It is difficult to be a single parent. Every decision you make, is usually made with little or no assistance from anyone else. Money seems to always be tight because you are contributing the most to the household. Whereas support from the non-custodial parent is helpful, the expenses needed to support a family may or not be what the other parent is willing to contiribute. You are always getting by on less money, less time, and less energy. The whole family feels the stress of just getting by and it is usually the custodial parent that must hear this because he or she is mostly available to hear it. In these times of recession it can be especially hard to “bear up”. What can a single parent do? See www.tarheeltimes.com/article28969.aspx
First of all, it can be challenging to get along with the parent that is no longer a part of the household. If you are not able to effectively communicate by phone or written letter, you can keep things positive for the children by encouraging them to communicate. If two parents are simply unable to communicate, it does not mean an end to the children’s relationship with the other parent.
Also, if that other parent has moved on to another relationship, and that person will be a part of his or her life, you can do yourself a favor and be nice to that person, even if it is through clenched teeth. Your children are watching; and if in the future, a new child comes into the picture, especially endear yourself to the child. He or she will be around for a long time; since they are not going anywhere, it is less problematic if you “embrace instead of disgrace”.
Of course, it is never fair that one parent must bear more responsibility than the other but even more than money, is the relationship that is needed to be sustained between that parent and the child. Even if you would not care if he or she “dropped off the face of the earth”, there is at least one person who really does care.
Lastly, as tempting as it is, try not to bad mouth the other person, at least not in front of the children, if at all. They will just take the other person”s side and you will look like the bad guy anyway. Even if they bad mouth you all the time, you take the high road. Besides, as a single parent, you at least have your pride. You may be tired, stressed, broke and overwhelmed but you are surviving. Continue to be strong and be “better than that”……and you will be the one who has always been there…. but you wouldn’t mind sharing that title. Right?