There are all kinds of reasons why people end up as single parents. Whether you are parenting alone because of divorce, death of a spouse, your own personal choice, or any number of reasons, it is inevitably a challenging and demanding job. It’s great to have a list of useful tips you can refer to as you walk this single parenting journey.
Here are four success tips for single parents.
1. Learn to Prioritize
Before you were a single parent, you might have had all the dishes done every night before you went to bed; or you did a load of laundry every day and never got behind. Now that you’re parenting as a single person, though, your priorities will need to shift for you to save your sanity. The basic gist is this: learn to let some things go.
If you’re parenting alone, you are going to find the demands on your time to be greater than ever before, and you will need to learn to relax about some housekeeping duties. It’s okay if the dishes remain in the sink overnight, especially if you exchange dish duty for some bonding time with your child!
2. Speaking of Letting It Go…
It can be very tempting as a single parent to harbor resentment toward your child’s absent mother or father. But living resentfully can make you bitter, and that may have a negative effect on your child’s development. Try not to dwell on the absence of the other parent. Instead, embrace your single parent life for what it is, whether you chose it or not, and move forward. Chances are, you are getting the better deal if you get to spend time with your amazing child(ren).
3. Make Sure You Have Support
Single parents don’t have a spouse coming home each night, or a spouse who is cooking and cleaning during the day. They don’t have anyone “automatic” to take care of all those little life things, like car repairs, ironing, and fixing leaky faucets. Consequently, burn-out can come easily to single parents.
Try to assemble a support network, whether through your place of worship, community center, family or online (or a combination of all!). The point is to have other single parents you can talk to, and capable friends who can step in and help when you really need a hand.
4. Keep It Fiscally Simple
You may know more than one single parent who makes more money than you do, or who is able to live a more up-scale lifestyle than you. But try not to give in to the temptation to keep up with Mr. or Ms. Jones! Insofar as you can, live within your means. Minimize debt and try not to live on credit. If you need to move, choose a housing option that you can afford to maintain.
I hope you find these tips useful on your single parent journey!