### A Single Parent’s View on Overcoming Fear

Fear: From the Perspective of a Single Parent

By Kendra Pittman Smith, BSc

January 16, 2024

Delving into the Deepest Concerns of a Single Mother Raising Children on the Autism Spectrum

Fear, an emotion experienced daily by many, is often associated with anxiety, doubt, pressure, depression, and frustration. This powerful four-letter word can hinder progress, shatter dreams, and dominate our thoughts, mindset, and behavior. The paralyzing effect of fear can impede our ability to move forward and achieve our goals.

For single parents, the fear of the unknown, particularly concerning their children, looms large. This apprehension intensifies when a child has special needs. Despite the stigma attached to admitting fear, especially within faith communities where it may be equated with doubt, acknowledging and confronting our fears can actually strengthen our faith and reliance on higher power.

From the moment our children come into our lives, fear takes hold. We contemplate their future personalities, friendships, educational pursuits, and achievements. As parents, we often envision and plan out our child’s entire life trajectory even before their birth.

As the world continually evolves, so do our fears, especially in the digital age where social media plays a pivotal role in communication, particularly for millennials. This technological advancement introduces new concerns for parents, necessitating vigilance in monitoring and setting boundaries for their children’s online interactions.

In a survey conducted among mothers of typical children and single mothers raising kids with special needs, it was found that many fears are universal. Single mothers, in particular, grapple with uncertainties about their children’s independence, education, safety, and future caretaking arrangements, especially for children on the autism spectrum.

Parental fears extend to worries about bullying, social acceptance, online dangers, and potential harm as children grow older and enter school. The relentless advocacy and sacrifices made by parents to secure resources for their children’s well-being are driven by the profound concern for their offspring’s future.

Despite the daunting questions that plague single parents of children with special needs, the realization that one can only do their best within their capacity serves as a source of strength in facing and overcoming fear. Choosing not to be controlled by fear, but rather motivated by it to create meaningful experiences, is a powerful stance taken by many single parents in similar circumstances.

This article was originally published in Issue 127 – Nonverbal Communication.

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We advocate for our children throughout their lives; we sacrifice so much to make sure they receive all the resources possible to help them thrive. Who will make the sacrifices we do, to make sure our children receive the opportunity to add value to this world, if something happens to us? This is the question that haunts a single parent with special needs children every day. The beauty is knowing that you can only do what you can while you can. This truth helps to conquer fear and look it in the face.

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