Published On: Fri, Nov 30th, 2012

The Perfect Family?

Upon becoming a single The Perfect Familyparent at the age of 37 years old I was alarmed at the huge amount of negative press that being a single parent presented. I thought I knew enough about life to be able to shrug this off, but I could not escape it. Statistics and opinions were everywhere. According to statistics and research carried out it seemed that unless children are brought up in a nuclear family their existence would be a miserable one.

So that was what I began to see, perfect families. They were everywhere, in the park, at School, on day trips. The children would jump on Dad’s shoulders as mum looked on adoringly. They were always laughing, always happy. On beautiful summer days they would pile into their family car and head for the same destination as me. I continued to take my daughter to the places that we enjoyed to go together, although now I could not help feeling it would never be the same. That I would never be able to live up to the high standards of the perfect family. It felt that somehow whatever I did, however much I tried to make my daughters life a good one it would never be as good as theirs.

These feelings continued to grow and I became exhausted. Tired of looking and keeping up with the latest statistics. What would they discover about being a single parent today? And the next day. Guilt and low self worth seemed to consume every part of my body. Deep inside all I could feel was raw emotional pain, that everybody else was happy. Christmas, Summer, Birthdays they all started to become occasions that I would dread due to the increased pressure of being a single parent and those statistics.

Before I knew it stress and anxiety seemed to be the only emotions that I felt. I had to take action. I began to educate myself on life. I read self help books and attended therapy sessions in order to help myself. It took me a long time before I was able to stop comparing my life with others. I think we all do compare at some point in our life, however my experience was that while I was busy looking at togther families I failed to notice that what I did have. And it turns out that I have rather a lot. In fact I would say it was perfect.

By Angela M Frost

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