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Parenting is a tough job. That’s probably why for each household there are supposed to be two parents. But the reality is that as much as 50% of households in the U.S. are headed by just one mother or father.
If you are a single parent and really struggling with so many things – from finances to time management, health, career, etc., always remember this: you are not alone.
It’s hard. It truly is. But you can make things better. Follow these steps on how to be a successful single parent:
Let go of the baggage.
First of all – let go of the guilt. The fact that you are a single parent is hard. Don’t make it any more difficult by thinking about it every time, much more blaming yourself. It can be hard to stay positive. But always remember that whatever you believe in, your child will pick up on. That means if you keep thinking that life is hard and painful, so will your child. It can be difficult to stay positive amidst challenges but if you want to overcome those, you’ve got to start with changing your mindset.
Take care of yourself.
It may sound impossible (much more insulting) to consider this advice in the first place. You’ve got so many things to take care of, how could you even take care of yourself? Doesn’t it just add to the guilt? Not really. Self-care is the best thing you can do for your children. Note that your physical, mental and emotional health are vital to your success as a parent. Consider these self-care tips to stay healthy and sane:
- Don’t be afraid to say “no” to things that you really don’t like or don’t have time to do.
- Dedicate at least 15 minutes every day doing something you like – whether it’s watching your favorite TV show, reading a book, or simply chatting with your friends on Facebook.
- Work out. It doesn’t matter if it’s once a day or just twice a week. Staying physically active is good for your physical and mental health.
Learn to budget.
As a single parent, managing finances is never easy. You’re just the only one providing for the family and the bills don’t end. You might even have two (or more) jobs at the moment but you still feel that they’re not enough to meet your financial needs. The best way to manage your finances is to create a household budget with cash advance online or with your savings and stick to it. Get real about what you can afford. Save and keep a minimum of three months’ worth of living expenses for emergencies and other unexpected events like job loss, medical emergency, or sudden expense like home repair.
Create a routine.
When you have very young children, sticking to a routine can save you time and headache. Create consistency with scheduling wake-up time, mealtime, and bedtime. Creating a routine creates stability in your home. Be consistent with disciplining your children too. It’s important that your kids understand what is expected from them and what they should anticipate in terms of consequences.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Having a strong support system is greatly beneficial for single parents. Surely, some people will be happy to take care of your child when you have an important errand to do or fetch them from school when you can’t. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Your family, friends, and relatives are likely more than happy to assist you.
Lastly, remember that two is a family.
Don’t get stuck with the thought that you won’t be able to raise your child like a normal household with two parents do. There are many single parents out there who have raised great kids. And that only means that it’s not always about the number of parents in a home, but the parenting skills they have. The best way to deal with the challenges is to change your perspective.
Again, let go of the baggage, give yourself the care you deserve, manage your finances well, help your kids establish a routine, and don’t hesitate to ask for help whenever you need it. On top of all, know that you are not perfect. And that’s totally okay.