Yoga and Single Parenting


The arrival of an infant in your life brings with itself the complete responsibility of upbringing a human being and also a complete turnover in your lifestyle. Parenting is challenging in general even when it involves two parents, the kids require constant attention and the couple is bestowed with too many responsibilities to deal with. So, it becomes especially difficult when the situation of single parenting arises. The last two decades has seen a significant hike in the number of single parenting cases, though there is no official reported number to verify, it’s a visible fact amongst us all. The two major struggles of single parenting are, one to deal with social stigma and preconceived judgments of the society and another is the absence or lose of your partner to share the chores surrounding the child. The emotional trauma resulted due to these struggle can lead to serious mental issues for both the parent and the child. Thus, it’s essential to attend to it from the very beginning.

Practicing yoga will tremendously help in tending to your mind, body and spirit. While single parenting is a situation that can befall on anyone, women who are already the target of social judgment for just being women, for them the struggle only widens its branches into social, economical, ethical and psychological difficulties. The number of working women has only inflated in last two decades, but there still exists women who come from abusive and restrictive backgrounds, and when they get out of such dire situations, they heavily hindered in financial department. Families headed by single mothers are vulnerable to material hardship, psychosocial problems and child mistreatment. Researchers have also found that the time children spend in poverty also lays an adverse impact on their cognitive and educational achievement.

Single mom’s physical and mental health gravely impacted, as her time is completely divided between attending to her children and making the ends meet. This impacts her heath in every aspect of healthcare and many a times constrains healthcare and welfare of their children as well. The required periodic health checkups are easily swiped under the carpet unless in case of emergency.

The transition of attending to the whole new world alone can be painfully hard, there are constantly tasks piling up on your checklist and it all can easily get overwhelming. Thus, we put together a checklist of work that will smoothen this transition a little.

  • Research schools and/or daycares in the area. Pay attention to school reviews

  • Keep copies of your child’s school and vaccine records, and if possible, contact the new school before you move.

  • Discuss calmly with your kids about the move and the living arrangement. Answer all the questions with care and empathy like- Will the siblings be forced to share a room, or get their own space? What about bathrooms?

  • Talk about the change in your visits to and from grandparents and other relatives. Try to develop a plan for visits.

  • Find out if any after-school activities require early enrollment.

  • Try to arrange a visit to the new school before your child’s first day to help them calm their anxiety or nerves – especially for younger children.

  • Even if you’re worried about the transition, try not to express your fears directly to them. Provide enough encouragement and confidence that he or she will be fine at the new school, share personal experience for instances to help them understand better.

Self and Child Care for Single Parents

Yoga offers respite to these mothers and other single parents to not only take care of themselves but also take charge and work towards creating a safe and nurturing atmosphere for the kids.  The asanas and pranayama help in monitoring and thumbing your emotions, which will render in minimizing the adverse psychological effects it may bounce on to the children raised by single parents.

Single parenting issues and Yogic tips to tackle them

  • Let it go. You can’t hold on to your past and aspire to move ahead at the same time, acceptance of your situation as single parenting will encourage your mindset in the order it needs to set in. Breath in for relaxation and let the botheration go. Pranayamas I, II, III, IV and Anulom Vilom have proven to help in distressing for so many. It sure is to help you too.

  • As they say, your body is your temple, so take care of it, it’s the one home that will stay with you forever. A well cared for physical health will wholly help you tackle all the responsibilities boldly. Remember, kids, are a part of family, not the center of it. They may come before yourself, but they can’t be the only hub of all the care you give. Yoga Asanas performed with correct bhavas will help you to achieve confidence.
  • There are a million things to do but do not attempt to be a super parent and try to do it all at once. Breath Meditation and Relaxation are essential tools to get more things done in a limited time. Believe in yourself but to not overwhelm yourself.
  • Learn to say NO to your kids in a friendly way. Since, as a child of single parent, kids are soon to understand they might not get attention constantly, thus some might try to fight for it and throw brawls just to grab your attention. Thus, go to their level and understand them. Recreation or pursuing a hobby together helps. Also, it’s important to tack your way around your bratty kids, who might take advantage of limited attention.
  • Memories are made when you least expect it. They mend their ways in good times and in bad times. Many precious memories are often shaped in acts of love and kindness during hard times. Cherish them and smile through your struggles, and they will already loosen up their weight.
  • Conversation is key to every good relationship. The young heart and mind are a fragile mold which can be hampered with easily. Make it a point to have at least half hour of daily sit down with your child to converse about their school, their problems and daily life in generally
  • Be inquisitive in detecting their mood and cross question when need be. If kids seem to be suffering emotionally, then as a single parent ensure you give them enough mental and emotional confidence.
  • As single parents, it is your duty to practice what you preach. Be a good role model that kids can follow. They are impressionable so be mindful about your behavior around them.
  • Making ends meet is essential, but giving time to kids and reminding them of their importance need to be taken care of regularly and constantly.
  • Kids are hungry for your love and attention. Depriving them of something as basic as that can disrupt their psychological development, and puts their entire future and personality at stake. The importance of shielding them from the potential effects of missing a parent simply cannot be emphasized enough.
  • Stop fussing over perfection and pushing for neat, clean rooms all the time. You can’t achieve all the things at the same time, and it’s okay, give yourself some credits, take a break once in a while, show your strength in your vulnerability to teach the same to your kids.
  • And lastly, do not shy away from asking for assistance from friends and family.

These steps may sound overwhelming while reading at once, but will surprisingly make the path of single parenthood a lot easier for you.

Yoga is a holistic approach to life and this approach opens the gates to real emotions and acceptance to unpremeditated situations, it assists in strengthening the mental, emotional and physical growth of the parent and child together.

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1 Comment
  • Tractors
    Posted at 14:38h, 29 October Reply

    It’s been more than a week now and I must really
    say this that you guys really share great articles which are so good to read.
    Thank you!!

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