It only takes one healthy parent to raise a healthy child. I have no data to support this notion. In fact, there is an abundance of published data that suggests that 2 parent households experience less domestic violence, poverty and provide enhanced stability.
Sometimes, we don’t have the choice of a 2 parent household. In extreme cases, we may not have the luxury of a psychologically reliable coparent.
When you learn your ex is not psychologically ok
If you find yourself in a predicament of divorcing a high-conflict individual, you may discover that your ex is not okay. Perhaps s/he has so much anger that the desire to punish you supersedes the wisdom of resolution and staying child-focused.
I remember the day in October of 2014 when the lightbulb went on. Up until this time, I knew my ex was irritable, unstable and at times irrational, but I didn’t really understand the scope of the problem.
After some outrageous behaviour, in the presence of our son, I found myself googling. It wasn’t long before I came across the DSM. Reading the criteria for establishing a personality disorder was like reading his biography. I was dumbfounded.
You get to decide what this all means
I will openly admit that this new knowledge about my ex scared the crap out of me. My brain wanted me to think that our child would not be okay without 2 healthy parents.
The problem was, when I believed that, I would spend my day bathing in anxiety. I would catastrophize and imagine how this might negatively impact my young son. In this panicked state, I would try to micromanage my son to make sure he was okay. He hated that.
So, one day I decided to try believing that I was the only parent that my son needed. Together we could handle obstacles and adversity. Any parenting he received elsewhere was icing, but I was the cake.
With time and practice, I became pretty confident as a mom. It was a relief to only need to rely on myself as a parent. There was nothing we couldn’t achieve. Sky was the limit!
Choose to believe you are enough
Even though my brain wants to remind me that in an ideal world a child has 2 parents, I make sure to give equal airtime to the thought: it only takes one healthy parent.
I don’t have proof, but I am busy collecting evidence that this is the truth. At least it is my truth. Feel free to borrow this theory. It can be your truth too.