IF YOU are reading this article, it means you are concerned about being a good parent. And that’s a positive start for you and your child.
Raising a child as a single mother can be stressful. You have to wear multiple hats, deal with your child’s tantrums alone and when you are feeling low, there’s no one to hold your hand and say it’s going to be fine. And when your child grows up, it can be difficult to explain why his/her father is not around.
There are endless challenges to raising a child as a single parent. But you are here so you have no choice but to wear your superhero cape and face your fears.
In this article, we are sharing a few tips to help you get off on the right foot with your child and strengthen your bond over time.
Show that you care
You may be working double shifts to support your child’s daycare, but that’s not where your duties end.
As a mother, you must spend some time with your child and shower him/her with your unconditional love. Use your leisure time to read stories to your child, engage him/her in playful activities and sensory experiences to lay a neural foundation for their future learning.
On those busy days when you are working overtime, you may need a babysitter to look after your child while you are away. It’d be better to have someone from your family babysit your child than asking favours from your neighbour next door.
Structure their day
Your child’s early years lay the groundwork for their habits, social etiquettes and behaviours. So, it is important to structure their day from morning to bedtime so that they know what to expect and can learn to become independent early on.
This is also a time when a child learns to make sense of the world around them. So keep a tab on their daily routine, who they interact with at public places and what kind of content they are consuming on TV or social media. You can set certain rules for watching TV or playing video games but make sure you are not coming across as too imposing, as children tend to resist such treatment with violence.
Talking about the father
Every single mother dreads this day and tends to delay the conversation. However, you should do the opposite. You and your child are together in this, and it’s only fair to make him/her feel inclusive by having this conversation. The sooner your child knows about it, the sooner he/she will come to terms with it. And with that out of the way, you and your child can start focusing on the future as well as the things that matter.
Changing Your Child’s Name
If the father is completely out of the picture, and you have full custody of your child, let him/her have your last name. Changing your child’s name is a pretty straightforward process through deed poll.
Dating as a Single Mother
At some point, you are going to need companionship. But unlike before, you have a child in the equation. It is important that the person you are dating respects your child as much as he respects you.
Introducing your dating partner is a crucial moment that you should wait for until you have forged a solid bond with them. And you can’t really expect your dating partner and child to get along the moment they say hello. Allow them some time and things will fall into place on their own.
When you are raising your child alone, you might worry about the lack of a father figure or a male role model in your little one’s life. In such situations, a child may form a narrow and often negative stereotype about fathers and men in general. It’s your responsibility to notice patterns and talk them out of such fixations by sharing good examples from your family or neighbourhood.
Plus, it’s important to pamper yourself from time to time; so don’t shy away from occasional indulgence.
This is a submitted article