Single parenting is often the result of unfortunate circumstances because truth has to be told, it is not every day you come across parents who choose to raise kids alone. Single parenting is not easy as it requires commitment, effort, courage and for working moms, it requires a balance between family and work while for non-working moms it brings extra stress of how to feed the kids. The unfortunate circumstance can be death, separation, divorce, or just pure neglect or irresponsibility however the reasons behind it don’t make it any easier. Here are some of the things you can do to manage and maintain positivity throughout this bumpy journey.
How can you take care of the kids if you can’t care for yourself? Firstly, if you are unfit and too stressed, you will certainly not manage this task. Through all the madness, the busy schedule, or the difficulties, you need your “me time” to unwind and refresh. If you refresh you can think better and manage better with a positive and calm attitude. Good self-care will give you a sound mind, a healthy body, and a happy soul so you can provide the best care for your kids as well.
ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE
Your reaction to life challenges is what matters the most not the challenge itself. As overwhelming as it can get, you have no choice but to develop a positive attitude and a mindful approach. How we react to challenges is a choice no matter what challenge comes your way. Our kids can pick up on our emotions and feed off them. Your mindset is one of your best tools and not only when it comes to raising kids but generally in life as well. Do not beat yourself up when the unforeseen happens, rearrange your plans or make changes accordingly and do what you can.
A PERFECT PARENT IS A MYTH
You are trying as hard as you can to be the best parent in the world. There are no rules and no one can come and say you skipped rule number 5 or you are not doing it according to the book. Who can honestly shout out and say “I am the number 1 best parent in the history of parenthood”? any parent can be in the eyes of their children. What I am simply saying here is that you should let go of the guilt. Do not feel guilty about missing some school activities or not giving them what they need all the time. You can’t do everything or give your undivided attention at once if you have more than one child.
It is your responsibility to make kids see and understand that you are trying your best when it comes to focusing on them more than anything else. You have no choice but to prioritize and stay flexible, priorities may differ according to the situations at hand. While they may not have the best things money can buy, they will know they have what matters the most and that is you and you are doing your best.
CREATE A ROUTINE
Create a daily routine that will give them a sense of security. It can be anything and anytime that works best for all of you. I have been a single mother of a boy and a girl for the longest time and mornings with my kids were the best. Their bedtime was reasonable enough to give them enough sleep so we can have enough fun time in the morning. Every morning from bath time we would talk a lot about fun things, dreams we had overnight, what we wish to do over weekends, and everything fun except school.
All this fun talk so they can look forward to school with no worries & smiles on their faces. Night times would be more about serious talks if there was a need, we talked about schoolwork, helped with homework, talked about issues that need sorting out, planning, and anything that needed attention. I used to work nights as well but I would make certain whenever I am home, we eat dinner together all the time and that was not negotiable and they truly enjoyed my cooking, and years later they still do I may add.
Bottom line is that a routine will create bonds as well as allow you to learn more about your kids and they will get to understand you better as well.
Expectations are a part of life however higher expectations can be nothing but a train of disappointments. Stay realistic about your situation because at this point you wear too many hats of being a parent, a teacher, a helper, manager to your home and many other. Your routine times can be the best to explain to your children about the realities of life. Never make unrealistic promises because kids can be pushy, demanding, and always trying their luck. Be practical and open about life.
Nothing beats being accepting and real about your life situation because you can have direction on how or where to do better however if you’re in denial you will do nothing to change for the better.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It matters not how or why you’re in the single parenting situation, focus on moving forward giving the child all the love they deserve. Do you need help? Go ahead and ask for it because no man is an island, you have family, friends, and other people around you who can offer their support. It takes the entire village to raise a child. You can give the kids a happy and progressive family as single as you are.
**THERE IS NOTHING SINGLE OR INCOMPLETE WITH THE LOVE, CARE & WARMTH YOU GIVE AS A SINGLE PARENT**