Single Parenthood: How to Stay Positive and Motivated


  1. What is single parenthood?
  2. What are the causes of single parenthood?
  3. The benefits of single parenthood
  4. Tips for being a single parent
  5. Celebrities on single parenthood

Accounting for 14.9% of families in the UK as of 2019, there’s a good chance that you are a single parent or you know someone who is raising children alone. 

While we appreciate that being part of a single-parent family can have its trials and tribulations, it can also be deeply satisfying and bring moments of true joy and achievement. We want to highlight the benefits of being a single parent and offer tips on how to stay positive when day-to-day life can seem overwhelming.kid-talking-with-dad

What is single parenthood?


Single parenthood is when there is one parent who lives with one or more dependents and does not have a wife, husband or live-in partner. Also known as lone-parent families, there were 2.9 million in the UK in 2019.

Also reported in 2019, single parenting statistics showed that the average age of single mothers was 38, while it was 45 for single fathers and around 1% of single parents were teenagers

As far as single mother statistics go, nine in ten lone-parent families are headed by a single mother. 🤹‍♀️


What are the causes of single parenthood?


There are many causes of single parenthood, such as:

And while some of these causes, of course, bring sadness and difficulties to a single parent household, we should also remember that some people become single parents by choice. 

A growing number of adults are choosing to adopt, foster or use IVF; in fact, the Department for Education ‘Children looked after in England’ statistics show that during the year ending on 31st March 2020, 11% of children adopted were taken on by single adopters

Also reporting an increase, the independent UK organisation, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, stated that the use of IVF by single patients increased from 41% in 2008 to 57% in 2018. Sally Cheshire, the organisation’s Chair said: “In recent years we’ve seen changes in the reasons why people are using fertility treatment, with the biggest percentage increases amongst those in female same-sex relationships and single women. The increase is still small in terms of patient numbers but reflects an increasing shift in society’s changing attitudes towards family creation and relationships.”


The benefits of being a single parent


While it may often feel overwhelming and like you’re not meeting all your child’s needs, remember that every family is different and whether you’re a single parent by choice or not, your child has the same chances of growing up to be a well-rounded individual as any other child. 

Here are some of the benefits of being a single parent; refer to these when you’re having “one of those days”.

  • You make all the decisions

Spearheading a lone-parent family means that all choices are on you, and that doesn’t need to be as daunting as it sounds! From which school they attend to what they have for dinner, you have complete liberation to make those decisions without double-checking with anyone. Apart from your little one, of course. 😉

  • You’ll form a powerful bond

You’re sure to form a super-special bond with your child as you are the main caregiver. Think of all the one-on-one quality time you’ll spend with them and the beautiful memories you’ll create together. 

If you have separated from a partner or had a divorce, there may be some re-bonding to do with your child if they are splitting time between parents. This gives you the chance to find some common interests or to explore completely new ones together. 

  • No arguments, lots of smiles

This is particularly valid if you are coming out of a divorce or separation. Take your time to enjoy the bliss of a household that’s not being fractured by arguments. Living amongst fights and quarrels is exhausting for all concerned, so while being a single mother or father can be tough, it would be tougher to stay together and continue fighting.

  • Your child’s support network will grow

By choice or not, being a single parent automatically gets the troops rallying around to help. Your family and friends are sure to want to offer help and support when they can. This can instil some real comfort into your child and make them feel surrounded by love and care. 💖

  • You will make lasting, important friendships

Nothing quite bonds adults like taking on single motherhood or fatherhood. Whether it’s bumping into new pals in the school car park or taking the kids on weekend playdates together, expect to be swapping single-parent advice pronto along with exchanging the highs and lows of taking on this mega feat alone. 

  • Your child will look up to you as an independent parent 

Over time, your child will see what and how much you do for them. They will value this so much and will also learn that it’s totally fine and manageable to move through life without a partner. 

  • There’s no ‘I’ in team 

Let’s be honest, looking after a child and a household is no small task. Don’t be scared of asking your little star to help you around the house; they’ll appreciate the responsibility and also learn how to be independent. Try rewarding them for chipping in with the chores and treating them like you’re both part of a team. 


Tips for being a single parent


Being a parent, single or not, is difficult, and you can often face times when you feel like you’re not doing a good enough job. But you are. However, if you’re seeking a little guidance and advice, we’ve got you. 

  • Embrace it

If being a single parent is new for you, don’t fear it and just embrace it. Throw yourself into connecting with your child and finding things that you can do together that will strengthen your bond. This may be a new world for them too, so navigate these unchartered waters together. 
  • Open the communication lines

Make it known to your child that they can talk to you about anything. Open and honest communication is key in any relationship, but essential in families. For your child to be able to trust you and process their emotions, they’ll need to know that they can come to you, no matter what. 
  • Lean on friends and family 

There will be times when you feel like you need to reach out for help – this is why we have friends and family. Whether it’s for a long talk, a small chat or even reassurance and advice, don’t be shy. Also, finding a support group for single parents might be just what you need to find others in the same boat as you. 
  • Don’t forget you

Yes, you’re a parent. But you’re also a person, and you should never forget to take care of yourself. Take the time to plan activities that you enjoy doing alone or with friends. Make sure you get enough sleep, food and downtime. 
  • Find the right childcare 

Ask other parents who they trust for regular childcare. Knowing that your child is being looked after in a safe environment with a trustworthy caregiver will give you relief and offer you the chance to focus on work, yourself and your hobbies. 
  • Stick to a routine

Not only will a routine offer a sense of security to your child, but it will also keep you sane. From when they brush their teeth to when they do their homework and have dinner, if you both know what to expect and when it will make your day that much smoother and hopefully keep stress at bay.

Celebrities on being a single parent


Some of the world’s biggest celebrities are single parents and they’re more than happy about it, so let these inspirational words motivate you into becoming the best single parent you can be. 🤗

  • Angelina Jolie

"I actually feel more of a woman because I feel like I’m being smart about my choices, and I’m putting my family first and I’m in charge of my life and my health. I think that’s what makes a woman complete."
  • Sophia Vergara

“I was really young when I divorced his father, so I raised him trying to set the best example and give him the best that I could. When people compliment me on him, on how well mannered, how charming, funny, and well-behaved he is, it makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.”
  • Mindy Kaling

“After my daughter was born in December, I remember bringing her home and being in my house with her for the first time. And for a moment, it was kind of scary. Like, ‘Can I do this by myself?’ But then, that feeling went away because the reality is, I’m not doing it by myself. I’m surrounded by family and friends who love and support me.”
  • JK Rowling

“I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatisation that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life.”
  • Jennifer Lopez

“It's about love, and that's what I constantly remind myself of because I kind of let society get inside my head. 'Oh, it shouldn't be like this. I did this, I did that. I failed.' And it's like, no. They're happy, they're healthy, they're loved more than anything in the world and they're going to be fine."
  • Denise Richards

“I think as mums, single or not, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves trying to balance it all. It’s never going to be perfectly balanced — the sooner you know this, the sooner you can relieve some of the pressure you put on yourself.”

Prioritising your child’s education is also important, so if you think they could benefit from some extra help, our GoStudent tutors are at your service! See for yourself with a free trial session