Ninth Story – Single Parent

After interviewing Glenda who came from a single parent family, our team has written her story for you.

This is her story.


Child of a Single Parent Family- Glenda

Glenda is currently 24 years old. She remembers being in a single-parent family when she was about 4 to 5 years old.

 

Struggles?

Glenda and her mother are both thankful that they did not struggle much as a single-parent family, a blessing that they attribute to the support that they received from her mother’s side of the family. Glenda regularly spent time with her mother’s family, having dinner and going on holidays with them. This provided a sense of normalcy during Glenda’s childhood.

It never occurred to her to ask how her mother felt about the issue, but Glenda believes that it must have been a difficult and emotionally trying time for her mother, who had to juggle work and domestic responsibilities and still take care of a frequently-ill Glenda.

 

Success dependent on intactness of family?

When asked if she believed that individual success depended on whether or not the family was intact, Glenda rejected this notion entirely. Success, to her, is most certainly not defined by family, but rather by personal resilience and diligence.

Love and support, as Glenda emphasises, are not exclusive only to intact families – single-parent families are equally able to provide such resources for the child, who is still loved by both parents. The only difference? Both parents live apart from the other. Other than that, Glenda suggests, there is no reason that a child who still receives love, care, and support from the parents will be any different.

 

Single Parent- Any less of a parent?

Glenda firmly believes that single parents are in no way less of a parent than those in intact families. They make more sacrifices for the child, being the main (if not lone) breadwinner, and must shoulder greater parental responsibilities which would, in an intact family, be shared by both parents.

 

Invisible?

Single-parent families in Singapore, Glenda believes, are somewhat invisible. Neither parents nor children are likely to openly inform others of their status as a single-parent family. However, this is not due to negative perceptions of single-parent families, but simply that neither might have this in mind when interacting with others. Perhaps it is this omission that leads to the under-visibility, if not invisibility, of single-parent families in Singapore.

As single-parent families are becoming increasingly common, Glenda finds that there is little stigma attached to being or belonging to one. Moreover, she finds that society is gradually more accepting of different family structures as compared to its previous attitudes of the 1980s-1990s.

Glenda sees that there is no stigma attached to single-parent families as there are becoming a more common sight in society in recent times. Also, she feels that society is gradually becoming more accepting and thus open to such different family structures as compared to older times of the 80s-90s.

 

Support for single-parent families

Glenda believes that more financial aid can be provided for single parents, who may struggle to adjust from a dual-income household to being the sole breadwinner. More support networks and increased visibility of such would also prove helpful in offering emotional support for single parents, who may face increased stress from having to deal with the tremendous responsibilities now upon their shoulders. Lastly, flexible working hours would be of aid to single parents, whose numerous responsibilities in the home may conflict with the traditional fixed-hours working schedule. Flexible hours would allow greater freedom for single parents to manage their time, and consequently help them feel less stressed.

 

Words of Encouragement

Being in a single-parent family does not make you any less than those from intact families – you are still loved by your parents, and you are just like any other child. Your family may be different, but do not give up.


Thank you for reading.

 

Brought to you by,

Invisible SG

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