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There are many common assumptions about single parents. One of them is that since we're struggling, we're doing the whole parenting thing on our own, we're exhausted most of the time, living on one income, secretly wishing we had a partner to share all of life's burdens with, bla bla bla - that we're an unhappy, miserable bunch of people.

It also doesn't help when you read articles about how single-parent homes will affect our children, and how my son will grow up troubled and have psychological issues and will probably be a criminal by the time he reaches his teens, and even worse, have serial killer vibes.

Well I and, I'm sure many other single parents would like to beg to differ! Yes, we're exhausted, we struggle, we make sacrifices, we have a one-income household, we wish we had a private chef and a chauffeur and a housemaid, a bigger house, more money in the bank, but that's true for so many people, single parent or not!

Just because something is harder, and being a single parent usually is, it doesn't make it worse and makes us unhappy.

happy single parent

Being a happy single parent is not so much about our relationship status as it is about personal character. People decide their own happiness. Whatever the circumstances are, only you can decide if you want to be happy or not. Some people have everything anybody could ever wish for and they're still unhappy, and some people have very little and are some of the happiest people you'll ever meet!

You choose whether you want to look at all the positives in your lives and be grateful for the things you have or, to allow yourself to get consumed and deflated by focusing on what you don't have.

Recently my son and I were talking about being grateful and the impact it has on somebody. He said that it's very difficult to be genuinely grateful when you're wishing for so much more. But for me, it doesn't have to be one or the other. Do I want a bigger house, yes - but am I grateful for the cozy house that I've made into a home - one hundred percent, yes!

Why You Should Choose To Be A Happy Single Parent

Of course, being a single parent comes with its own set of challenges - we're tired, we can't seem to get things exactly the way we want them to be, we face financial limitations, the need to constantly be on our toes is exhausting and so so much more.

But despite all this, there are many reasons why you should choose to be a happy single parent. It's beneficial for both, yourself and your children.

Your children are watching you. They look to you as their role model regardless of their age so choose happy and it'll rub off on them. If you are happy so will your kids, but if you're miserable don't expect your kids to suddenly be happy in that miserable environment that you have chosen to create.

Remember that your present is your children's future memories. You want them to look back on their childhood and think of all the happy memories that you created for them and with them. These are the memories that they'll pass on to their kids and you do want them to have good memories.

Choosing to be a happy parent has magical powers to shift your mindset. The heaviness you feel will dissipate. You might gain better clarity and give you strength and hope to move forward believing that everything will be okay.

Isn't being happy so much better than being sad? You hold the power of choosing to be happy. Only you can do that for yourself. It doesn't matter how painful the day has been, how the bills are piling up, or how your home looks at the end of the day, choose to see the bright side of things - there are many.

Being a happy parent gives you perspective. You'll be able to think clearly, reset your priorities, and give you the clarity you need. Sometimes, when you're consumed by negativity and sadness, you are not able to see past the weight of the world that you carry with you. However, choosing a different mindset allows you a clearer frame of mind to actually figure things out.

Why not? What do you have to lose by being happy - literally nothing. Instead, you gain so much!

How To Be A Happy Single Parent

Being a single parent is hard work - I don't think anybody ever questions that. For whatever reason, people seem to automatically take pity when they hear that you're a single parent (you can see it on their faces!) and are almost surprised when they see that you are actually a thriving, fulfilled, and happy single parent, as if it goes against the law of the world!

But I know for sure that there are many happy single parents who choose to be that way despite their challenges and struggles.

If you want to take a few steps towards change, here are 8 ways to be a happy single parent.

1. Practice gratitude, seriously!

I am a firm believer in the power of gratitude. It has taken me through my darkest of dark days and it still does!

If you're a beginner, you can start by writing down a list of things that you are grateful for. It can be anything - from your morning cup of coffee to the home that you've made for yourself and your kids. It can be a short list or a long list but practice it daily. You might find yourself writing the same list every single day and that's okay. It's a practice that reminds you of all the things that you've got going in your life that makes you happy and that puts you in a better frame of mind and mood. It's been scientifically proven.

If you're having trouble with lists, you can follow a guided meditation for gratitude. This is my personal preference. There are so many guided meditations on YouTube and Spotify that you can choose from. It might take a bit of time for you to learn how to sit still and focus but it gets easier with practice. These meditations can last anything from 5 minutes to maybe 40 minutes. I have gone through a lot of guided meditations to find one that resonated with me within the time frame that I could spare.

Gratitude has the power to uplift your spirit and put your priorities into perspective. It allows you to focus on the positives in your life. In time with practice, you will start to put the positives ahead of anything else even without the lists and guided meditations.

In our busy everyday lives, we often overlook the mundane and forget to be thankful for the little things that make us feel blessed when we think about it. Reminding yourself how blessed you truly are is a step you take toward being a happy single parent.

2. Let go of negativity

Isn't it funny how it's so easy for us to think of all the negativity in our lives but when we are asked about what the good things are, we struggle with it? It's the same with doing a hundred things right and nobody says a word but doing one thing wrong and that's what everybody chooses to focus on.

We all have negativity in our lives and we tend to feed it and give it the energy that it doesn't need. It causes more distress, more cause of concern, more anger, more frustration, and more unhappiness than it should.

