Lessons From Single Moms
Many of my clients are single moms who have shared custody of their child, which comes with some very tricky and unique challenges, to be sure. But, it may surprise you to know that the more I work with single moms, the more I see the ubiquity of their experience. The journey my single clients take beautifully demonstrates profound lessons that I strive to bring to every parent I work with, whether they are single or not.
1) You don't need to be on the same page as your co-parent to do right by your kid.
This can be a stumbling block for all parents, and it is especially hard for those who are separated. When we start working together, many of my clients (whether separated or not) believe that their co-parent's approach to parenting undermines them, which leads them to try to change the way their co-parent acts or try to un-parent their wrong moves. I help them disprove this belief by accepting that they may never be on the same page with their co-parent, and instead putting the focus on being the parent they want to be, which is no more and no less than all we can do.
2) Believing our situation is different holds us back more than the situation itself.
It is so normal to think, "My problems are different. What works for other people won't work for me." Single parents often come to me imprisoned by the thought that their situation is uniquely impossible, which stops them from even trying something new for themselves or their family. The thought, "I'm not alone and people just like me have learned this stuff," can be a game-changer. My single clients' ability to transcend their perceived limitations underscores that we can all step into the power we DO have to make a change in our parenting and in the results we experience with our kids.
3) Children know how to navigate different situations.
Have you ever been at a parent-teacher conference and felt like the kid the teacher described bore no resemblance to the child you know? Kids naturally adjust to different relationships and expectations, and nowhere is this more clear than in a separated co-parenting situation. I have seen my single clients soar as parents when they let go of the idea that their kid can't handle 2 different parenting relationships or environments because the truth is that you can create the parenting dynamic you want to have with your child, even if they don't have that dynamic with other people.
4) Children can handle the hard stuff, even the stuff that's 'our fault'.
Handing kids' problems back to them feel hard for many of my single clients because they feel like their kid's problem IS the separation and it's their fault and that's heartbreaking. We work together so they can release the desire to undo the hard stuff in their child’s life and instead walk alongside them as they learn how to overcome that hard stuff. Resilient, empowered kids grow from our believing in and supporting them while they go through hardship instead of protecting them or blaming ourselves, and this is what my single clients discover for themselves and reflect back to me every day.
5) Being ourselves in parenting is the only (and most) important thing for our kids.
Learning these lessons allows the single moms I work with to stop defining themselves in relation to their ex, to their separation, or to their child's struggle, and start being the parent they want to be, and it's the same for ALL parents who embody these ideas. They own their power, they relinquish the things that are not in their control, and magic happens. All that remains is themselves in their true authenticity, and it shows up in their parenting and in their children's behavior.
Every single one of us can do this. It has nothing to do with the other people around us, and everything to do with ourselves. When we decide to heal ourselves, be ourselves, and equip ourselves with the skills we need, there is nothing stopping us from being the parents we want to be.
If you are ready to get that healing, authenticity, and skillset, it's time for us to talk. Set up a free Discovery Call and let's get started.