Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up As Single Parents?

A sweet friend’s comment on yesterday’s blog sparked this post (thanks Elaine).  Is it just me or do all of us struggle with parenting?  I think it’s universal, but also I think that when the kids are having difficulties (bullying, anxiety, depression, fallout from their parents’ (our) divorces, etc) we are even harder on ourselves.  We beat ourselves up trying to find a way to make things better.  We can find fault in whatever we say/do that doesn’t work.  We carry the guilt of not being perfect.  We strive to have our kids enjoy a childhood free from stress/worry/anxiety/depression etc and neglect ourselves.  We forget when we’re mired in the mess of life that we have done things right in the past.  We only concentrate on what’s wrong and not what’s right.

Why, oh why do we do this to ourselves?  Because this suffering that we are experiencing isn’t fun, nor healthy for us, nor for the kids.  That I know, but it seems like it begins a vicious cycle that we have to stop.  I just don’t know how yet.  Do you?

When I get out of my own head and am feeling loved by a caring friend’s comment (again thanks Elaine), I can see the bigger picture.  I can be more of an observer in this scenario going on in our lives.  I can forgive my own self and let go of the stress a bit.  I can allow that knowing that I am doing my best to help and the kids are doing their best under the circumstances.  I can, for a little while, be with what is at this very moment without questioning.  The key here I think is to find that place of zen more often.

Single parenting isn’t for the weak.  It strengthens us in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine.  The critical piece is that we need to avoid is that it doesn’t strengthens us into cement, unfeeling, and hard-minded.  The flip side, equally as detrimental, is that it doesn’t weaken us to the point of giving up and not being there for the kids, nor for ourselves.

My friend at 50 Shades of Brave reminded me that we need  to put our own oxygen mask on first, as per the instructions on a plane.  Self-care is important.  It’s vital to we as parents, people and as human beings.

What do you think about this topic?  Have you experienced something similar?  Feel free to chat below if you want.  We’re all here together on this life journey.  I love helpful hints and I love to hear about you too.  We’re a supportive group here.  That’s my favorite part of blogging.  So thanks for being you!

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7 Responses to Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up As Single Parents?

  1. LA says:

    Parenting is the hardest job there is, especially because we expect to be perfect at it. Cut yourself some slack, take time out for yourself, and do what yo7 can fo4 your kids


  2. happyasamother says:

    Self care is so important! The kids will be ok if we take a day to ourselves 🙂


  3. Boy can I identify with you there. I am still mad at myself for my choice of partner and father to my youngsters. Still they are mainly great despite the screw ups. I am a bit torn about my approach. They normally settle if I get really honest about my feelings. I can literally see them go “Phew!” when I am brutally honest and use some less than savoury vocabulary. We usually end up laughing then.


    • janieleeds says:

      I’ve done that too! They have to see that we’re human and we are also doing the best we can under the circumstances. I have used that type of language occasionally and it packs a punch of laughter!

      Liked by 1 person

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