The trend of single parenthood is on the rise in today’s relatively open society. The percentage of a nuclear family that is made up of a father, a mother and their children consistently dropped as the years pass. According to a Singapore government statistic, the percentage of a nuclear family dropped from 66.5% in 1990 to 56% in 2010. Even though there isn’t a more recent data for comparison, we can safety assume that the percentage continues to drop due to the rising rate of divorce in Singapore. This is in line with the statistics that we get from other highly developed countries such as the United States of America.
As the divorce rate in Singapore continues to climb, the openness of our society towards single parenting increases as single parents are becoming a norm in our society. While Singapore is still pretty harsh on single parents (withholding certain privileges, denying them the chance to purchase a property, etc), rules are beginning to relax as single parents continue to increase in Singapore.
A single parent living in Singapore faces a lot of challenges. The stress comes from two major factors – the day-to-day coping mechanism and the strict rules that the government imposes on single parents. Therefore, a single parent may be constantly feeling lost or perhaps thinking that he or she is not enough.
If you are a single parent living in Singapore, and feeling inadequate sometimes, remember this: You are enough; because you are taking on the roles of both parents. Being the sole breadwinner and taking on the tough job of a comforter of tears, fears and other negative emotions is not a job for the faint-hearted. So, it is important for you to stay positive in order for you to always have something positive to say or do for your child.
The best way to be there for your child is to take good care of yourself. By enforcing self-care, you invest the efforts to keep yourself healthy, physically and emotionally. When you are healthy, you will be available for your child. When things are not looking too well, take a break. If you need to have a time-out, seek help from your family members, friends or neighbours to take care of your child. Go for a breather – have a dinner with friends or just stay at home with a good book and a drink. Do whatever works for you to relax.
If you feel constantly exhausted and unable to concentrate, or if you feel that every day is overwhelming, it may be wise for you to seek professional help. There is nothing to feel ashamed of and it is definitely not a weakness that you have. In fact, it takes a lot of courage to admit that you cannot cope and that you need help. Seek help early because it affects your child. Remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your child.