Parenting is a challenge to the best of us. While it can be extremely rewarding, it can also be difficult at times. No matter how hard we try to suppress the urge to admit to our limitations, parenting does get the better of us. Single parenting? Even more so. Yes, we said it and we hope you’ll say it too. You will experience the immediate release of all those pent up feelings you’ve withheld for far too long. We’re here to give you a few pointers that just might go a long way in balancing your work and giving your kids the best of you.
1. Find A Circle of Support
We advocate this point first and foremost because it is that crucial. A support system goes a long way in helping you as a parent come to terms with work and the home. Routines that seem to get bigger and bigger when you’re in the thick of it can be broken down into smaller, simpler manageable tasks. Find other parents with whom you can trust your kids with. In this way all of you can take turns sitting the kids, going on play dates and even carpooling. You can take care of menial tasks now without it eating into your precious personal time.
2. Make Your Health A Priority
You know better than anyone that your kids need and depend on you. Which is why you push yourself to the maximum every chance you get, right. Wrong! Stretching yourself thin won’t work out too well for you in the long run. Heck, you haven’t even gone to the doctor to get that niggling back pain checked out yet. You need to look after yourself because you are, all your kids have. You know that! If you need to take time out to work on your fitness and adopt a healthier lifestyle, then you MUST. Your kids will get a healthier and much happier parent out of it.
3. Leave Work At The Office
In this new age of smart phones, tablets and a myriad other devices, it is so easy to get lost in everything else when you really shouldn’t be. Banish your electronics once you get home and just spend some good old quality time with your children. Speak to your boss and reassure him or her that during work hours you will give your 100%, but after that, your family takes centre stage.
[ Read: How To Be A Happy Working Parent ]
4. Don’t Try To Be Super Mom
It’s time to face facts. You. Cannot. Do. It. All. Single parents are no stranger to prioritizing. But something you can learn is that some stuff should be given the boot entirely. If you can’t bake the birthday cake this time around, the world won’t fall apart. It’s better to pick one up at the confectionery store and enjoy the day with your child instead. They would rather have a happy parent than a harassed parent any day.
5. Have A Back-Up Plan
A back-up plan is not something we really bother to think about, but having one does go a long way. Consider the possibilities. You have a huge deadline to meet at work while your kid is down with the flu. Your baby-sitter just cancelled on you. In the morning rush you managed to lock yourself out of the house.
Find a support group or create one with other single parents, or trusted parents from the neighbourhood. Keep an extra set of keys with your own parent, sibling or neighbour. An emergency fund, if possible can help in a crisis without having to care for someone and fretting about finances as well.