Helpful Tips for single parents
Are you enjoying your life as a single parent? Or are you tired, stressed and overwhelmed all the time?
Being a single parent brings a set of whole new challenges that most first-time single parents find it hard to deal with. After all, taking care of your child, supporting your family and looking after your own self can rattle even the best of us. It’s an emotional and mental struggle that most of us don’t know how to face.
So how can you enjoy your life and raise a happy and healthy child? Start by enjoying the company of your children and savoring the sacred experience of raising a child all by yourself.
“Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent. That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population. There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single-parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.
One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.
But providing stability is easier said than done.
14 Tips for single parents
“You are the everything parent. You get all the tears, the joy, the tantrums, the hugs, the disappointments.”
With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things and tips for single parents, that can make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.
1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care
Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.
Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.
Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.
2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents
At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.
Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.
Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.
Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.
3. Build a Community
In addition to finding support with other single parents, I also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.
Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.
4. Accept Help
Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.