"It Takes A Community To Keep A Parent Sane"| Supporting Single Parents Should Be A Community Affair

First, let's discuss the definition of the word majority. The majority is simply "the larger portion of the population." The words you are about to read apply to the majority. Every decision you make as a parent will have a direct impact on the lives of your child(ren). Whether it be to co-parent cohesively with the absent parent. Children are the innocent sponges left absorbing the negative ripple effects of their environments, and often times with no outlets to release any of it. If it takes two to create a life we must understand that it will take no less than two to raise one as well. Remember our ancestors knew this way back when, As the old saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child and a community to keep the parents sane." Isn't it funny how society has omitted the latter.

Single parent households spend more raising children than couple households. A single parent will spend about $172,000 annually, while a couple may pay around $13,000. Take into consideration that the single parent is probably also sacrificing personal needs and wants to ensure the children can be provided for. Often times, this contributes to the dwindling mental state and well being of those single parents. How are they genuinely supporting the children when they are not doing very well supporting themselves? Sure, the financial obligations are settled, but that is the least important when it comes to raising a child to be a good being. It takes parental mental strength that the majority don't have because they are already maxed out trying to make sure.

Photo courtesy of Tenor©

Well, being kind and considerate caused me to deplete my savings and scrap to make ends meet. My offspring's other parent was living it up, wearing the latest designers and creating more children that will subtract from the crumbs my children are now forced to sharing. The scales of co-parenting weren't balanced, and for a very long time, they remained out of balance. It wasn't until I had raised my oldest to adulthood that I realized how stupid it was of me to foot the entire bill of raising him. Why should I have to? My perspectives on these issues were always different. I wasn't the nagging Sabrina with the "Byrannnnnnnn" type, but rather the calm, out of reach parent. My son's father and I shared joint custody with me having physical custody, my son's father could come and interact with his son as he saw fit, there were no limitations there, even with the lack of financial support, there was never a time he was denied his natural given rights to see and partake in raising the child that he helped create, that interaction was worth more than anything of monetary value. Even with that flexibility, my oldest son's father was still caught up in the madness of life and struggling to find his own path, the interaction between the two was limited throughout his childhood.

Not only was he not carrying the financial burden of raising his child, but he also wasn't taking any of the mental burdens either. Children grow and start to encounter the outside world, and the interactions will contribute to their upbringing and development. They need someone to help guide them throughout childhood, and often times that isn't received because the primary parent doesn't have the mental capacity to handle it, and the absent parent is too caught up in their own darkness to be there. So what happens to the youth during their most vital days, in essence the same destructive patterns that created their parents are impeding upon their lives as well. If you asked Mom she probably would tell you that "her mother worked three of four jobs to make ends meet and your siblings and yourself wanted for nothing and turned out just fine." But did you really? Look at the next generation that followed and truthfully ask yourself, Did we really turn out "Just fine?." Clichés also say "If it isn't broken don't fix it" and there is reasons we are now wise enough to undo all the destruction and dysfunction of the past.

Ever wonder why it seems the rising generations are being raised without home training, a sense of entitlement, or just entirely self-centered? The majority have been and are still raising themselves or searching for that parental love and guidance in other people, places, and things. The old saying, "crying out for attention," is what happens next. For a single parent with no mental capacity left to manage anything additional, the cries are consciously ignored, even if subconsciously they want to acknowledge and nurture their child, they are forced between choosing to put a roof over their children's head and food in the bellies, or drop it all and take the time required to listen to and Address those "cries for attention" before they become yells of "I hate you, I hate myself and I hate living." Many have heard so much from their adolescents and teens that they simply chose to sweep it under the rug as an emotional puberty teen going through a rebellious phase. The latter may be accurate, but the rebellion's primary cause is involuntary neglect from the mother or father.

When one parent can't provide, be it financially or mentally, the other is obligated to step in without hesitations. If not possible, those as mentioned above will most definitely be the outcome. But think about if both parents carried the weight equally throughout the entire lifespan of raising the child if all is divided equally and without hesitations, then the foundation for raising exemplary beings can be created. A foundation where the mother and father as well provides for and nurtures the physical, spiritual and emotional well being equally.

Parents are the first example a child will have when it comes to anything in life. From how you style your hair to the fragrance of your cologne, they secretly aspire to be just like mommy and daddy. What they see is what they mimic and grow up believing to be true. Mental capacity is needed when you become a parent, and learning to deal, heal and let go is essential so that you aren't holding on to anything that may keep you from connecting to and hearing your child. Parents need help too, and though we may not have it all together at conception, parents do include two. Two beings to make it that much easier to raise one.

For two parents to be on the same accord with co-parenting, both have to understand that every obligation in the upbringing of that child or children is equally split between mother and father. Like the perfect balancing scales, Even if the two live on entirely separate sides of the planet, the parental obligations are to be 100% equal. This isn't always an option for some who are forced to raise their children alone for whatever unfortunate reason. Due to the other parent's death, perhaps a disability that renders them unable, they are left with the sole responsibilities. Another perfect example of why the old-timers had it correct in coming together as a village to contribute to all the villages' upbringing.

No matter how you look at it, our youth is the answer to the peace we so crave worldwide. The cycle of life continues when a child is born. To ensure that child has adequate support in developing into the amazing souls they are destined to be, unity of parental obligations is inevitable.

Read more on this subject:

African Parenting The Sane Way

How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Child In America