Advice for Meeting Single Parenting Challenges Head On
Being a single parent is tough. Some days you might feel you’re meeting yourself coming and going, and at times you might wish someone would put you on timeout. However with some clever strategies you can not only stay in the game, you can meet the challenges head on and come out a winner.
Staying on top of clutter in your home will help you streamline your daily life. Redfin offers some terrific tips for keeping organised. Throughout your home, make sure you follow these three bits of advice:
- Sort everything into three basic categories: “keep,” “donate,” and “trash.” (No “maybes!”)
- Make a game plan for every room in the house, and ensure every item in the room supports that plan. Irrelevant items belong elsewhere!
- Storage should support function; keep items close to where they will be used.
Manage time well.
Do you feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day? That’s a sure sign you need to look closely at how you are managing your time. Some experts recommend sitting down with a pen, piece of paper and calendar to evaluate your priorities. Note your “musts” throughout the seasons. Put in school events, birthdays, and other things that can’t be missed. Plug in appointments and non-school activities. Choose to run errands in gaps between appointments and organize obligations.
Look for ways to simplify your daily life. If evenings are utter mayhem, spend time on a day off doing meal prep that will help you through the rest of the week. Freeze meal-sized portions, and don’t stop at suppers – make breakfasts and lunches as well. Invest in a slow cooker and make meals that reheat conveniently. You can even save time and money by buying larger quantities of foods like ground turkey and cooking it all at once, then freezing allotments of it for soups, stews and quick meals.
Reduce your stress.
You probably won’t be surprised to find Mayo Clinic says being a single parent can mean elevated levels of pressure, fatigue and stress. Those issues can all lead to irritability, lowered energy, and poorer parenting. However with effective coping strategies, you can keep a positive attitude. Here are some great tips for reducing your stress and coping well:
- Create a daily routine; children thrive with structure.
- Set rules so your children know what to expect, and explain the rules fully.
- Stay positive, but be honest with your child when you’re struggling. Explain things will improve, and don’t hesitate to give your child added age-appropriate responsibilities to assist you.
One of the best things you can do for your children is to take care of yourself. If you don’t have good mental and physical health, you won’t have the mindset or energy to be a good parent. US News & World Report notes that you should participate in a routine fitness program, and it doesn’t mean you need to join a gym. You can manage a strength training and aerobic workout anytime, day or night, from the comfort of home. Make sure you get routine physical exams, and don’t feel guilty when you take downtime just to relax. It’s good for your mental well-being and helps you maintain a healthy, positive outlook.
Connect with resources.
Being a single parent doesn’t mean you need to go it alone. There are many resources out there, and you should engage them for whatever assistance is appropriate to your situation. Check into local community service programs for information on support and networking groups; oftentimes parents can help each other out with carpooling and exchanging babysitting duties or “PDO” (Parent Day Out) programs. Some professionals suggest looking into food banks and thrift stores to save money, and places of worship can often connect you with other local resources.
Successful and single. There is no reason you can’t do a fantastic job as a single parent. Meet your challenges with winning strategies. You’ll find you not only can navigate those obstacles, you’ll come out on top!
Daniel Sherwin is the founder of dadsolo.com, a resource for single fathers.
He’s been a single dad to his daughter (9) and son (6) for three years now and admits to not always know what the heck he’s doing, but considers every day to be an adventure and a blessing. Daniel noticed that there wasn’t a lot of information out there for single dads so decided to share some of what’s worked for him.
Featured image by Victormm on Pixabay.