Being a single parent is no easy task, but it’s one that millions of people all over the world have to do every day. Everyone faces stress at some point in their life, but, when you’re having to juggle the pressures of a demanding job and taking good care of your kids, you’re at a much higher risk. This leaves you vulnerable to a number of nasty stress-related health problems, including anxiety and heart disease. To ensure that you’re around for your children whenever you need them you have to take action and reduce your stress. Here are ten things that you can do.
- Build A Support Network
You may not have a partner to lean on, but that doesn’t mean that you should do everything completely alone. All single parents need some kind of help at some point, so it’s important that you build a support network of friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and groups for advice, help, and relief. You could even hire a babysitter to assist with the children or a cleaner to help with the housework. This way, you can lighten your daily load a little, saving yourself from extra stress.
- Look After You Finances
When you only have one source of income keeping your family going, money is naturally a huge source of stress. To relieve some of this worry, you should come up with and stick to a budget that shows you exactly how you are to spend all of your money each month. This budget will also show you places where you might be wasting money, allowing you to cut out any unnecessary expenses. You could also find ways to earn some extra cash, like running your own side hustle.
- Answer Your Child’s Questions
Children are curious creatures, so, inevitably, there are going to questions coming up about the absence of a parent or changes in your family. These questions can be difficult and awkward to answer, but it’s important that you do as openly, honestly, yet child-friendly as possible. If you don’t, your children may find out the truth for themselves, which could leave them angry at you.
Just make sure that your kids have the support they need after these difficult conversations.
- Establish A Daily Routine
Children thrive on routine, as it lets them know what they should be doing when, which helps them to feel organized, safe, and secure. For this reason, you should try to stick to the same meal times, chore times, and bedtimes every single day. This schedule will also help you to save time and reduce stress, as it will allow you to transition from one task to another quickly and easily. Sticking to your routine won’t always be possible, but you should try to regardless.
- Stay Consistent With Discipline
Of course, it’s not just your schedule that your kids need to know – They should also understand what behaviors are expected of them and which simply aren’t acceptable. This means setting a list of rules for your children to follow and the consequences that will occur if and when these rules are broken. If your child has other caregivers, like a babysitter or your ex-partner, then you should also speak to them about your methods so that no one undermines the rules of someone else.
- Make Your Home Safe
Keeping a constant eye on your kids is difficult enough when there are two parents in the house, but, with only one to keep your kids safe, it’s more important than ever that any potential hazards are dealt with. With that in mind, here are some great tips for childproofing a home. You may also want to increase your home’s security by adding surveillance cameras and motion sensor lights at the entrances. This will offer peace of mind and should scare away potential intruders.
- Treat Children Like Children
Without any other adults in the house, it can often be tempting to lean on your children and rely too heavily on them for companionship and support. Unfortunately, kids rarely have the emotional capacity to substitute for an adult partner, and, even if they did, they shouldn’t have to. Instead of toughing out your problems alone or depending on your children, you should speak to other adults, including friends and family. You may also want to talk to a counselor.
- Spend Quality Time Together
Although you shouldn’t rely on your kids too much, you should still spend plenty of quality time with one another. Of course, with work, household chores, and their school work this can be tricky, but you need to make time regardless of how busy you are. This is important for them and their mental wellbeing, but it’s just as vital for yours. After all, your kids are probably the most important thing in your life, so your time together can put any other stresses out of your mind.
- Take Time For Yourself
That being said, it’s just as important to schedule time for yourself and the things you want to do on your own. This could mean reading a chapter of a book, having a coffee with a friend, or even just taking a bath. Taking this regular personal time will give you the chance to unwind and recharge your batteries, allowing you to take on the world and be there properly for your kids. Asking your support network for help now and then will give you the time you need to do this.
- Look After Your Health
As a single parent, your health is vital. After all, if you were sick, injured, or otherwise indisposed, your kids might not have anyone around to take care of them. For this reason, you should take proper care of yourself by making time to exercise every day, eating healthy meals, and improving your quality of sleep. You should also consider the steps necessary to reduce your stress and give yourself some time to relax and recharge now and then.
Being a single parent can be a struggle, but, hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to beat your stress and live a happier, healthier life with your children.bellyitchblog.com+1 more Over 9 million people have enjoyed Bellyitch's Award-winning Celeb "bumpwatch" pregnancy and parenting blog. Trying to Conceive? Download our FREE Fertility 100 ebook. Hunting for Top Maternity or Kids Brands? Our Bellyitch 100 is the free resource for you. Baby Shower Shopping? Check out out Top Picks on Amazon or our Gift Guides.