3 Lessons learned from single parenting

3 Lessons learned from single parenting

Snowball Fight

Captured by Bruce Penney Photography


We all have a different lens that we experience life through. My lens is that of a single mom with primary and full-time care of my children while working full-time. For the first time ever, I own a home on my own and have all of the challenges that come along with that to deal with myself.

I’ve learned to let go of some of my ideals and accept a new standard of success.

I’ve learned to stock my tool box. If I can learn to fix something myself, I want to – but I need the tools to do so. Bit by bit I’m re-accumulating tools for house projects. I’ve learned to stop a drippy valve on a pipe. I’ve learned to wire a light switch. I’ve learned the quickest way to start a fire in my wood stove in the morning. I’ve learned who provides some of the best service when it comes to masonry. And I’ve learned that every time I think things have settled down and I can start catching up, another big expense will come along.

Learning to manage those stresses is probably the biggest challenge for me. I read recently about a study suggesting depression is more like an allergic reaction from stress, and I believe it.

Two: I have learned from single parenting that there really is a reason why their father and I are no longer together. That was apparent to me from the beginning and continues to be reinforced. This isn’t a finger pointing statement, although I’m sure every single parent on both sides of the equation would like to point fingers at times. It is however a fact that becomes more apparent when attempting to co-parent that we were not meant to remain a couple.

The number one lesson I have learned is that it is not a sign of weakness, but more so one of strength, to ask for help. Asking for help is not an easy thing to do. I’ve been burned by my dependence on another in the past. I can be reluctant to trust others and at times am afraid of being further let down. Not only have I learned that asking for help is a sign of strength but also that if I change the expectations in my mind the asking gets easier. I know that no one else has the same commitment to my life and my children that I do. If I remember that everyone else has their own life and their own demands and that my own challenges don’t necessarily rank as high on their list as they do mine… it becomes a little easier to accept when the help doesn’t come. But it also becomes that much more appreciated when it does.

I have a roster, so to speak, of people that I know I can ask for help. Some of them I still haven’t asked yet. Some I have asked on numerous occasions. Some are there for me almost at a drop of a hat, some come and go based on their own demands in life. Whatever I do, I try to make myself available to help others in the ways that I can do without jeopardizing my own well being. Chances are when others are not available to help, they are doing a bit of the same balancing act.

What lessons have you learned from the challenges you face in life?



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About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two