If you are recently divorced or you have recently stepped into the role of a single parent, what are some things that you need to remember? Being single probably is not your plan and you probably never thought that you would be raising your kids alone when you expected to be with your partner forever.
Every parent is different, and they parent differently. But three are some things that are important for all single parents to know.
Be Easy on You
Do not beat yourself up about things. The house will get cleaned and things will be cooked, and you will get your job done. If things do not always get done as fast or as well as you wished they would, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Being a single parent is hard, but you never want it to be an excuse. Having kids and raising them on your own isn’t easy and so if you are spending time with them and the dishes don’t get done this day, there is always tomorrow.
Nothing in life is easy and neither is juggling kids a job and other things. Being a single parent means that you have less time to do things that you used to do and that you are going to be busier. It is better to make sure that you keep a schedule and set a routine so that you can keep track of things such as homework, doctors’ appointments and more.
Having a schedule and a routine can help you to make sure that you don’t miss important things and it can help to keep your children organized.
This not only will help you know what is coming up, but it will also make sure that things do not overlap.
Setting goals can help you to feel accomplished when you meet them. This will help you to reach out past who you are and to make the leap to be better.
If you are a single parent, most likely it isn’t by choice and you need to set goals about your life so that you do not give up on yourself. You can still reach your goals even as a single parent.
Look at the goals that you set and make sure that you are setting them so that you can reach them. Make sure not to underestimate your values and yourself and know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Do not just be a strict mom but be a fun mom. Take time to play with your kids and do things with them that you both enjoy. Play outside and have fun doing things that make you and your children smile.
You will have to work some, but you can take a break and you can leave the house dirty so that you can have some fun with your family. Play games and tell stories, go to the beach, or do whatever makes you all smile.
Raising kids can be hard but make sure that you are not fighting with your children all the time. You need to understand that kids will make mistakes and that you will make mistakes and learn to battle things that are only necessary.
Being a single parent means that you will not always be right and if you are always fighting with your children it can be frustrating and can drain your energy.
Choose battles that are important and are worth fighting for and let the rest go.
Even when you are with your children, are you really listening to them? We all have a habit of getting on our phones or being distracted. Learn to listen to them and to really dive into the conversation they are wanting to have with you. This can show your kids how important that they are without having to tell them that.
If your children want to tell the same story over and over again, listen to them again. Listen for cues on what is bothering them and what they are struggling with.
Sit down with your children and focus on what they want to say. Take at least 10 minutes to talk about things and encourage them to share things about their day with you. Let them know that you want to hear them and that you want to know what is important to them.
You are not a robot even though you are constantly cooking, cleaning, running errands, school, repeat. Do not get into a rut about things that you have to do over and over again. Make time to do something different and not get stuck in what you are doing every day. Remember that you are not a robot and you need to have fun with your friends, children, and family.
You need to remember that you are only one person and that you cannot do everything all the time. Figure out a way to cut back on things that you cannot get done. Ask someone to help you out if you need them to and if things feel overwhelming, put it away until tomorrow.
Parenting can be hard, but you have to be firm and strict sometimes. Do not give in when your kids are acting up or throwing a temper tantrum. They might come back from your exes and tell you that things were different and better there than at your house and do not let that hurt your feelings.
When your children are comparing you to your ex, it can be hard and upsetting but don’t let it be. You will be an awesome parent again when they get mad at your ex. Giving in will make them think that they can take advantage of you.
Care about yourself because being a single parent is hard and takes a lot of work. Step in and make sure that you have what you need. If you find yourself needing time to stop, do it. Take time to rest and to get enough sleep.
Make sure that you make time for yourself and when you get up early and stay up late, find ways to use your time with your family creatively. If you need to relax and rest, try to meditate for a few minutes each day. Watch television with your children and nurture your relationship.
Find time each day to care about yourself and to give yourself some free time.
You need to take time to know what being a single parent is like and to make sure that you and your children are taken care of before you move on to dating someone else. You do not have to rush into dating again no matter what people tell you and you need to make sure that you are ready.
If you feel that dating is important, but you don’t have time, let your person of interest know that your children are first and that you are a single parent before anything.
Introducing the Kids
You do not want to introduce your children to everyone that you date. This can be tempting if you have found someone that you really like but it can also be hurtful. This is a time where your children are influential and bringing people in their life will make them want to be around them and if things end, it can be hurtful of your children.
Your kids do not have to know everyone that you go out with and if you have teenage children, they are not your boss.
Meet your date out of the house and find out if you really think you have a future with them before you introduce them to the children. Ask your friends to meet him first and to help you decide.
Keep things that are just for you like a special box of candy that you hid in the vegetable drawer or something like scented bubbles for your bath. Hold things back for you.
Parents share everything with their children, and it gets even more so when you are a single mom. Chances are you do not even get to use the bathroom alone and your kids will be everywhere.
It is important that you have some things just for you and that you have some alone time to enjoy yourself. Do something that you can do in your home and in your room while your kids are busy.
Wishing your time away will only make you sad later when they really grow up. Do not wish that your children would get bigger or push them to be independent.
You will miss the time that your kids needed you when they reach adulthood, and you will remember the days that they wanted to spend all of their time with you.
Maybe you will wish that you had some time alone here or there or you wish they would outgrow a bad habit, that is normal but just make sure that you enjoy the time when your children are little because it goes by fast.
Live and own the idea of being a single parent. You can be a great mom, or a great dad and you never have to have a stigma of being a single parent. People will judge you and will talk about you but do not let it bother you. Do the best you can for yourself and your kids and do not worry about what other people say.
Be the best single parent that you can be and do not be afraid to tell people that you are a single mom or that you are divorced. Don’t let someone make you feel bad or make you feel that you should be ashamed of yourself. Show them what you have to offer and show them how great you are while being a single parent. Be proud of yourself and your kids and be there to give them everything that they need in life.
Don’t feel bad for telling people to stay out of your business if you don’t want to talk about it. You never have to explain what happens in your own family.