Being a parent is never easy because you are responsible for the wellbeing and future of your children who are entirely dependant on your care. Parenting requires you to make tough decisions, provide for your family, and juggle the ups and downs of life while doing your best to give your children the best upbringing possible, and this is a job made even harder by having to do it alone. If you are a single parent who is having to overcome all of the challenges other parents have, without having the support of a co-parent along the way, then here are some tips to help you continue to persevere and overcome these obstacles.
Having less accessible emotional support
Parenting is incredibly difficult, both mentally and physically, and it is even harder to go through the emotional turmoils of parenthood when you have to do it alone. When you have a partner to co-parent with, you also have someone who provides a shoulder to lean on when you are struggling, and who can also fulfil your emotional needs. Therefore, it is important to combat any feelings of loneliness by trying to find ways to socialise with other people, so that you can find the support you need in other forms, whether that be from friends, family or even co-workers.
Trying to cope when you are unwell
One especially difficult factor of being a single parent is that your children are completely dependant on you twenty-four seven, no matter what. It means that when you are having a bad day, or even if you are struggling with illnesses, you still have to find a way to be a present parent for your children, without having that support of a partner to tag in and take the load when it all gets a bit much. Therefore, it is important to make life a little easier on yourself by doing everything you can to maintain your health and wellbeing. For example, if you are experiencing pain in your back, it would be important to seek out lower back pain treatment as soon as possible, rather than leaving it too long because of your other responsibilities getting in the way. You also need to make sure to get enough sleep and eat the right foods to maintain your energy levels and ask for help from friends and family when you need a break to recuperate.
Having to be the sole decision maker
It can sometimes be exhausting to be forced to make all the decisions all the time, both for yourself and for other people. When you have a co-parent, you can turn to them for advice, and work out the situation together, sharing equal responsibility. But when you are a single parent, all of the responsibility falls on you. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t ask other people for their advice, such as other parents who will have gone through similar situations to you and may be able to offer some perspective. It may also help if you try to adapt your perspective on the situation, such as by seeing the fact that you have sole autonomy over yours and your children’s’ lives as a privilege, rather than a burden. It is also important to learn to trust in your own opinions, and be confident that you are making the right choices in the best interests of your family. After all, no one else will be more invested in the outcome of important decisions than you.
Taking care of the finances
Raising a family is never cheap, and when you are a single parent, most of the time the responsibility for the financial security of your family is placed solely on your shoulders. It can be incredibly difficult to balance being a full-time parent with having to make enough money to look after your family. It will help to make sure you know exactly what money you have coming and and going out, and to create a budget either on a time frame basis, or by assigning a certain amount of money to cover different aspects of the family life. For example, a food budget, clothing allowance, and also save a certain amount of money per week to cover any future emergencies which might come up. If you feel that you might struggle to get your finances in order alone, then don’t be afraid to ask more experienced friends and family for help, or even go to a financial advisor who can help to guide you in this area.