Letting go of negativity is easier said than done, but it's something that needs to be done if you want to be happy. You can't be happy and hold on to negativity at the same time. Yeah, you can get angry, get frustrated, get sad, and feel like breaking everything in your way, but do not hold on to those feelings longer than you should - learn to let go and move on.

People will say what they want to say and do what they want, and problems and challenges will come and go - these are sometimes out of your control and when it is out of your control, you cannot do anything about it. What you can control is how you react to them and how you manage them.

3. Mind your thoughts

Sometimes your own thoughts are your worst enemy. Some thoughts are completely unnecessary but you think it anyway. I don't know why this happens but my thoughts are capable of creating a drama that more often than not will never happen or is not true but somehow it manages to make me anxious, worried, angry, and more - it's my own doing!

It can be anything from my job, my son, to my son's future, my inability to get a hold of things, or what I've read or heard about - my thoughts are capable of manifesting and making it bigger than it actually is. If this is the same for you - snap out of it and re-center your focus.

Minding your inner dialogue is super important in maintaining happiness. That constant chatter in your head telling you you're not doing enough, often doubting yourself, beating yourself up - don't believe them neither should you entertain them. If you notice your mind starting to self-sabotage, go on the defensive and change how you speak to yourself.

Change your thoughts, change your life!

4. Acceptance

Regardless of your circumstances and how you've come to be a single parent, acceptance is key.

When I became a single parent when my son was born 20 years ago, it was difficult initially to accept the fact that I would be going on this journey on my own. It was difficult because I was scared. Scared of the unknown. Unsure of my ability to be a good parent. Disappointed that I wouldn't be able to give my son the conventional family experience and how it would affect him in the long run. I was saddled with fear mostly.

But once I accepted the fact that I was a single parent and that my son depended on me, regardless of all that was happening around me, and chose to focus on just the two of us I became at peace with my situation. I found that accepting the situation allowed me to empower myself, and to develop the strength and determination I needed, not only to make it work but to excel.

I promised myself not to dwell on matters that I was not in control of and could not change, but to put all my energy and focus on myself and raising my son.

5. Draw up a plan

When you become a single parent, you have to sit yourself down and draw up a plan. It's serious business. Whether or not your ex-partner is in the picture, you need to draw up a plan and not leave anything to chance. Whether it's your job, time management, school schedules, financial obligations, and goals, or getting a support system - I cannot emphasize enough that you need to have a plan.

Then again a plan is no good if you don't follow through with it. Remember that things can happen in life that can cause you to be a bit flustered and might derail you but that's okay. Keep flexibility in mind when planning.

I promise you that once you have a plan in motion, your life takes on a better outlook. It frees up space in your head and gives you peace of mind with the knowledge that you have things organized and well on your way to a better future for you and your kids.

Remember that your journey towards being a happy single parent starts with a plan.

6. Focus on the present

Quite frankly, thinking about the past - the whys, what could have, would have, should have is just a waste of time. No matter how much you think about it, what is done is done and it will not change, instead what it will do is consume you and leave you in a state of frustration and despair.

For your own sake and for the sake of your kids, you have to focus on the present. Letting go is hard but it's not impossible. Focus on the now and slowly work towards getting yourself to a place of peace and acceptance. Your kids need you to be their safe space, their place of comfort and guidance, and to be the parent they need in the best version possible.

Focusing on the present allows you to let go of the past and not worry about the future. It's not easy to not worry about the future, yes - but the most important is focusing on what is right in front of you now. Have fun with your kids and be fully present in their lives.

7. Stand tall and be proud

There may be a stigma around single parents, but so be it. They don't in any way reflect you as a single parent. Don't listen to the opinion nor pay attention to anybody who has anything negative to say. If you have to cut some people out of your life, then why not?

There's no shame in being a single parent. You should be proud of yourself. Just because your circumstances are such and now you're a single parent, doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. It also doesn't mean that you are less of a parent as compared to two-parent families.

I am a proud single parent. I've come so far and achieved so much when everybody else around me thought I couldn't possibly raise a son on my own. Not only have I raised a son, but I have raised, the kindest, biggest of hearts, respectful, funny, healthy, and all-around well-rounded boy. All while trying to take care of myself as well.

We've had our share of ups and downs over the years but I will stand tall and be proud because I know that I have done my best and I'm a great and genuinely happy single parent. I wouldn't have had it any other way!

8. Surround yourself with your people

As a single parent, I choose to be thankful for the kind of love and support I am getting. I keep my circle small, but this small circle has contributed in big ways to my overall well-being, as well as my son's.

You need people who you can rely on, talk to and share with. Once you find these people, you'll notice that the little they say will be enough to give you a renewed sense of strength and support to keep going and continue on your journey as a single parent.

These are the people that you know you can count on.

It is important to instill purposeful happiness in your everyday lives. Being a single parent is hard but choosing to be a happy single parent shouldn't have to be.

Be happy with your life, irrespective of what your life is missing. Be grateful and happy for what you do, and for all the love and support that you have. Make a conscious decision to choose to be happy today, tomorrow, and every day from here on.

Small steps, big consequences.

My son, who is my life, makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world and I choose to be happy every day.


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