Becoming a parent is a life-changing event. One day you are free to do whatever you like; the next you are responsible for a small person who can’t live without you. Is it any wonder that some parents fail in their duties as parents?
Fortunately, the majority of parents manage to raise their offspring to maturity without too many problems. We make mistakes and muddle through, especially in the early days, but our kids usually reach adulthood in one piece. Nevertheless, being a parent is a tough job and you are not alone if you are struggling to cope.
The Family Unit
In the US, 12 million children are being raised by a single parent. The traditional family unit has been obliterated in recent decades and there is less of a stigma attached to raising kids alone. 80% of single parent families are headed by a mother, but there are also many fathers out there struggling to be both a mom and dad and not always doing so well at it.
Being the head of a family is a tough job by anyone’s standards, but trying to do the job alone is even harder. 40% of single-parent families live below the poverty line in the US. Children with a father as head of the family are less likely to be living in poverty, but many families are unsure of where their next meal is coming from and the earning disparity between a single mother and a woman in a couple is alarming, with single mothers earning a third less than their married counterparts.
Ask for Help
All too often, families struggle because they are unaware of the help on offer, or too proud to ask for assistance. Irrespective of whether you are a lone parent or the main breadwinner, it is essential that you ask for help if you find it hard to put food on the table or juggle childcare duties.
There is help out there, but only if you seek it out. Food banks will supplement your weekly groceries by supplying fresh fruit, vegetables, and other cupboard staples. The welfare system is designed to act as a safety net for the poorest families, so check to see whether you are entitled to financial assistance.
Seek a Better Life
Even if you are not living on the poverty line, life is still tough. Many parents put their own ambitions to one side to raise their kids, but whilst self-sacrifice is written into our DNA, it is not always the best road to take.
Look at your career options and see if there is anything you can do. Entrepreneurship is one route to a better life. Anyone can start a small business from home, but if you lack confidence, check out online life coaching to help you build your self-esteem.
Being a parent is tough, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a good life. Grab every opportunity that comes your way and ask for help if you are struggling to cope. It’s up to you to set the right example for your kids!