- This week and over Christmas, be present for the moments that matter, and lower any ridiculous standards you have created for yourself or ones that others have created for you.
Single parents are some of the strongest people on the entire planet. Parenting in and of itself with two parents working together is hard work, and solo parenting creates a whole set of challenges one can never truly prepare for. Add in the complicated, sometimes messy element of the holiday season and it becomes something more to dread than cherish.
During the holidays, a single parent can often feel like they’re under a microscope: Their family dynamic doesn’t quite fit the stereotypical nuclear family of a mom, a dad, kids and a dog, they’re having to make financial decisions they’ve never had to make, and they’re likely in some stage of grieving the future they once dreamed for their family.
As a single mother of two, Nichole Nordeman has struggled with the comparison, the grief, and the unmet expectations of solo parenting. Now 10 years into single parenthood, Nichole has some advice for the single parents out there: Let go of the of what the perfect family and perfect holiday season is “supposed” to look like. Instead of putting undue pressure on yourself to be the perfect parent and to have the perfect holiday season, here’s all that is required of you:
Love your kids.
Let them see you process your emotions in a healthy way so they can feel free to do the same.
Realize you have needs outside of your kids and meet those needs.
Lower the bar of your expectations.
That’s it. Stay away from anything that doesn’t uplift you and encourage you in this incredibly difficult season in your life (and for goodness sake, stay off of Pinterest! No good will come from seeing everyone else’s “perfection”). Make new traditions with your kids instead of trying to force the old ones. Get creative about gift giving. Give yourself time and space to grieve the life you once thought you’d have.
To our listeners who are single parents, we see you, we hear you, and we honor the work you are doing day in and day out for your children. To hear more encouragement, tune into this week’s episode of the Parent Cue Live podcast.
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