There’s no denying that managing a family is a difficult task, and it can be even more challenging when there’s only one parent in your household. According to the Census Bureau for 2017, single parenthood is fairly common in the United States, with more than 10 million single moms across the country. Single fatherhood is on the rise as well, with over 2.6 million single parent homes being run by a father (Pew Research).
But being a single parent doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Here are a few tips that can help alleviate some of your day-to-day stress.
Build a team of go-to sitters.
Every mom and dad knows that being a parent means you have to be ready for anything. Sick kids at school that need to be picked up right away? What about a last-minute doctor’s appointment for your kiddos? Or what if your regular sitter has an emergency and can’t come to watch the kids? Managing these unexpected hiccups is a bit trickier as a single parent. Having a team of backup sitters to call upon can ease your stress when something out of the ordinary happens. Using online platforms like Sittercity can make building your team quick and easy.
Don’t be afraid to use your support system.
It’s hard to ask for help. But at the end of the day, your friends and family are in your life to support you and help you through difficult times. Whether you’re a single parent or not, it takes a village — so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and lean on your support system. Here are a few tips on how to ask for help and actually get it.
Maintain a daily routine.
By establishing a daily routine for your family, everyone will know what to expect each day. Maintaining a schedule helps the kids become more self-sufficient, and will keep you organized so that the whole family gets to where they need to go at the right time.
Many parents find it helpful to utilize online calendars like Google calendar to manage their schedules, but the kids may enjoy a visual weekly calendar in your home. You can create one easily by using a chalkboard or whiteboard for some colorful, visual fun.
Build community with other single parents.
Building a community of like-minded parents can be rewarding for many reasons. Finding parents who are in similar situations is helpful in knowing you’re not alone. They might also help with the kids when you need it. Sharing responsibilities when one of you needs a break or an emergency comes up can make all the difference for a single parent. And having more role models in your kid’s lives is an added bonus!
Remember to take care of yourself.
It’s so easy to forget about taking care of yourself when you have a family, especially when you’re a single parent. In order to take care of others, its so important that you also take care of yourself. Practice self-care by simply allocating time to read, binge Netflix or work out. Remember that when your health and happiness is strong, it will have a positive impact on your kids. Here are some easy ways that you can practice self-care.