Parenting is tough even if it’s done with a supportive partner by your side. If you’re trying to make it on your own, things can get even more complicated. Taking care of your children’s needs while also meeting career demands all on your own is no easy task. However, this challenge can give rise to fantastic opportunities. You may be single-handedly responsible for your children’s well-being and financial security, but you’ll also have the joy of seeing them grow all to yourself.
While there is no one size fits all solution and every family is different, there are always ways to make single parenthood work. Many have done it and so can you. Although you’re on your own, there are strategies to help you, and you can be all the more empowered for treading this path alone.
1. Improve your time management
Having excellent organizational skills is one of the key elements of being a successful parent, and it’s especially important if you’re doing it alone. All the classics like making to-do lists, planning in advance, and following set schedules apply here. Create a system that works for you and your family and stick to it.
Since it’s only you taking care of everything, spontaneity is a luxury you simply can’t afford. However, you’ll quickly realize that good organization will make you see you have more time on your hands that you’ve ever imagined. This means you’ll also be able to take breaks and unwind more regularly without your responsibilities suffering.
2. Cut yourself some slack
Be kind to yourself. You have so much on your plate and it’s only natural to not be at the top of your game at all times. Failing is okay as long as you pick yourself back up. Having realistic expectations helps a lot. You’ll do this by prioritizing what matters the most at every given moment.
For example, you may need to let some responsibilities wait while you spend time with your kids.
Many single parents are chronically overworked. If you don’t take care of your own needs, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else’s. Make sure you have time to yourself whenever you get a chance.
3. Make the most out of your time together
You don’t even need to orchestrate special moments with your little ones. Simply enjoy the small everyday events as they happen organically. It’s amazing how much you can squeeze out of the moments you spend with your children while you’re driving them to practice or helping them with homework, for example. With a positive mindset, these times together can be transformed into cherished memories.
Stay in the moment when you’re spending time with your children. Give them your undivided attention, listen to what they have to say, and enjoy the uniqueness of their emerging personality. They’ll appreciate it as their demands for bonding will be met. Also, everyday tasks will be much more manageable if you reframe them as special and original.
4. Allow loved ones to lend a helping hand
Don’t feel guilty if you can’t do everything on your own. It doesn’t make you any less of a superhero parent. Friends and family are usually willing to babysit the children at least once in a while. They may also want to help with cooking or chores when you’re spread thin. For example, why not let loving grandparents spend some time with their precious grandkids at a trampoline park while you handle other responsibilities? They’ll both enjoy it and you’ll feel more at ease while you go about your day.