10 reasons I love being a single mom

  1. The decisions are all your own. You don’t have to consult anybody about parenting techniques, house rules, education choices. There’s no opportunity for tension when opinions differ and no need to back down on something you feel strongly about for the sake of peace and compromise.
  2. Your word is law and there’s nobody else for the children to play you off against. No chance of the ol’ "But Daddy said we could” trick.
  3. You get to be Bad Cop and Good Cop. Sure, you handle all the discipline, but you also get to do all the fun stuff.
  4. Your children get to know you better, especially as they get older. There’s nobody else for you to talk to, so you talk to them. Without burdening them with your issues, you do tend to share more of your day to day stuff, which in turn gets them talking about theirs.
  5. You get to be selfish and lazy. Yay! Without a partner’s needs and feelings to consider, you move up to second in the pecking order, which is not to be sniffed at.
  6. If you decide it’s chocolate cake for supper, who’s gonna stop you?
  7. Chores are shared between you and the children, not you and a partner. First of all, you can use your scary voice and make them wash the dishes, which probably wouldn’t work on a husband. Also, by actively taking part in housekeeping, your children learn responsibility and what it really means to do your share.
  8. No chance of possible resentment at a partner who might not be pulling his weight in some way. Yes – it’s all on you and there’s nobody to help you. But at the same time, you’re not angry and resentful because the person who ought to be helping is on the couch oblivious to the chaos surrounding them. You get a lot more done completely alone than when you keep relying on help that should appear but doesn’t.
  9. There’s no getting out of doing the hard stuff. The squirmy sex conversations with teenagers are your job. There’s no dodging the nasties and it makes you a better parent.
  10. Being able to take the credit, even if it’s only in your own head. The somewhat smug, guilty pleasure of knowing that your children are safe, happy and well-adjusted because you did it right. Well done. It’s a big deal. 
What do you enjoy about being a single parent? Do you think two-parent families have it easier?

Tracy Engelbrecht is a writer and recovering teenage mother. She has two children and secretly loves Hannah Montana but don't tell anyone.

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