Raising a child (or children) as a single parent is a difficult, and sometimes stressful task. While circumstances vary, one thing is certain, single parenthood is no walk in the park.
Being a parent can be difficult even when you have the support and help of a partner there to help you split responsibilities, so when most of the weight of parenting falls back on only your shoulders it can be overwhelming.
While every situation is different, there are some tried and true tips you can follow as a single parent that can help make things a little easier. At the very least, these tips can give you some perspective when you’re having a rough day.
1: Remember that being a single parent is both a gift and a responsibility.
Even though it’s not always easy, it’s important to keep perspective and remember that there is value in being a single parent. While it might not always seem like it on days when your kids are unhappy, they will likely grow up to appreciate the hard work and sacrifices you are making.
Being a single parent also gives you the opportunity to define and shape the way your family will function as you move with into the future. You have the ability to create the family dynamics that you want.
2: Remember that you are up to the challenge.
Being a parent is one of (if not) the hardest role in life anyone will ever have to play, and this is true when you’re married, but especially when you’re single. Remember that you are up for the challenge and that you can do this.
It’s best to just take things one step at a time. Don’t worry about every phase of your child’s life, but focus on the stage your family is in now and do the best you can. All parents have fears and insecurities, but you are rocking this.
3: Know that you’re not alone.
Single-parent families are very common, more so now than ever before. There are many families like yours and many people out there in similar situations. It’s important to find a support group that you can vent to and draw upon for strength and encouragement in times of need. Consider reaching out to resources in your community or even online. Also try and connect with other single parents as having close friends who understand your situation can be very valuable.
4: Routines are important.
Having structure and routine is important for children regardless of family setup. But, have a routine can be especially vital for single parents. While setting up schedules such as when bedtime is and when to get up in the morning can be hard at first, the payoff is worth it. These routines don’t have to be set in stone, and you shouldn’t expect perfection. But, having a schedule that your family can stick to can relieve some stress on your end.
5: Love your kids.
This seems like an obvious one, but sometimes all parents need a reminder to show their kids that they love them. In the day to day stresses of life, things can get hectic and chaotic. Your kids might make you feel frustrated and have you wanting to pull your hair out. But, remember to give your children compliments and show them that they are cared and loved for even if things get stressful.
Spending quality time with your kids and making memories can make all this stress and heartache of being a single parent worth it.
6: Take care of yourself.
You likely spend so much time taking care of your kids, which obviously is important, but this can mean you neglect yourself. It’s good for yourself and for your kids that you take time just for you. Enjoy some time to yourself if you can, even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day. Also, remember to prioritize your social life and friendships as all adults need connection and conversation.
Being a single parent is never going to be easy, but you have the strength to handle it. By following a few tips, you can simplify your life and make being a single parent a little easier. Some days are always going to be hard, but you’ve got this. You are more than up for the challenge.