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Survival tips for single parents

survival tips for single parents
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Even with all the rewards it offers – and there are plenty – parenting can be hard work and this is doubly true if you’re bringing up children on your own. Parents who live together can pull resources and lean on each other for support but for single parents, getting through the challenges parenting brings can be even tougher.

Be yourself

Often when kids come along everything else takes a back seat. This is especially true of single parents as they can’t leave their children without finding a babysitter. However, it’s important to make sure you still have plenty of adult company around you. Invite friends over or arrange play dates with their children so you can enjoy a coffee together while the kids get on with it. Your children may be your universe but that doesn’t mean your whole world should revolve around them all the time. You need time to be yourself, rather than being ‘just’ a parent all the time.

Connect with others

Making friends with people in the same boat can be a godsend. If you don’t know any other single parents then look to connect online. Social networking sites and internet forums, such as The Working Parent, can be a great source for finding people to chat to when the going gets tough. Parent and baby groups, drop-in centres and even the school playground are great places to meet people ‘in real life’ who may have similar experiences to you.

Accept offers of help

Whether it’s a night’s babysitting, a cooked meal or picking the children up from school, if someone offers some help, bite their arm off. Everyone needs a little help now and again and nobody is going to think any less of you for accepting what’s on offer. On the same note, don’t be shy in asking for help. Friends and family may be more than happy to help you out but unsure of what you need.

Survival guide for single parents

Prioritise the important tasks

If you’re running a household on your own then don’t beat yourself up if the whole place isn’t spotless all the time. No house with children in it is, no matter how many adults also live there. Focus on the important things like healthy meals and hygiene, even if it means leaving toys and clothes lying around. As long as your house is relatively clean, does a bit of mess really matter?

Remain civil with your ex

If you’re a single parent through separation or divorce then it pays to stay on good terms with your ex. Not only will this make life easier and less painful for the children, it means you can rely on each other when it comes to childcare and making decisions about the future. Sleepovers and visits to their other parent gives you a little time to yourself and can ease the pressures of childcare costs while you’re at work. Presuming your ex is a good parent, it will do the kids good to spend time there too.

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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