We single parent families definitely do not always play things by the book. As a matter of fact, while our families may often look rather similar to two parent families, we are also just as likely to have unique perspective on things and our family history may include some rather unique experiences. The trick is to learn how to embrace this uniqueness and celebrate some of those unique shared experiences too.
It seems to be human nature to want to “fit in” and feel like we are part of the group. And, in our society, we definitely have the whole media aspect of having a normalized “average” spewed at us from every possible angle. For these reasons (and some others) we might find it hard to embrace those unique things that have come from being single parents, or those unique experiences that define our family stories. Instead, we may look for the ways that we look like everyone else and try to shove those unique and special experiences under the rug in order to assimilate. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, we may lose pieces of ourselves and our family identity when we do this.
It is never easy being different, or it is seldom easy being different—especially for growing children. But, our uniqueness is what makes us our own special selves too. Over time, our children can learn to embrace the unique way their family came to be, or some of those unique experiences that might be embarrassing because they are so different. As single parents, we must first come to terms with these differences and unique pieces of the family puzzle in order to pass on the confidence and identity to our child or children. Otherwise, we may be sending them the message that there is something shameful or wrong with the reality of our family situation.