Raising a child is a selfless and often thankless job. Parenting in any capacity is challenging enough with a partner, and now doing it on your own may seem overwhelming. That fear, anxiety, and uncertainty are warranted.
You don’t have to live with those feelings every day!
How You Can Make Single Parenting Work For You
Single parenting is a tough job and there are many things it can be, some good and some difficult.
Even with a partner, providing for a family is tough. Now, you’re doing it alone. Groceries, car payments, mortgages, kid activities, and bills pile up. Managing all this is stressful, but there are steps you can take to ease the burden.
Start a budget
Use whatever you have to delineate your monthly funds. Knowing exactly how much you have to spend each week in each category will help you stay on track. Budget your expenses for groceries, gas, mortgage (or rent), electric, Wi-Fi, and other responsibilities that come with raising a family.
But don’t forget to budget for YOU. If you have the financial means, set aside money to buy small items for self-care that will not make too huge of a dent in your budget, whether it’s your favorite foot lotion, a bath bomb, flowers for yourself, or a frozen yogurt.
It’s time consuming.
Taking care of your home, kids and finances takes up a lot of time. With a never-ending to-do list, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get everything you need to do done. Managing everything on your own is a laborious task, but there are things you can do to mitigate the burden and free up some time in the day for yourself:
Make a schedule
It may be intuitive for women who love to plan, yet many of us never create a delineated schedule for our day. Just like a budget, writing things out and holding yourself accountable to your set standards can go a long way in streamlining your day. Make lists, print an Excel sheet, put reminders in your phone, or just write what you need to get done on a scrap piece of paper. You’ll thank yourself later.
You don’t have to do it all on your own. If your children are old enough, give them some responsibilities. Sweeping the floor, doing the dishes, taking out the trash; all these things can be easily delegated to someone else. And if you have the support system, call in some favors. Don’t be afraid to lean into those who care for you most. Chances are, they want to help.
Being a single parent introduces new emotional hurdles every day. Stress, anxiety, and loneliness seem to be at every corner, especially during the holiday season. But you’re not alone. There are millions of single parents who know the challenges you face all too well.
It’s easy to self-isolate and feel like you have to do everything on your own. Running all the errands, home repairs, helping the kids and everything in between is exhausting, but there are resources to help. Family, friends, and social media networks are here for you. Over the years, the rate of single parents has been rising, but so are the resources. There are community groups, blogs, and events dedicated to helping single parents feel like they’re not alone. Find your tribe and lean into it whenever you can.
Don’t doubt yourself
Making those tough decisions isn’t easy, but doubting yourself is. Don’t give into it. Parenting can be tough, and given the unknowns of doing it alone, doubt is expected. If you’re feeling unsure, reach out to your support, or better yet, trust yourself and your instincts. You know what’s best for your family.
It’s worth it.
Single parenting can take a toll on your positivity, but don’t forget why you’re doing it: your children. At the end of the day, seeing those smiles and knowing that you’re doing your best is all you can ask for. Remember to stay who you are, and don’t lose yourself in the identity of “single parent.” You are unique and so is your parenting style. So, take advantage of these tools to make single parenting work for you!