Grieving as a single parent…..We all experience loss at some point in life.
Loss doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you have already been struggling in life. Grief and loss doesn’t skip over you because you are already at your breaking point.
Raising kids is hard….especially as a single parent
Whether you have 1 child or 5 it takes a lot of sacrifice and a high emotional threshold. Being a single parent only doubles the amount of pressure on you. You must be the head of household, the enforcer and the nurturer all in one. That is not easy. Children come with a lot of emotions. For many children things feel so big. That ouchie they get when they fall down or the kid at the playground who pushed them down the slide. They expect you to come to their rescue and tell them everything will be alright.
Parenting sometimes feels like processing overload and can be overwhelming especially when you are dealing with grief yourself. Grief can drain both physical and mental energy right out of you. Naturally, grieving as a single parent can leave you depleted and feeling like you have nothing left to give.
When you are a parent and your kid wakes up in the middle of the night, you have to get up and take care of them. If there are dirty dishes you have to get up and wash them. When you are grieving as a single parent, the fact you are the only one there can be a blessing and a curse.
How can it be a blessing?
It is all about how you view it, but as I see it grief can really affect mental health. When your mental health is struggling you may feel lethargic. Grief can make you want to cuddle up in bed and not leave. There is nothing wrong with an occasional disconnection from the world where you cuddle up and shut it all out, however if it becomes a habit it can further affect mental and physical health. Guess what? If you have kids, they aren’t going to let you get stagnant because they need you. Having a little kiddo can be exhausting but they also give you purpose and reason to keep pushing even when you are struggling.
Grieving as a single parent can be especially hard because not only do you have to take care of your own physical and emotional needs but also those of your children.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others.
Building a strong support system for yourself and your kids is important for any parent doing it alone. You will need to call on your support system even more during times of grief.
Remember that you don’t have to be a perfect parent.
It has been said time and time again, “kids are resilient” and they are. Your kid will love you even if you need to slap together Pb&J or pour a bowl of cereal for dinner.
It is not only important to make sure you have a support system to help with the kids. It is also imperative that you take good care of yourself and seek out grief support. Find grief support here.