children and time for yourself, it is a very rewarding experience. But there is no simple answer. The balance for each adult and every family is different. I tried to balance work with a happy and stable family life by considering my financial priority, cooperation and communication, coordinating with friends and family members, and taking time for myself.Managing money wisely helped relieve the financial strain that forced many single parents to work long hours or excessive overtime. I worked out a budget for living expenses and stuck to it. I spent time with my children instead of giving them money for entertainment purposes. I weighed the benefits of my job (salary, insurance, etc.) with what it would cost me in time spent away from my children. I found a less demanding job, which provided a better way of life for me and my family.

Being a single parent, I had to learn to cooperate and communicate. I had to keep in mind that while I went to work and fulfilled other parental obligations, my children were busy with their own activities. I made sure that my children knew how to reach me and that I knew where to find them. I made sure we all agreed on our schedules, transportation and all the details relating to a planned activity. It helped to post a calendar that listed all our activities, drop-off times, pick-up times, etc. And I made sure my workplace allowed my children to contact me when they needed to.

Full-time employment meant missing out on important after-school athletic events, school functions and Girl Scout meetings. I asked my cousin to pick up my children from school and babysit them until I picked them up after work. Instead of trying to make it to every event and feeling bad when I couldn’t, I invited my sister or brother and close friends to attend instead. My children liked the idea of being able to show their aunt or uncle their achievements or athletic skills.

Because I had to divide my time and attention between my three children, I made sure to take time out for myself. At least once or twice a month I made a point of doing something just for me. I sometimes lock myself in my room and read a book for an hour, or go to a matinee movie alone. Once a month I spent an evening with the girls. We’d go to dinner and dancing. This allowed me to meet other singles out there and to ease back into the dating scene. Everyone needs a break now and then, and I made sure I made the time.

Single parenting has become more common and accepted in the United States. Being a single parent is frightening, confusing and overwhelming, but it can also be very rewarding. Single or not, I am my children’s parent and the most important tools I possess are my love for my children, my wisdom and my common sense. If I do the best I can, learn from my mistakes (and I learn something new everyday) and love my children along the way, I’m doing all any parent, single or married, can ever do.

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