There comes in a point in every single parent’s life when they are well on the way to creating a new life for them and their children.
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All the initial emotional pressures should be starting to ease off and you should be settling in to your new role. There may well still be legal and financial issues hanging over you, and from experience these may well take several years to resolve. However, it is still important to keep moving forward and think positively about your situation. This will not only help you, but will also help your children and encourage positive behaviour about moving forward and accepting their change in circumstances.
Promoting and encouraging positive behaviour
Ensuring that your children are happy, settled and secure with their lives is the most important thing you can do, as well as taking care of your own emotional health and wellbeing. This is a great time for planning your family’s future and making decisions about your career, your home and what you want to do next.
You may feel completely content to be single and have no desire to meet another partner, preferring to put all your efforts into your family and work at this stage in your life. That’s fine, provided that you do have time for yourself and a life outside of the home environment. Remember that one day your children will leave home and then your role as parent will be very different. You may be at the stage where you feel it is time for a house move, or even a move to another country. If you have always wanted to go and live in a farmhouse in France and you have the ability to make this happen, then now could be the time to start making plans.
Some quotes from some inspirational single parents
“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to live in France and be an artist. I love art and painting but while I was bringing up my four boys as a single parent I didn’t have the chance to do this. My youngest child is 18 and studying music at college and my eldest is 27 so I finally feel that I can let go and get on with my life! There is light after the tunnel!” Lesley, 47. “Early in your life as a single parent you will find that the smallest tasks seem unachievable, but this is not because you can’t do them, it’s because your situation is stressful, hard work and completely exhausting. I wanted to do so many things and got so frustrated because everyone seemed to be doing things quicker and better than I could. It was because they had the support of a partner. I was doing it all on my own.” Jan, 44 “I made the mistake of not asking for help, and pretending that I could afford to carry on living the lifestyle that I had always had. Times have been tough financially but I am coming out of the other side now. It’s still not easy, and I will never be a millionaire but life is good and I am happy. I have embraced being a single parent and I am proud of what I have done.” Anon
Make a plan
Where do you want to be in three years, five years, ten years time? We are all allowed to have plans and dreams, ideas and ambitions-even single parents! Get a notebook and write a list of things in your life that are great and things that need attention. Perhaps you want to have paid off all your debts in three years? If you want to do this, how are you going to make it happen? Maybe you want to start your own business and with all the children off to school you can finally get this off the ground.
Everything takes time, be patient and don’t feel under pressure to do things that other people are doing. Chances are that they have two incomes, lots of help and support and a fraction of the worries that you have on your own. So what if it takes you five years to earn enough money to get a mortgage – you will have done it on your own and that is a huge achievement.
Sarah, 42 said: “I still can’t always believe that I have my own home. My ex husband tried to make things so hard for me, but I am not bitter because I feel I have really done a lot with my life and done the best I can for my children. We are a happy family and I have a great career and social life. There is life after being a single parent, and I am proof of that!”