Notes From a Single Mom: The Good Life—What's So Great About Being a Single Parent?

Lynn Armitage
11/17/12

As we head into Thanksgiving, it’s time to reflect on all the blessings in our life. For the 10 million single moms in this country, there are at least 10 million of them. The U.S. Census tells us that Native American children are much more likely to be living in a single-parent household or with grandparents.

 

And that can be a very good thing, says author Stephen Atlas. In his book, “Single Parenting,” he outlines seven benefits of living in a single-parent home:

 

If there was conflict in the two-parent family, a change to single-parent living can reduce tension and hostility, and increase family solidarity as parents can better focus on children’s needs and be more consistent with rule enforcement.

 

Single parents can spend more time with children since they aren’t distracted with the expectations and time demands of another adult.

 

 Single parents depend more heavily on the voluntary cooperation of children, creating an interdependent, working-together approach to problem-solving and daily living.

 

Single parents often need to develop new skills and acquire more education, opportunities for growth that make them stronger people.

 

Children have wider experiences because they may go between two differing spheres of influence.

 

The extended single-parent community, such as Parents Without Partners, can provide support and provide opportunities for personal growth and new relationships.

 

Children may feel more valued and needed as contributing members of the household, sharing the same major responsibilities as adults in two-parent households.

 

 

Atlas drives home some great points about the benefits of single parenting. And I would like to add a few more to the mix from my own personal experience:

 

 

The Friday video-and-popcorn night on the sectional with my daughters. It feels like a slumber party!

 

The ex-husband takes our kids to dinner one night a week, so it’s one less meal I have to throw together.

 

Without all the boxers and men’s jeans to wash, there’s a lot less laundry to do. Hallelujah!

 

There’s no one to argue with about money, so the house is quieter.

 

I can steam-clean the carpets when the kids are visiting their dad and not stress about foot traffic.

 

When we travel, the three of us can sit together in one row on the plane and hold each other’s hands on take-off.

 

I can frilly-up the house and paint my bathroom purple without any complaints.

 

I am the boss of the house. Enough said.

 

     Freelance writer Lynn Armitage is an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. She wants to know what YOU think are the best things about being a single parent.

 

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