When you’re a single parent, there’s the never-ending saga of meal prepping, laundry, dishes, finding care for sick children… all on your own. Let’s not forget all of the parenting struggles that rest all on you. Successful single parents, in our eyes, are superheroes. How do they do it without burning out? Here are some tips for all the single parents trying to make it out there:
1) Get As Much Help As You Possibly Can
It’s okay to ask for help. Especially if you are a single parent, you’re going to want to lean on people outside of your home. Try to get to know other people in the community. Neighbors, folks at church, and parents at your kid’s school and activities can become a support system when you get in a crunch. You can offer to swap babysitting hours with other parents instead of having to pay for a sitter.
2) Invest in a Few Hours of Free Time For Yourself Each Week
Just a couple of hours for yourself each week can make a difference in your mental health. If you can’t get a community member to help you, look around your neighborhood for young babysitters or senior citizens who won’t charge you much for a couple of hours of babysitting. Use this time on something that makes you feel good — take a nap, get a massage, grab dinner with friends, or exercise. Depending on your income, hire as much help as you can to make sure you are giving yourself some time for yourself.
3) Be Realistic
As a single parent, your number one priority is maintaining your sanity. That starts with being realistic about how much you can take on. Is your child committed to too many activities? If your child is feeling stressed by their schedule, it might be time to cut back some. Next, don’t beat yourself up about taking shortcuts, like feeding your kids cereal instead of a perfectly balanced meal every morning. Be okay with being a little less than perfect. It’s okay.
How do you deal with tantrums from a young child? Here are some tips for practicing positive discipline with kids ages 1 to 5. For more parenting and family health articles by Hospitality Health ER, visit our blog.