How Single Parenting Keeps You Fit?
Single Parenting Misconception
There is a common misconception that single parenting is almost unbearable and that those who walk that road are destined for depression and failure.
The ‘doom and gloom’ that I was destined for a miserable life as a single parent. This is one of the key reasons as to why I decided to change our lives. We decided to go traveling, and to spend time with my son whilst I was fit and able.
Years after living as a single mother, I am here to refute those claims.
I have realized that there are so many advantages to being a single parent.
One of these advantages is that a single parent becomes fit based on the many activities and duties they have to do as the only parent in the family.
Believe me, here are some of the things that keep single parents fit.
Being the only parent, you’re left with no option but to accompany your child to every sporting activity that requires the presence of a parent.
You want to be the child’s motivation and constant reminder that there is a parent who loves and cares so much about him/her. Therefore, this is truer if you have a child who is crazy about sports.
Kids Love It
He/she will love it when you go swimming, playing football or cycling.
In the process, you, the single parent become fit. Since you participate in more sports than you did before you acquired your single parent status.
Fitness is not just based on what can be seen but is also based on what is unseen. As a single parent, you always expect low days. This is when your child will feel like someone special is missing as all his/her friends walk around with both parents. It is a gap that is so hard but not impossible to feel.
When the child comes home crying, he/she expects you to be strong for her, always encouraging him and reminding him that everything happens for a good reason.
If you were not an emotional person before, you will soon start developing a very fit mindset that is not negatively affected by emotions. Before you know it, you discover that you have acquired a type of fitness that can only be related to the state of your emotions.
To me, this is the best type of fitness that I would wish for any/every parent. It sustains the family through trying times. Luckily, singles parents acquire can acquire a peaceful parenting approach.
Most single parents will tell you that they could improve when it came to financial management.
They can, therefore, neither fully or partially depended on the other partner for their child’s financial needs nor their personal needs. This all that changes when one becomes a single parent.
Suddenly you begin reasoning like a professional accountant who knows where to get money and how to balance expenditure to ensure that there is never a deficit.
I refer to that as being ‘financially fit’.
It is a type of fitness that is provoked by increased responsibility due to decreased support from the other parent. As a single parent, I have, therefore, realized that I will try to do this; I’ll do anything humanly possible and morally acceptable to ensure that my child’s financial needs are met. It was never my comfort zone before.
It was never my comfort zone before. However, it has become my comfort zone today. It is not easy, but I have become a pro at it.
I have also found that it is a great opportunity to train my son for his future. We buy and sell, and he is responsible for earning his pocket money.
We discuss money and he is fully aware of the good times and the bad, but in saying that I do not use scare tactics about finances to win him over. I am cautious with how much I discuss and wisdom does need to be applied as a parent.
As a single parent, there is no day you will go on with your duties without thinking about the well-being of your child. And, this is a feeling that cannot be avoided by single parents, especially if you only have one child as they become your ‘all’.
With time, you get used to it and can at times be working while at the same time checking up on your child at a friend’s place or at school.
It gets worse when the child gets sick, and you still have to make money. Multitasking for any parent comes into play at this point. It can be more difficult if you work for a boss that lacks understanding, or if you are self-employed with no-one to share the workload and deadlines are looming.
Multitasking Keeps You Fit
Without the fitness of a single parent, anyone might collapse from extreme and unbearable multitasking – and there are days when it does all get to you. Therefore, there is no-one to talk problems over with. You simply have to sort it all out yourself, but you instill in your child a sense of toughness, and that quitting is just NOT an option.
When traveling on the go, a single parent must plan, budget, cook, pack, assist with education and in my case work online.
Days Roll Into Nights
Often the days roll into nights and social life takes the back burner.
To keep active, we often also go for an afternoon walk together and discuss our issues during the walk. This is a chance to air our feelings without having to look each other in the eye, and we often come up with great plans and ideas.
I’ve seen my son plan a trip, find a solution, or take responsibility for a problem all whilst we take a walk. It is a win-win for the body and the mind in the fitness realm and stress is then lessened as well.
This is something that requires every parent to be morally fit.
I don’t see sense in disciplining a child for misbehaving when you too are fond of misbehaving as parents set the example. How can you tell your child not to swear if you do – for example? This becomes a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ scenario that children do not respect.
As a single parent, this child fully looks up to you and will only copy what he/she sees in you and the buck stops with you for disciplining etc. This is something that two-parent families don’t have to deal with.
Single parents, however, have so much pressure placed on them to be morally stable since they are the only mirror that their child uses to reflect good morals.
Therefore, you must keep a close watch on your behavior and morals as well as speech as a parent. And as a single parent, there is no-one to keep you in check except yourself. So a sense of moral fitness comes into play here.
Questions and Comments
- Are you a single parent?
- If so, do you find you are fit and active with your kid/s and if so how?
- Do you have any tips to share with other parents?