• The upsides of single parenting

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    BETTINA CARLOS

    In celebration of my daughter’s sixth year of life, I want to honor my Partner who has made parenting—despite the solo status—work out.

    Most people think that single parenting is hard. That’s true. But not as difficult if you have a Partner who carries your burdens for you, promises to take care of you and delights to provide for you all the days of your life.

    Our lack in the cast became an opportunity to be filled by an even bigger Father any mother would want to have as their one and only partner. The void was filled beyond its capacity–it is in fact overflowing to others.

    Yes, having two parents may be the ideal set up, sure. But life is not templated for everyone. We must adjust to adapt; make do with what we have. I do believe it is always a matter of perspective.

    If you choose to see the good in it, you’ll be able to work around it. As in my case, the lack in our life turned out to be the best for us (Romans 8:28).

    My child, praise God, is growing up into a healthy, complete person for every day I ask parenting wisdom from the Lord. I, on the other hand, needed this arrangement in my life, in order to grow up and mature. I cannot imagine the kind of life I have now if it weren’t for having a child unexpectedly.

    Six years ago today, God blessed me with this child whom He used to change my life and bring me home to Him

    When most people tend to focus on what is lacking in our set up—a partner—there are actually so many advantages of not having any. You may be surprised. There are a number of reasons why I wouldn’t have it any other way. Don’t get me wrong, of course I still do desire to have a spouse, someone to share the bills and burdens with, whose job is solely to support you and stand by you. But then I also realize that there are so many scenarios when it is actually much easier and better being the only parent to a child.

    In no important order:
    There is no need to ask for permission nor consult about finances on what and how I want to spend my hard-earned money on. The kind of gifts I want to give for Christmas. The kind of vacation I want to give my daughter and my Mom and Lola. Or if it’s okay to support my family still. No need to negotiate on budgeting. No asking when I want to splurge and on what.

    I can decide instantly when time is of the essence. I don’t need to wait for another’s opinion on a matter involving my child. Especially since I am a decisive person. If in the event that my partner is quite fickle or often unsure and doubtful of his decision-making skills, it will just delay the process.

    No confusion and conflict in parenting, especially discipline. There is only one, consistent parenting style and one set of discipline principles. The routine is more fixed because I am only serving one person. I am meeting the needs of just one person—my child’s.

    The child grows up close to the parent. Because I am the only guardian/parent that she has and so at all times we stick to each other. It fosters a more intimate parent and child relationship.

    Solo parenting can work for your own good (Romans 8:28)

    You can truly give undivided attention to your child. If there would be anything else that may compete with your child’s attention in her formative years, it will just be work perhaps. But no unnecessary drama with a person that may decrease the quality time you spend.

    It works for you because you train yourself to be mature, independent and responsible. You “pressure” yourself not to rely on anyone, and to put your trust and dependence on God alone. You become your version 2.0 because you accept full responsibility of this life you were entrusted.

    Consequently, you also raise an independent child who is your forever teammate and best friend, who is a witness to your hard work and dedication.

    Also, your past experience that led you to becoming a solo parent (if you had the child out of wedlock) is a good opportunity to teach your child how to not become the person you were.

    Use your mistake as an example to influence your child on what they should be instead as well as what they must look for in a partner. Your child will also grow up to be more careful and more cautious when engaging in romantic relationships.

    More time for real “me time.” When your child is asleep, it is really just your “me” time. No one else to serve or take care of but yourself. So you take better care of yourself. You know you are the only parent your child has and so you work on being healthy and strong in order for you to live long for your child. You do not take your health for granted. You make time taking care of your health and the reason is not even vanity.

    You become a more motivated and mature person – your predicament becomes your fuel. The struggle is your source of strength. Your adversity quotient increases. You become more resilient and prepared to face and handle anything life may hurl at you.

    The purpose of discussing this topic is to encourage and empower single mothers to carry on and discourage them from marrying for the wrong reason.

    From my experience, I can say that marrying the biological father of your child is not the solution to the difficult time you are having. It will not necessarily make things right with God (in the event that you are “living in”). The solution is for you to come into terms with your situation. You need not wallow in the absence of a partner. Embrace it instead.

    Let me leave you with a comforting verse from James 1:2-4, one of my sources of strength when I feel overwhelmed with unending trials and tempted to give up and shut down: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

    God is preparing you for greater things. But for now, He wants you to focus on your child and on Him who can truly help you. He needs you to trust that those trials are for you. His purpose is never to harm you or give you a difficult time but to produce a strong character in you. Trust that God is perfecting you.

    I do pray to have a partner. If it is God’s will to bless me with one. But for now, I enjoy having only Gummy to serve and take care of and God as my ka-alone time. God knows when I can accommodate another one. He knows when you too would be ready. We have to trust His timing.

    Thank you God for how You have guided me in raising Gummy. Six years with you as my Partner has been such a breeze!

    If you have any thoughts you want to share, please shoot me an email at mummybitesph@gmail.com

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    2 Comments

    1. Thats too harsh for you to quote the Bible and used it on her. Try reading it further. 1 Cor. 6:10-11
      You dont know what shes been through and you dont also know what happened between her and the father. She is just being the best version of herself for gummy…

    2. I think the title of your column is a bit misleading, there are no upside of being a single parent. As I read your columns even in the past, it seems you write things of all about you,what about the feelings of your child? No matter what you do, your child will still yearn for the love of a father, she will always wonder and ponder of what life is with a father around.
      You can quote everything what the Good Book says to make yourself feel good, but to write that there are upside of being a single parent, you are gravely mistaken. 1 Cor. 6:9.