Tackling life as a single parent – Part I
The following is the first in a two-part series on tackling life as a single parent, ensuring that your children receive a wholesome life. It features life coach Natalie Taylor, who was recently listed among Yahoo’s Top Ten Performance Coaches to be following.
It is no secret that there is stress associated with parenthood, especially when raising children singlehandedly. Also, there is usually a negative perspective associated with this type of family arrangement.
It is often believed that mothers and fathers who are raising children on their own are bound to fail. However, mother of four, Natalie Taylor is on a mission to debunk the negative connotation that has plagued single parenthood for many decades.
Sharing examples of fathers and mothers who have, on their own, successfully nurtured their children into adulthood, Taylor told Family and Religion that despite the labels of society, single parenthood is not a death sentence or a limitation, but what she described as “the beginning of something amazing”.
“I remember staying in a toxic, abusive marriage longer than I was supposed to because I was afraid of being a single mom. I remember being horrified at the idea. Really, what I was afraid of wasn’t based on facts but what I had heard. However, I made the choice that this is something that I was going to do with excellence and with the knowledge that I was worthy.”
The transformational coach and life architect, who has, over the years, mastered managing her family, establishing a firm foundation for her children, and securing a successful life, offered some tips on how other single parents can do the same.
She shared: “For that woman or man who is going down the journey of being a single parent, I would say the first step is to create a set of core values that would determine how and who you want to see yourself as.
“Often, we talk about giving our children the best, but the best we can give our children is often filtered through the container from which that comes. So if you’re the container from which ‘best’ will come forward, whether in the form of protection, guidance, provision, teaching, mentoring … you want to be that genuine example. So first step is to select some core values.”
Taylor revealed that among the values she had outlined for herself were integrity, transparency, honesty, accountability, and responsibility.
She explained that everything she did, from selecting a career to cleaning her home, these principles were in mind.
The next step to ensuring a fulfilling and successful life as a single parent, according to Taylor, is to determine the results you want to see for your household.
“How do you want your family to communicate? How do you want them to live? How do you want us to govern yourselves and wellness?
“It is also important to choose a career that is not just providing for the family, but one that is purposeful and brings joy. Being a parent is very time-consuming, and if you don’t have something other than parenting and church that brings you joy, then you may not be able to show up with joy around your children.
“Also, create space in your schedule to not just do the usual, but to have fun and do activities that you enjoy with your children,” she shared.
Another important step outlined by the life coach is being intentional about what your vision for your family is and listening to how they see themselves in the future and aligning the visions.
Giving a personal example of how her children understood why she had to stop purchasing a few things that they enjoyed as she saved for their dream home, Taylor shared the effectiveness of aligning the visions of your children and that which you have for the family.