It’s stressful enough being a parent, being a single parent is even more stressful because you’re not only a parent, you’re both parents.
You’re also the sole bread winner and must be the sole disciplinarian.
Not an easy job description to live up to. Here are some tips to help you survive the stress and thrive with your children.
1. Take Care Of Yourself
Take some time for yourself. You’re likely working full time and tending to your children. You must pay your bills, budget and do housework as well as laundry.
By the time bedtime rolls around you’re lucky if you have the energy to pull the covers back and cover up with a cozy blanket.
Stressed parents simply can’t give their children their best. Sit down and work out a schedule. You may do laundry on only one day per week or enlist an older child to assist you with it. You may only vacuum weekly and have the children help you.
Don’t be afraid to ask a trusted family member or friend to sit with the children for an hour or so every few weeks so that you can have some you time. This time should be to do something for yourself, not to catch up on laundry, house work or bill paying. Go to a movie, go for a walk. Just take a few hours for yourself every few weeks and allow yourself to rejuvenate.
2. Start Walking
Walking has many great benefits and it’s easy to work into your daily routine.
If the children are little, put them in the stroller and stroll around the block a few times. You may even meet other young mothers who are in the same situation.
Go to the park and let them wear themselves out. Sit in the sunshine and take in some fresh air. The fresh air and Vitamin D from the sunshine will do wonders for your outlook on life and your mood.
Walking is great exercise for the mind, body and soul.
3. Enjoy Music
Sing and dance to silly songs with the children. Enjoy looking at life through their eyes for a change. You don’t have to be serious all of the time.
It’s okay to have fun and enjoy life. It’s good for the children to see you happy too.
This is a great way to build happy memories with your children and uplift your mood.
4. Join a Support Group
You aren’t the only parent going through this sort of thing. Find a local support group and get to know other parents in the same situation.
You’ll be surprised at their varied backgrounds and lifestyles. Some groups even offer childcare so you can take your break while you’re there.
Check one out today and see how much better you feel. The support is great to have and you’ll make some new friends that understand you better than some of the ones you had with your ex.
5. Create New Routines
Now that you’re on your own, you’ll need to rewrite the house rules and create a new routine. Sit down as a family if the children are old enough and discuss the possibilities.
Write out the chore list (think laundry, vacuuming, dishes, taking out the trash etc.) and discuss who should do what.
You’ll be less stressed and the children will feel that you’re really working toward a common goal.
6. Let Go of Perfection
It’s not like television folks. A perfect house, perfectly groomed children and a healthy meal on the table every night isn’t always feasible.
It’s okay if the children don’t brush their hair every night before bed. It’s okay if your son wore that shirt two days ago and it hasn’t been laundered.
It’s okay if the dishes soak overnight and are washed in the morning.
Using these tips will help you to lighten up and not be so hard on yourself. You’re not alone and you don’t have to do it all alone. Create your own support group and re-vamp your life.