Without a doubt, single parents often have to learn how to make do with what they have, which at times isn’t all that much. Partly due to less money coming in as there is only 1 source of household income, and partly because one person can only be in so many places at once!
Single parents have to learn skills that parents that have support from second parent may not have to. As a result, single parents tend to be nominally more self-reliant and crafty with their time and resources.
As the book says “Don’t Panic”:
This is a huge survival skill that you can learn from a single parent. Often, there are 10 different fires at once to put out. Homework is being eaten by the dog, dinner is burning and little Susie is beating the crap out of her little brother because he shaved her Barbie. A single parent will just sigh and dig in because they knows that if they don’t put the fires out, nobody will.
All the emergencies will be resolved and they’ll get so used to it that even if Barbie is aflame. They’ll dunk barbie, head first into their cold coffee and move on to the next problem without breaking a sweat. There’s no time to panic; that’s just one more thing that we would have to deal with.
After a while, we learn how to react without panicking every time a kid squeals or the fire alarm goes off. We realize we require nerves of steel and will likely be able to calmly respond in a SHTF situation because we’re use to thinking on our feet.
Think on your feet:
Parents learn early on, how to quickly assess almost any given situation, and figuring out quick solutions, from down and dirty quick fixes to full on complete fixes. Could be as simple as figuring out how to get crayon off of the rented apartment walls. It may be finding something to clean up the vomit from the sick kid who just launched their lunch into the floorboard of the car. Or it could be assessing an injury that occurred while out on a hike, the kid didn’t plant their feet right when coming down a somewhat steep hill, and ended up landing knee first on the edge of a rock. Now they appear to be bleeding not to mention ‘Oh Look, we can see little Jimmy’s kneecap’. Stuck at the bottom of steep incline, and over a mile from your vehicle, how do we proceed to treat this wound until medical attention can be administered?
Single parents don’t always get the easy jobs of just cooking and cleaning, they are literally at times the only person their child has to depend on, for not just survival, but everyday living. They cook, clean, provide a safe harbor, protect and defend, administer medical care, and so very much more. Not to mention single parents time and again feel as if they are failing their child(ren) as they do their very best to keep the kid alive long enough for them to become parents themselves.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize:
In a TEOTWAWKI situation, you’re going to have to be able to prioritize. Is it more important to escape or to try to save your home? Should you plant the tomatoes today or fix the chicken coop? A single parent knows that he/she can only accomplish so many things and learns to prioritize their tasks so that the imperative ones get done while the not-so-important ones get shoved to the next in line.
Single parents can’t be allowed to see them-self as a failure for not making it clear through the list as long as they make it through all of the stuff that “HAS to be done”. They need to make the list every morning and have it sorted, and prioritized in seconds. Survival Preparedness, and Self Reliance people the world over will tell “That’s a valuable skill to have!”
Learn to Do It for Yourself:
In a 2-parent household, more traditional roles tend to be observed. Dad may work on the car while mom cooks dinner (or vise versa, or mom1 works on the car and mom2 cooks – no judgement here). This isn’t stereotyping; it’s just the way these types of things tend to be. Parents that can depend on their significant others to help out around the house are often content to settle into a particular role. Even if mom is working on the car because she can’t cook, there is still a skill that she isn’t learning because she doesn’t have to.
Single parents don’t have this luxury. If the car needs to be fixed and dinner needs to be cooked, that single parent better be able to do them both. Since money is often too tight to afford either a mechanic or a home chef, the single parent is going to have to learn how to do them both, which means more skills under their tool belt.
Simply Your Life:
The key to being happy is learning to be happy with what you have. That’s a saying that my grandparents taught me and it’s still true to this day. In today’s world, we’re defined by how much we do, how fancy our “stuff” is, how many projects we’re managing and how well our kids do in school and sports. It’s rubbish and it’s causing us to lose focus of what’s really important in life.
One of our key beliefs as survivalist/preppers is that eventually, we very well may need to be able to do without all of the fancy trappings of modern life, so why not start now? Single parents know that time with her kids is more important than a spotless house. We don’t have to be head of the junior league as long as the kids are happy and thriving. A single parent quickly learns how to simplify life because if they don’t, we’ll lose our mind. We appreciates the small things and learn to be happy with them.
Multi-Tasking For The Win:
If there is one thing that a single parent knows for sure, it’s that there are only so many hours, hell not just hours, but minutes in the day no matter how much needs to get done. A single parent quickly learns how to organize their day so that as much of those things that need doing, get done. The dry cleaning gets picked up on the way to soccer practice. Laundry is washing while homework is being done, while supper is cooking, while clothes are drying while the kids are eating.
In a survival situation, you’ll have to know how to keep several irons in the fire at once, if you’re going to make it. The kids need to be getting packs ready and gathering the animals while you’re loading the car and calling your parents. To a single parent, that’s just an average day.
Re-purpose, Recycle, Reuse What You Have on hand:
When a parent moves from a 2-income situation to one where they only 1 income coming in, they learn how to get the most out of what they has. What would once have gone in the trash is now mended or put to use as something else.
The scrub brush that’s now too dirty for the kitchen is moved to the floor bucket. Egg crates become craft projects and egg shells go into the plant water because that fancy fertilizer you’re used to buy is now too expensive. They learn how to re-purpose and reuse what they has. We know what a valuable skill this is.
Be as Resourceful as Possible:
Another survival skill to learn from single parents is resourcefulness. Life doesn’t often hand you the solution to your problem so you have to learn to work with what you have. Single parents may not have a lot but they sure know how to think outside of the box to get things done. Nights at the movies may be expensive but a night spent doing a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood is free, and probably more fun.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and if there’s one thing that a single parent is good at, it’s figuring out how to get what needs done, done, no matter how limited the resources are. Alternative solutions are still solutions; it’s just a matter of training your brain to find them.
A single parent’s life is basically a real-life example of a survival situation and the skills that they learn along the way will serve them well if/when SHTF. I’ll venture to say that the newly organized world will be pulled back together by single parents because they’ll be the ones who hold it together and come up with the plan to keep things running!
These are just a few of the very numerous things we can learn from single parents, not to mention single parent preppers. If you can think of more, we’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.