It can be challenging to be a single parent. Challenges can include financial constraints as well as time management, needing to juggle work, parenting, and other responsibilities all at once. Social isolation can create feeling of isolation from peers due to the lack of a partner to share the parenting responsibilities. Single parents may experience an increased amount of stress due to the responsibility of raising a child or children alone. Add guilt for not being able to provide the same benefits as children of two–parent families. Here are some ideas to assist.
Advice from friend, Leane Riley begins with, “I might be a solo parent but I don’t have to do it all alone.”
- Remember that Super Mom or Super Dad is not even a comic book character!
- Be open with your children. Tell them the truth or a childlike version of it. Children sense everything but they don’t always know the questions to ask.
- Remind children that you are human and have needs too. “You like going to the park, I like getting my nails done.”
- Insist that children contribute. When they say, “It’s not fair!” let them know that life isn’t always fair for you either. “It’s not fair that I have to do everything when there are two other pairs of hands and legs in the house.”
- Remember, you are the shining example of how a successful woman behaves and what kind of response she accepts from others, including men.
- Provide routine that children can count on.
- During a job interview, find a way to mention your family. That way, there are no surprises. You also get a chance to learn more about your boss, the organization and their values. This provides you with more personal power! Choose a family-friendly organization.
- Single moms have little downtime. Let your car or bus be your wind-down time. Sit in your car at a park or somewhere private between work and child-care pickup. Listen to music, have your coffee or be with your thoughts and decisions. Arrange for girlfriend phone chats after the children are in bed. Plan meals as a stress reliever. If cooking is a chore, have sporadic cereal nights.
- Have a portrait taken of your new family. The depth that picture will have is priceless. Leane says that the picture of her and her two girls still sits on a shelf fixed between two angels. “It constantly serves as a reminder that I survived, had happy times and that difficult times can change for the better. That portrait still brings tears to my eyes. I am so proud of us all!”
- Don’t try to be all to your children. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child.
Note: This is an excerpt from Patricia Morgan’s book, From Woe to WOW: How Resilient Women Succeed at Work
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Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.242.7796 or email a request.