The structure of family is always changing and over the past few years, there have been more single parent households than ever before. There are more than 11 million parents that are single parents and most of them are single mothers even though there are some single fathers that are raising their kids without a spouse.
There are different types of parenting and being a single parent can be hard. This can cause you to reach higher and to understand that life is hard but to think things through and be a great parent.
Stresses of Single Parents
Everyone has a different situation in their life, but single parents share the same problems in their families. Some of them will feel that being a single parent is hard and here are some of the reasons:
- Trying to balance work and home.
- Having to make all of the decisions.
- Handling the money situation.
- Having time with your family that is creative and quality.
- Having time for yourself.
Some single mothers have more than one stress as being a single parent, especially if they work a full-time job and are a single parent. This can be hard and can make them feel that their life is falling into pieces. Sometimes when they face the challenges in front of them though, they realize that they are strong and good parents.
Some single parents need to learn about success while others need to realize that life is not always easy and they still can win at being a single parent, even when things are hard.
If you are a working parent, balancing home life and work life can be hard. Even people that have a mother and father at home sometimes have a hard time to figure out things such as picking kids up from school or making it to the extracurricular activities.
Single parents don’t always know how they will be able to take care of their children and be able to do their routine in their day. Here are some things you can do:
- Stop picking up too many projects. Do not always volunteer your time and set boundaries so that you can be with your children. Give up some of your commitments if you need to and focus on your family.
- Always set boundaries and know that you have to be able to make sure that your kids are first in your life. If you have a chance to look at your schedule, make sure that you make time for them in your day and that you have time to make sure they are cared for before you pick up any extra work.
- If someone asks you to do something that takes away time with your family, learn to say no. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but make sure that your friends, family, and your boss knows that you are booked up ahead of time so that there are no hurt feelings. Make sure you meet the needs of your family first and foremost.
We have to make thousands of decisions each day and some of these are just decisions we make last second. Some of these will affect our lives at homes and some of these can affect people around us that we care about. Always pay attention to the two c’s of decision making which means being confident and being consistent.
Being confident means that when you make a decision, you do not worry about it. You do what you think is right. When you have to make a hard decision, you can call your friend, or you can choose to be confident in what you decide.
You also have to make sure that you are consistent, especially with children. Do not feel guilty that you are making decisions and sticking to them. This will allow you to have a healthy family and to not be stressed over changing your mind all the time.
You can even change things here and there but most of your decisions need to be consistent so that the children do not get confused. Your children will know the rules and they will have an easy time following them.
There are many programs and other ways that you can manage your money. You can learn to manage your finances alone or you can get someone to handle them for you.
- Budget: Always take time to budget the money that you spend each month and make sure that you have enough money to make it until the next paycheck. Change things around if you need to so that you have enough money to pay your bills.
- Goals: Set goals for your finances and put so much money away each month. This would allow you to save for birthdays and for Christmas. Write down your goals so that you can reach them.
- Pennies: Even take times to count your pennies. Save every cent that you can and always make sure that you are not spending money in ways that are wasteful.
Creative and Quality Time
If you are not working, spend time with your kids. Find ways to do things that is creative and full of quality. Give your children all of your attention when it is their time to be with you. Watch a movie with them and talk to them. Being on your phone does not count as quality time.
Dedicate some of your time with your children and this will show them how much you love them. You don’t have to buy them gifts to show them you love them, just give them time.
Do things that they like to do like play board games or go to the movies. You can go to the park or go outside and have a picnic. Your children will see that you are being creative, and they will love your simple ideas.
If you have a big family, put all the ideas in a bowl and pull a new idea of what to do each day. This gives all the kids a chance to have a say in what you are going to do and to keep the time exciting.
Find things to do that are free and make sure that you keep the cell phones away during this time. Do not allow the kids to have a cell phone either and make them be present while you are being present.
Time for You
You have to make sure that you are spending time with yourself and taking some time for you. When you are a single parent, it can be hard to remember that you need to spend time with yourself and for yourself. Take time to work out your day and to have time to rest. By not taking care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else. Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I drinking enough water?
- Have I eaten something I love?
- Have I enjoyed time outside?
- Have I had any alone time?
- Did I take a nap when I was tired?
- Did I say no when things were overwhelming?
- Did I practice relaxing?
If you have not done these things, figure out how to care for yourself the right way. This can help you to be healthy in your body and your mind and can help you to keep your emotions in check. You don’t have to spend every minute by yourself, just some time alone can be empowering and can keep you strong.
You can accomplish all of this even right in your home. You don’t have to travel to get some alone time or to talk to someone if you need to.
If you decide that you need to talk to someone because you are stressed, go online, and talk to an online counselor. This can help you to be the best that you can be for yourself and your family.