5 challenges all single mums will understand (and how I coped)

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Young mum Linda is back in her latest vlog about the top 5 challenges she’s experienced since becoming a mum and how she’s got through all of them.

Here’s what Linda says in the video if you can’t watch it:

Hi everyone, my name’s Linda and I’m gonna give you my top 5 most challenging aspects of being a parent. This isn’t in any kind of order by the way.

1. Coping with being a lone parent

…and just realising that I was gonna be the primary role model in my son’s life. Not solely, but essentially the one who had the biggest impression, or influence should I say, on him. And that was, and still is, a scary thing for me.

Especially [because] when I had my son I had him quite young so I was still at a stage where I was trying to find who I was, still trying to find myself, trying to get my life in order. And so,
how was I gonna teach this little person all the things I wanted him to learn when I was still all over the place? I was still trying to find myself.

But seeing my son happy, healthy and constantly smiling was a constant reminder of what a great job I was doing and what a great job I have done so far.

2. Learning how to be selfless

And, to be fair, this isn’t a major challenge, but it still is one kind of for me. And it’s true what they say, when you do have your child you do instantly have this feeling of selflessness. You learn not to be selfish as soon as you have your child. You wanna give them everything you have and more, but there are those times… well, for me, I don’t know about anybody else or any other parent out there… for me I still do want those times to myself.

Linda - young mum

Ok, so I have a confession… let me just be honest now! Every now and again for some time now, I would wait for my son to go to bed before I enjoyed a really nice piece of chocolate, or ice cream or a really luxurious rich chocolate cake. Something that a child’s palette can’t really appreciate. Maybe that’s just my way of justifying it, but… [laughs] I would wait until he goes to sleep before I had it to myself.

I remember asking one of my friends, she’s also a mother too, does this make me a bad parent? Because I actually did feel really guilty about it. And, she was like, no, I do the same as well. So that kind of made me breathe a sigh of relief.

You’re constantly giving, giving, giving to your child or your toddler… And I’m not trying to encourage any parent to be selfish with their child or not give to their child… but you’re constantly giving [so] you cherish those “mummy times”, those times when you have yourself to yourself. You have your alone time and you just wanna enjoy something really nice by yourself without
having to share it.

3. Losing my independence

I think a lot of parents can probably relate to this. Not being able to go out with friends when I wanted to, or just go to the shop when I wanted to, or just do what I want when I wanted to or wake up when I wanted to, or sleep when I wanted to.

That was really really hard; that was probably one of the biggest changes I had becoming a mother and I only really trusted two people at the time with my son to babysit, and so that really limited my chances of having a free babysitter so I could go out. And so it was hard – I didn’t really go out as much as I wanted to.

I had a really nice circle of friends that I wanted to engage with frequently but I couldn’t, ’cause some of them didn’t have kids and so we couldn’t engage in activities that included kids. So it was really really difficult but how I dealt with it, to be fair, was just looking at the positives and embracing my motherhood.

Linda

And it is a beautiful thing to be fair, and I’d rather now spend that time with my son than spend it going out partying, doing the same thing over and over again, listening to the same music, being in the same atmosphere. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy going out, but I’ve just learned how to deal with it. It’s been so many years now.

Yeah, just embrace your motherhood and your parenthood.

4. Dating

I’ve found that challenging and I’m sure other parents find it challenging as well. And that’s because it’s not just about you no more – it’s about your child. Your child is your number one priority and when it came to me looking for somebody new, I didn’t rush – that’s how I dealt with it – I didn’t rush.

I waited for the right time because that person didn’t just have to be compatible for me, they also had to be compatible for my child as well. I had to put my child’s needs before mine and see how how that person could fit into what we already had; see if they would be a good role model for my child.

So it is difficult, I would say, because you’re not just thinking about yourself, you’re thinking about your child as well. But that’s ok, you don’t need to rush. The right person will come at the right time.

But also don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s alright for you to go on a couple of dates but… yeah, putting your child’s needs into consideration means that you’re not gonna have any Tom, Dick and Harry coming in and out of your life and your child’s life and you’re just safeguarding your child and taking the neccessary precautions before rushing into a relationship. You don’t need to rush.

5. Financial commitments

I think this is an ongoing challenge for everybody to be fair. The cost of raising a child will forever be difficult. And I still find it challenging because you’re not just financially providing for your child for the now, you’re also setting them up for their future and trying to save towards their future and invest into their future.

Linda - young mum

And how do you do that in this day and age where a bus pass costs an arm and a leg? For me, what I did was I had to sacrifice. I just had to sacrifice and save… Since he’s been born I’ve been saving a little bit every single month up to now. And every little does really count and it does slowly accumulate.

It’s hard – you have to put aside your wants and put your child’s needs first again. And that’s ok to be fair – it’s not neccessary that I have nice things… I suppose… 😉

So, yeah those are my top 5 most challenging things as being a parent.

More advice from young mums like Linda

Ask Linda about how she coped with the challenges she faced as a young single parent, or just chat to her, on our Community!

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