Here are great tips from a guest blogger! In this issue, I have the pleasure of featuring Daniel Sherwin, a single dad to a daughter (9) and son (6)! Check out his site, dadsolo.com. He's got great advice for single parenting.
Tips for Being a Great Single Parent
Parenthood is one of life’s greatest challenges and most rewarding experiences. There are days when you feel run-down and tired, but there are other days when you cannot believe how blessed you are.
When you are a single parent, both feelings can be magnified. Between handling your relationship with your ex and trying to care for yourself and your children, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and lost. Here are some helpful tips on how to be a great single parent.
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How to Get Along With Your Ex
Unless the other parent is completely absent, you’ll have to work with your ex to care for your child. While that may sound daunting, there are ways you can make it work.
First, GoodTherapy.org recommends that you reduce your expectations and let go of control. There’s a good chance you and your ex will have a difference of opinion on how to raise your child. Don’t hold your ex to lofty expectations. Give up trying to have control over how he or she thinks and acts, even if you think your ex is acting against your child’s best interests. Not only will this make you happier, it can help your child feel less anxiety and stress about why you’re a single parent.
The Spruce offers an unusual but effective way to communicate with your ex: Stop defendingyourself. This does not mean you agree with everything your ex says or does. You simply do not engage in a fight. Stay focused on the communication that’s necessary for your child and refuse to get into the usual arguments. If you stop defending yourself and just move on, you show that arguments don’t work. That’s something that can also benefit your children because they may blame themselves when parents fight.
Even if you have a healthy relationship with your ex, you need to keep your life organized. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a single parent, and there’s only so much your ex can do to help.
If you feel like your house is disorganized and messy all the time, then it’s probably time to declutter. Having fewer things, especially possessions that you never use, can help your home feel and look better. Redfin recommends that you split everything into three piles: “Keep,” “Trash,” and “Donate.” Then follow through with that plan! Don’t create any “Maybe” piles, or you’ll never declutter your home.
For the belongings that you keep, find a place for everything. Drawers, fabric cube organizers, and shelves can help you keep your home organized. If needed, try discretely labeling drawers and cabinets so you know where everything is. This way, you’ll never be wasting time looking for scissors or a sewing kit when your child needs a little help.
To organize your life, remember that a calendar is very helpful. Add all your appointments, obligations, and reminders so you can keep track of your busy schedule. A digital calendar is great, but be sure to share it with people in your children’s life. When your children get old enough, share it with them as well.
Self-Care Is Important
Being a capable single parent doesn’t mean focusing exclusively on your child. Remember that you are a role model, so if you don’t take time for some self-care, your child can grow up thinking that’s unimportant.
Finding time for self-care is tough as a single parent, so set clear boundaries. Don’t let your child constantly interfere when you’re showering, exercising, or reading a good book. Use a timer if necessary so your child knows when it’s okay to interrupt you. And never forget about hiring a babysitter! Sometimes, a night out with your friends can really help you.
Enjoy Being a Single Parent
Although it can get stressful, you can still be the best parent possible for your kids. Don’t engage in fights with your ex, keep organized, and make time for yourself when you can. This way, it’ll be easier to enjoy the many rewards of being a parent.
Wow, Daniel has hit all the essentials: your relational environment, your physical environment, and your internal environment.
Are you ready to take your management of each and every one to the next level? Book us time to chat. Let's talk about your dreams, desires, and challenges. You determine what you want to take away and we'll make that our objective for the conversation. No further obligations.
Get clear and move forward with what matters most!