Isolation and Loneliness for One Parent Families
Long before Covid-19 restrictions were introduced, loneliness and isolation were a common experience for those parenting alone. Living alone with children, often geographically removed from extended family, has meant parents can often feel isolated. For many the stigma and discrimination that one parent families can face, can force parents, often without realising it, to keep to themselves, working hard to get it right for children so no one can point fingers.
For many one parent families, this leads to high levels of stress and as a result mental health can suffer. Parents start to find themselves more and more disconnected from the outside world focusing solely on the role of parenting their children. Confidence and self esteem can drop without even realising it, until it is noticed when children start presenting with confidence and self esteem issues. Parents can feel ill equipped to cope with this, knowing they too have similar challenges.
As many as one third of children with emotional and behavioural issues have parents with poor mental health. Poor mental health can make it harder to parent effectively as we struggle with everyday life. The constant pressure of parenting and handling everything alone can seem too much some days. Reaching out and asking for help can be really hard as single parents question what others will think.
During Covid-19 these issues can be compounded even more as children remain at home 24/7 and parents have no down time. There is often no extended family and sometimes no friends to reach out to. Lockdown has made it feel impossible at times to reach out and stay connected. Young children don’t have the tools to reach out without parents support. The pressure of home schooling and the constant demand of parenting have led many parents to feeling they cannot cope and that they are in this alone.
The truth is however that One Family has had hundreds of calls in the past three months from parents all seeking support, feeling isolated, lonely and under immense pressure to parent; to home school and continue to work and pay the bills. You are not alone!
We want to encourage parents to reach out and ask for help; to talk to one of our counsellors about how you are feeling; to access parenting support in one of our zoom parenting groups or our coffee morning; to make new friends in our zoom classes; to engage with your children in the parent and toddler zoom or join us on One Family Parenting Facbook and share your experiences with us. We want parents to reach out and connect with us and we will connect you with other families.