Today, it is estimated that 1 out of every 4 children in America lives with just one parent. While the circumstances are various (divorced, widowed, by choice, military parent), the actuality of the situation is that single parenting is demanding, hectic and stressful. Here we look at five tips that can help make this single mom role a little easier:
Remove “Guilt” From Your Vocabulary
Single parents too easily fall into a guilt mode about not having enough money or enough time. But ladies, for your own good and well-being, focus on the many things that you do get done every day, alone. Focus on what you are able to provide your children with and remember that you provide things that money can’t buy like attention, comforting and love. And if it is the divorce or some other disruption that you and your kids have experienced, join a support group. But most of all, keep your focus on your being there for your kids and taking care of yourself too.
Get A Grip On Your Money
It is hard to raise a family on two incomes as it is, but with only one income it is very hard. And if you plan to rely on child support to help, it can be even harder. This is why you need to take the steps now and set a firm budget. Take the time to learn about planning for your kid’s college, your retirement and look into long-term investments. Consider continuing your own education now so that you can improve your earnings.
Establish A Daily Routine
Plan a schedule with regular times for bedtimes, chores, meals and other functions. This will help your younger children know what they can expect every day. Keeping your daily routine consistent helps kids feel secure and will help you be organized and feel secure yourself.
Consistent Discipline Is A Must
When your kids know the expectations you have about their behavior, they will thrive more. No matter how much they may complain, they not only need rules, but they want them too. For the divorced mom, try to work with the other parent to create rules that are consistent in both homes as well as discipline methods. Working together instead of undermining each other is less stressful for both of you and for the children too. Keep their caregivers informed about the plan you and their dad agree upon too so that the discipline is consistent there as well.
Treat Your Kids As Kids
When there is only one parent in the household, it can be easy to rely on the kids for your own comfort and companionship, even for sympathy. You need to remember that the emotional capacity of you children isn’t at the same level of an adult. And they don’t have the experiences in life to be a substitute partner either. When you see that you are depending on the kids and expressing any anger or frustrations about adult things, seek the ear of an adult family member or a friend. Let the kids be kids.