Single Parenting vs. Solo Parenting
In my opinion, there are two basic types of partner-less parents. Single parents, and solo parents. I’ve been both, sort of, and I can tell you that there are good things and bad things about each situation.
Single parents are probably more common. A single parent raises their child or children without a partner, but the child’s other biological parent is still in their lives and takes him or her for visitation.
The good things about being a single parent are first and foremost that you get a break once in awhile. Parenting on your own can be brutally exhausting and it is really nice to actually sleep in and be allowed out of your house after your kids’ bedtime and run errands without a child in tow. And, of course, it’s beneficial to the child to have both parents involved in his or her life to the fullest extent possible, barring certain circumstances where a parent is deemed unfit.
On the other hand, being a single parent means that you still have to interact with your ex, which can be difficult, especially at first. Minimizing tension for the sake of your child is so important, but depending on what went on before your separation, it’s no fun for anyone. (If you read this blog regularly, you know that Tyler and I have struggled with this in the past.) It’s tough to make that shift from couple to coparent, and we all have varying degrees of success at it.
Solo parents do all of the parenting completely on their own. Their child’s other biological parent is not in the picture at all, for whatever reason.
It sounds overwhelming, but there are some good things about being a solo parent. You don’t have to consult anyone else on your parenting decisions. You don’t have to deal with your ex or your ex’s significant other or anyone, really. You don’t have to depend on anyone else’s schedule. You don’t have to get stressed out over canceled visits and whether or not you think your ex is taking enough visitation, or whatever. You can just do what you want and what you think is best for your child.
Then again, of course, there are no breaks. None. And you have to be mom and dad, which sucks because, let’s face it, it’s hard enough to just be one or the other.
Due to Tyler’s periodic extended absences from Caroline’s life, I guess I can say I’ve been both, and I definitely prefer being a single parent to being a solo parent. I need those breaks that I get when he takes his visitation. And it’s better for her if he is around. It definitely makes for an adjustment period when he comes back into the picture (and we are entering this phase now that he is back from North Dakota), but once we’ve all worked through that, I know it will be easier on everyone overall.
Which type of partner-less parent are you– single or solo? What do you like about the type of single parent you are?