Five Ways to Reduce Single Parenting Stresses
Single parenting after divorce is a reality that many people face. Whether you are sharing time with your children with your former spouse or partner or you are the sole caregiver of your children, single parenting is full of moments of pure joy as well as real stress. As a single parent, having strategies for handling the more challenging moments can help you get through these times with less of excess anxiety and strain. Here are five ways to reduce single parenting stresses.
Know that you are not alone. Thousands of parents across the country are either dividing parenting time with their co-parent or are parenting entirely on their own. If you find yourself in either situation, there are blogs, online communities, and support groups out there that you can check out to learn about the experiences of others. Beyond that, it's important to build a support system close to you. Your close family and friends are there for you, and it's okay to ask them for help when you need it. Odds are they really, sincerely do want to help you by way of babysitting, cooking meals, or taking your kids to events like sports practice.
Keep up a routine. Balance and stability are important for children. They do quite well when they know what to expect out of their daily routine and, in turn, what is expected of them. Maintain a regular schedule of meals, sleep, homework, and play. Even if you are sharing parenting responsibilities, try your best to keep this schedule consistent. Whether co-parenting or not, getting your children's routine and other scheduling items down on a calendar is a great way to visualize their agenda. Setting up a calendar will make it easier to remember it and to plan ahead for events as they come up.
Attain financial stability. Single parenting is expensive, and so can be a divorce. Combine the two, and stress is quick to flare up. If you find yourself in a financial lull as a single parent, there are things you can do to improve your standing. Knowing that you can handle your and your children's expenses is a huge weight off any parent's shoulders. Eliminate frivolous spending, and work towards getting your credit card debt and other debts in order. Research ways that you can save money on groceries, clothing, school supplies, and much more.
Don't be too hard on yourself. Single parenting puts more than your fair share of stress on your plate. Trying to make things perfect all the time is just not realistic. There's nothing productive about feeling sorry for yourself or guilty over the fact that you can't give your kids everything they ask for. What is productive is to demonstrate your love for your children in all the ways that are available to you. Children with loving, supportive parents will mean much more to them in the long run than the material gifts you give them.
Give yourself some free time. Even in single parenting situations, kid-free time is possible to have. It's also necessary to help maintain your own sanity. Allow yourself to have regular times where you are away from your children and are doing something you would like to do. It can be as simple as treating yourself to a meal out alone or with friends, or maybe you can go out of town on a short weekend trip. Your support system of close family and friends can probably step in to help with watching your children while you're away, or you might take this time when your kids are with their other parent. Either way, single parenting is full of stresses that do call for a necessary break so that you can regain your sense of peace and reduce anxiety.
Single parenting stresses are difficult for even the most relaxed people to handle at times. You care so much about your children and their well-being that you put up with the chaos that sometimes ensues in this challenging situation. Finding ways to for you to reduce your single parenting stress will go a long way in helping you to quell some of your own tensions as well as those of you children.
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