Single parents are a special kind of
From working a full-time job to managing a full-time household, they take on everyday a burden that most parents get to share.
As challenging as that sounds, being a single parent is also extremely rewarding. You get to decide on the rules and disciplinary strategies, without anyone second-guessing your decision-making skills.
When it comes to birthdays and holidays, you get all of the appreciation for getting the best gifts or coming up with the best party ideas.
While the benefits of solo parenting do stack up, they aren’t without their hurdles, roadblocks and stressors.
From maintaining an organized home to managing a busy parenting schedule, being a single parent also requires focus and determination.
Here are a two big questions to answer that will help you navigate the path of single parenthood so you can enjoy the perks more and stress less.
1. How do I keep a good, healthy routine for my kids—and for me?
The most precious commodity a single parent has is time. Whether it is time for yourself, time for your job or time for your kids, there just never seems to be enough of it.
That's why creating a good healthy routine, for both you and your kids, can help you maximize and make the most of every moment in those short 24 hours.
Establish a routine that you can stick to that improve the attitude of your entire household:
Starting everyone off with a regular routine will make your entire day run more smoothly.
From sitting down and having breakfast together to taking the dog for a walk, you can help establish a morning routinethat emphasizes mental and physical health for both you and your kids.
Studies show thatdepression ratescan be higher for both children and parents in a single parent household.
That's why setting a morning routine can help everyone tackle the stressors of the day with a positive attitude.
Night time routines can be especially fun for little ones.
From brushing your teeth together to reading before bed, evening routines can help you teach your children values, self care and responsibility, while also bonding after a long day apart.
2. What can I do to stay more organized?
You’ve got a lot on your plate—from planning that presentation for next week’s board meeting to making it to your child’s big soccer game.
Keeping everyone’s schedules organized so that the day runs smoothly is, honestly, another full-time job.
Here are a few helpful hints for keeping a more organized household, from keeping track of choir practice to making sure those library books are returned on time:
- Hang a family calendar in a highly-trafficked room, like the kitchen or the entryway.
- Be sure all events, due dates, deadlines and tasks are clear, visible and updated.
- Stay super organized by color-coding items by person or category. That way with one glance you know just how your week should go.
- Organize your entryway or mudroom so that everything you and your kids need before heading out the door is organized and right at your fingertips.
- Get hooks to hang backpacks and coats.
- Keep shoes neatly stored and hang a to-do or a reminder list so that the essentials are accessible during the mad rush out the door.
During the toughest moments of a single parent’s life, just remember that you can—and will—do this. It’s important that you have a strong support network, whether it’s a friend to call when you’re stressed to the max or a family member to come by to give you a break.
Making time for yourself, like working out over lunch or joining a colleague for happy hour, is a huge boost to your mental health. If you’re happier, your children will be happier, so be sure to make time for self-care.
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