Are You SHINING From Your Core as a Single Parent?
By on September 21, 2017
Something strange incredible can happen when you become a single parent. Your true self has a chance to come shining through. When a divorce/break-up happens you are given an opportunity to shine as the parent and person you want to be. Maybe it’s the parent role you had in your marriage or maybe it’s the role you felt but weren’t allowed to live out. I think for most of us it’s our genuine core that shines as a single parent. A friend of mine always says at his core he is FUN! Having watched him with his kids, that is exactly the parent that he is. He takes his kids on great adventures, is incredibly involved and fosters that ‘fun’ vibe in his home and always has a huge smile on his face.
Most single parents didn’t plan on doing this parenting thing solo. Most of us came from a dual parenting relationship and due to the end of that relationship find ourselves parenting alone. When I first knew I was going to be a single parent I was heartbroken for my daughter. I felt like I was cheating her out of a two parent home and all the security that offered her. There is part of me that still feels this way at times, but what I’ve come to realize is that she has a much healthier mom today because of the divorce. I’ve seen it with my own parents and their divorce and in mine; if your marriage/relationship isn’t healthy you are not a healthy authentic parent. You’re not operating from your true core- your authentic self. How can you? Your core may be fun, but if fun is frowned upon in your marriage then it won’t shine as brightly parenting. If you know you’re prone to being stressed and you’re in an unhappy marriage, you’re probably more uptight as a parent. This is not blaming the other person, it’s just the reality. If your true self isn’t shining in your marriage, it probably isn’t shining the same as a parent. I will also add that I believe our kids deserve to know who we are at our core and what our hearts are all about. We deserve to shine and they deserve to see us shine.
Recently my daughter came to me and told me she hadn’t been telling me the truth about something. She went on to explain that despite our talks about watching YouTube videos with swearing (not allowed) she had been watching those videos. She told me that she was going to wait and tell me when she was an adult, but didn’t want to keep a secret! That made me laugh internally, but I just told her I appreciated the honesty now. I thanked her for telling me the truth and told her that I need to think about this for a few minutes. I took my chunky dog on a walk and thought how I wanted to handle this. I honestly wasn’t upset, but wanted to make sure that I understood exactly why she had been watching the videos and why she wanted my permission.
I came back from my dog walk and told her that we should watch one of these videos together and then I’d let her know my decision. Within 30 sec. of starting the video there were 3 really big swear words. I told her to pause it and explained that I was not okay with this many swear words. I told her that I appreciate the honesty; but that her brain is a big sponge and I didn’t want it filled with the swearing and language that I just heard. I explained the difference in PG movies, TV shows and her mom’s occasional swearing vs. being barraged with f-bombs. I love her heart, because she goes I understand, they really do swear a lot! We were able to talk, laugh and move on with no drama. I felt like I parented as my genuine self and it felt good.
Being a single parent isn’t easy. There is no one to share the highs and lows with on a daily basis. There are no late night conversations when you’re worried or excited about something. There is no one to hold your hand at the school talent show, but…there is one really bright shining star. As a single parent you get to (you have to choose this though!) live your authentic life in front of your kids and as their parent. You get to shine, embrace your core and parent as the parent you chose to be. Plus, you know me and know I hold out hope that with all this authentic shining that ‘like’ will attract ‘like’ and we won’t have to be a single parent forever unless we chose to.