Zoe’s story is the story told by a very brave young mother who faced challenges throughout single parenting that most mothers fear. Zoe’s story of Lone Parenting was so difficult for her to write that she actually changed her name and appearance to submit this article. For most lone parenting mothers to deal with, alas I myself have been in the position of being a single parent and can share my lone parenting story with you.
Lone parenting forced me to cope with being a single parent to my eight year old child at times when there was nobody to help or support me when I needed it most. All aspects of lone parenting seem daunting, especially as the name itself lone parenting sends out a message of solitary and loneliness amongst parents who desperately need support.
It does not have to be this way, being a single parent can be a great experience for you and your child too, just rise above the worry and stress of being a lone parent and enjoy the bond that you have with your child and together you can face the world together.
Single parenting was only a label given to parents and not a true reflection on how you cope as a parent and deal with your child, i like many other lone parents had to discover this amidst conflict of my parenting skills from family members and competing with the father of my child for affection
Zoes story of lone parenting
My child soon learned about boundaries when divorce tore apart our family, but after a very short time I became dependant on my parents for help and support and my own parenting skills had a lot to be desired, that was when things started to go wrong for myself and my child.
My daughters father showered her with gifts creating affection between them, the grandparents also contributed to manipulate my child into thinking that she was better off with them because they were parenting my child whist i worked full time. They could provide for and support my child whereas with me money was tight and i could not afford to buy everything that my child wanted, as with most single parents we had to make the best out of what little we could afford.
I found lone parenting extremely hard as i could not compete with all of this affection that my child shared with other family members due to the constant purchasing of gifts and presents. I did not want to be the one who dished out the punishment to my child all the time so we indulged and I also spent money on things that she did not really need.
Buying the affection of my child was not the answer to coping with being a single parent, but i gave in all the same and started spending money on gifts too just to see my daughter smile and get excited, then came the affection that i was craving. I felt like i was the best parent in the world at that moment, but as soon as the novelty of the gift wore off my child ceased with the hugs and cuddles once more and waited for her next surprise.
This was my biggest downfall as a single parent struggling to put food on the table for us to survive, too much time had been wasted trying to please and bribe my child to give affection when all i needed was to be strong as a parent and reinforce my authority as a parent, not a single parent or a lone parent, but as a parent regardless of the stereotype.
It was when I met my boyfriend and became a stronger parent that i was able to reinforce my rules as a parent, eliminate the competition from other family members and give my child the right kind of parenting that she was so desperately in need of. My boyfriend is a fantastic father figure with no children of his own, but a fountain of experience when it came down to parenting skills and the needs of children. He supported me in my role of single parent giving me credit for the way that i had coped and raised my child against all the conflicts of parenting from my family.
I did not even realise that my child and i lacked the maternal bond until it became apparent to me that whenever an accident or injury occured my child would phone her grandparents or her father. In rare cases that she was in trouble then my child went to tell my partner – it hit me hard that she did not come to me her mother.
As a family unit we have all worked so hard together to rectify these problems of parenting and just simple playing together for a few hours after tea has made huge developments in our relationship, now we cuddle up on the sofa and bond together as a mother and daughter should. My child had thought that I was always busy and had no time for her and I thought that she was not the affectionate type in need of a hug all the time.
My boyfriend and I have a great and strong relationship and I am learning so much from him, together we have battled with family members for control of my parenting role, the boundaries have been reset and discipline is returning to the household, but not in replacement of the maternal bond between myself and my daughter – that is never going to break down again. Surprisingly my daughter not only seems to thrive from this discipline , but also has formed a fantasting and trusting bond with my boyfriend and respects him also as a parent
If you share a similar experience or need advice then this is the opportunity to change the wrongdoings and start piecing back together the bonds of parents and their children…….
The names in this text have been changed to protect the identity of the mother and child.