We’ve all had feelings of guilt about the fact that we’re at work when our children are being looked after by other adults. At the outset of this phase for me (seven years ago), I found it hard to get my head around. But I’ve come to understand that there are benefits to being a working single parent and they’re totally worth focusing on.
We juggle both the protecting and the providing roles as a single parent. It’s demanding; there’s no doubt. It’s all the more important then, to remind ourselves of some of the benefits of getting out there into the working world. In doing so we:
1. Model a Can Do Mindset To Our Children
The routine of getting out of the house in the morning, getting the children to school, nursery or to the child-minder, traveling to work with thousands of other commuters, engaging in office communications, decision making, networking, continual learning and the delivery of results … this is all positive! And it’s this attitude we bring back to our family at the end of the day. The children see that “If you make a decision that you want something—you can surely make it happen!”
2. Raise Your Living Standard
Bringing in a salary to the household allows working single parents to have increasingly greater choices in how we raise the living standards for our children and ourselves, year after year. Choices in food, clothing, the house we live in, clubs we join, holidays we go on and education we’re exposed to.
3. Develop Resourcefulness
We coordinate clothing, feeding, schooling, clubs, childcare and self-care for our children every day. If one of these things isn’t in place, we apply the back-up plan. (And there has to be one!) For our work, we manage people, tasks, and politics in varying degrees and for our homes, we manage shopping, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, and socializing. What does this tell you about you then? That you can do ANYTHING you want to when you put your mind to it. Anything!
4. Increase Your Independence
The ability to be in control of the household income is empowering. It takes away dependence on others—whether that’s another parent, a family member, a partner or the state. There’s nothing wrong with having someone contribute to the upkeep of your family. However, there’s a freedom that comes to us as a working single parents from knowing that you have talents that are valued by others, enough for them to pay you a fee or a salary.
5. Gain Confidence
Confidence is defined like this, “Belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance.”
And again, it’s not just that we build ourselves up by taking our skills to market and working part or full time. We also model to our children that anything can be achieved when we set our minds to it. There’s so much more than a simple salary to be gained in our role as a working single parent.