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Being Both Mum and Dad to your Child

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 23 Sep 2018 | comments*Discuss
Being Both Mum And Dad To Your Child

Being a single working mum is incredibly hard – financially and emotionally. It can be especially difficult when you try to be both mum and dad to your children. But studies show that children who are raised by one parent who is confident, loving and strong, are easily able to recognise – and appreciate - that person as the most important influence in their lives.

Children can easily survive without two parents, as long as they have one who is always there for them. That doesn't mean you have to be perfect to be a successful single mum. And you don't have to be both parents tied into one – not really.

Children get what they need from other people as well. What they need from you is a loving, central figure in their life, someone who is always there when they need it to love them and provide support and discipline.

Myths About Single Parents

Many myths surrounding single parents have blossomed, cultivated by people who propagate the two-parent-family-only ideal. But the myths are really far from reality. Here are some stereotype-busting facts sure to inspire..

  • MYTH: Children of single parents grow up to have low self-esteem and become low achievers.
  • FACT: A child with one parent can grow up to be successful. What is important is love, discipline and a content family environment, regardless of how many parents there are.
  • MYTH: A child from a single parent home comes from a broken home.
  • FACT: Often parents choose to break up to give their children a stable home environment. Kids prosper better in a one-parent home where there is peace and harmony than in a two-parent home where Mum and Dad are constantly at each other's throats.
  • MYTH: Children of single mums never get enough adult time.
  • FACT: Kids from single parent homes often get more individual time from their parent or parents as they are not competing for attention. And the time is often quality time.
  • MYTH: All children of single parents suffer financially.
  • FACT: A UK survey said less than one-third believe their kids suffer as a result of coming from a one-parent home, while many children of two-parent families also face economic hardship.

Tips to Doing it on Your Own

Being both mum and dad can be hard, and the trick is not to do it all. Get help when you need it, give yourself credit, and know that you are doing the best for your child. Here are some other tips to help you make the most of the situation:

  • Don't over-compensate. Doing so will only serve to accentuate the feeling that something is missing. It isn't.
  • Give your child or children one-on-one time with you. Working mums, especially those who work full-time, spend less time with their kids, especially if they rely on a childminder or nanny. Make some special time for the two of you, without the pressures of homework, school etc. Your child needs to know that he or she comes first in your life, no matter what.
  • Take time for yourself. Working and being a single mum is exhausting. Give yourself a break when you can, even if that means trading baby-sitting duties twice a month with another single mum.
  • Don't be rude about your partner in front of the child. If the child's father is still around, in many cases it can be tempting to belittle him in front of your child. It'll do them more harm that your ex-partner, and will only increase the anger you feel toward him.
  • Appreciate being a mum. Too often we are so over-stressed we can appreciate what we have. But the old cliché is true – they are only little once! It might seem hard raising a child on your own, but before you know it they'll be gone...

Solo parenting is never easy, and many of us never imagined we'd be in this situation. But keep in mind that while children need role models, there is no steadfast rule stating that they have to come from both parents. You can be an excellent role model on your own, raising your children properly and always showing them how much you love and need them.

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[Add a Comment]
Hello I part share a company in childcare with little or no profit and take a basic wage, I have a mortgage with my husband and pay all bills out of our main account which is covered by his wage only, my wage pays for food and school things for our children. Because it's my company and am working 28 hours a week would I be entitled to any help financially to ensure I can keep the house and support our children. Thank you for all your assistance, I'm really struggling.
CD - 23-Sep-18 @ 11:53 AM
Lisa - Your Question:
Am a single mum with two children and my child benefit and child tax has been stop for about 7/8 month now. Can't afford to pay my rent and am about to thrown out

Our Response:
Please see Shelter link here and here which will show what help and assistance you can get in such circumstances.
AWorkingMum - 28-Apr-17 @ 11:13 AM
Am a single mum with two children and my child benefit and child tax has been stop for about 7/8 month now. Can't afford to pay my rent and am about to thrown out
Lisa - 27-Apr-17 @ 3:24 PM
@Skinny- thanks for your comments, I'm sure our readers will find them very useful.
AWorkingMum - 3-Jun-15 @ 1:44 PM
Yes, I'm your typical average bloke. Love a few beers, a good woman and a good game of poker but I can set my priorities aside to make time for my kids, now 6 and 7. Generally speaking, I am a good father, not the WORLD'S GREATEST but I am getting there, or at least I think. Although there are times my son has to remind me that there are seven colours in a rainbow and not five. Then there's my girl, 7, who will point out that I know absolutely zilch about fashion. Excuse me petal, but I am a bloke. Daddy just thinks jeans, GAP top (they are so over rated, yeah?!), cologne and out the door SORTED!! Obviously I need more advice in that department. However my wife will agree I am a good father; in the respect that I pay my kids' lunch money, fund their school trips and provide plenty of embarrassment and entertainment at their parties. As well as that I tell the crappiest jokes and the most horrendous bedtime stories, but I like to think my kids still adore me and not the cash I give them for the ice - cream truck or Kentucky fried chicken. So fathers, my advice to you all, is to take a leaf out of my book and stop trying so darn hard. It doesn't happen overnight. Women, I try my best. I may not be squeaky clean or up to your standards, but you cannot deny the fact that I pay my way so stop moaning and try to see the funny side or does the poor man have to be subjected to a life time of feministic criticism? Cut us some slack...I'm having a beer and for the record (my kids are in bed). How's that for tough love?
Dee - 31-May-15 @ 9:46 PM
Being a single parent is never easy. However contrary to belief, you are better off financially and emotionally. There are now many schemes on offer which can help you develop new practical skills, whilst meeting new friends too. Nowadays single parents are becoming more common and independent. As long as the child has a stable home, is loved nurtured and appreciated, that is all that matters really and thankfully nowadays society has become more acceptant and aware that being a single mother or father is not an easy role to fulfil.
Skinny - 31-May-15 @ 9:24 PM
The hardest part I've found is doing EVERYTHING myself, sometimes I really would like someone just to take take the slack a bit. It's so hard, I'm trying to work, my parents work so can't look after my son, my ex is no use, so it's it's down to me to work, juggle and deal with everything on my own.
Millie - 26-Nov-14 @ 3:09 PM
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