Single Parenting Tips

Whether or not you share custody of your children with another parent or you are raising your child(ren) on your own full time, there is no doubt that single parenting can be challenging and stressful.  Sometimes, a few simple single parenting tips can be helpful in the day to day work involved in single parenting.

Anyone who has done it knows that being a single parent is a full time job in and of itself.  There is so much work involved in making sure that we provide the basics to our children.  And let’s face it, most of us want to provide more than just the basics.  Add to that the fact that most single parents also need to work a full time job and by the end of the day you have one majorly overworked parent.

So my first tip to any single parent is to really make sure to take a little time for yourself every day.  Whether that’s 30 minutes of exercise or getting up a little early to read the newspaper or have some quiet time with a cup of coffee, it is very important to get that time for you where you focus on just that, YOU!

Second, try to stay aware of your “emotional pulse”.  Because the job of single parenting can be so tiring, overwhelming and stressful at times, it is important to be aware of how you are feeling so that if things are starting to build up or become too much you can take the proactive steps to avoid a meltdown.  Daily check-ins may sound crazy but I literally at least once a day simply ask myself, “How are you doing?”, and then take the time to honestly answer it.  If I feel that I am overwhelmed or just not on my game, I revert to the first tip and for me I like to take about 10 to 15 minutes to perform deep breathing exercises.  Emotional awareness can go a long way in helping prevent stress or anxiety becoming too much.

Third, a meltdown is ok…well sort of.  Obviously part of why it is so important for us as single parents to avoid letting our stresses and anxieties overwhelm us is because of our responsibility to our children.  That being said, blowing off a little steam sometimes can be a really effective way to release some stress.

 

 

For me, if I feel a bit of a meltdown coming on (maybe because the kids left a tornado of a mess through the house) I will go out to the garage for a few minutes and go a round or two on the punching bag.  Now, it’s important to note, I am not taking out on the punching bag any aggression directed at my children.  It’s just a much more effective way of releasing stress than losing my cool and yelling and screaming about the things that I cannot change.  After I have had my little private meltdown, I can then get back to it with a much more level head and calming speak to the kids about how we need to clean up our messes.

Fourth and possibly most important, even though you are a single parent does not mean you are all alone.  I don’t know how many times I have called my Mom, or Dad, or friends or other family just to ask questions or vent or get a little advice.  Sometimes it is trivial little things and sometimes it is stuff that at least for that moment, seems like life altering impact.

The main thing is, we need to remember that we are not required to be all alone in our journey to raise our children and in fact, we shouldn’t be.  It is too hard of a job to do alone and no one should have to do it.  That being said, sometimes people do not want to burden their friends and family with their personal problems.  This is understandable and certainly a fine perspective, but not an excuse to handle things alone.  There is also professional guidance you can receive in the form of therapists, support groups, online communities, social workers, the list goes on…

This is just a short list of single parenting tips that have been invaluable to me on my day to day journey of single parenting.  I hope you can find some use in them.  Please feel free to offer your own tips in the comments section below.  I assure you that other single parents will be very grateful for them.

12 thoughts on “Single Parenting Tips

  • October 4, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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    Hi, I am not a single parent, but am the one that is around two screaming toddlers 24 hours every day.
    I like what you suggest. Not to try and do everything by the book, but according to my, my kids’ and our family’s schedule and routines and just find a little time and thing that could calm us down. For me it is just to sit for 5 minutes and watch my kids happily continue to mess the house. Then, after I am more relaxed, together we try to clean the messes. Sometimes with better results than other, but we are still learning.
    Thank you for reassuring me that taking some time off is fine.
    All the best!

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    • October 4, 2016 at 4:37 pm
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      Hi, thanks so much for the comment and that’s exactly it, the more we take care of ourselves the better we can take care of our kids! Thanks again.

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  • October 4, 2016 at 4:35 pm
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    I think your first tip hits me right on. I’m a single parent. And it’s tough juggling parenting and taking care of my son. I used to feel guilty if I take time off to chill off. But I figure out I’ll just burn out eventually if I don’t set time for myself. As much love as we have for our kid, we need to take care of ourselves. We can’t give what we don’t have.

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    • October 4, 2016 at 4:39 pm
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      Exactly! Single parenting is challenging enough that I think it should come with paid vacation lol. But seriously, it is a tremendously difficult job and it’s only best for them that you also take care of you. Thanks for the comment!

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  • October 4, 2016 at 7:27 pm
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    Thank you so much for this. While I am not single parent, I know many who are. It can sometimes be difficult for me to relate to single parents that I know and I really appreciate the education that you are providing to me though your site. While you stated that the most important part is that single parents aren’t alone. You are so right. There are so many positive influences and supports available if you know where to look.

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    • October 4, 2016 at 8:21 pm
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      Thank you so much for your comment. And definitely this site is as much for friends, family and loved ones of single parents as it is for them. Thanks again!

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  • October 4, 2016 at 7:37 pm
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    I really enjoyed reading your site one of my daughters is a single mom and I like the first tip you provide that it is important for them to take time out for themselves. I believe this is very important especially when the child relies solely on one parent. I believe your other 3 tips are just as important as the first great job any single mom would be lucky to come across your page.

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    • October 4, 2016 at 8:22 pm
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      So important indeed! I think it’s so easy to forget to care of ourselves when we are in parent mode and it’s just too important not too. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  • October 4, 2016 at 8:08 pm
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    This post is music to my ears, thank you. Your suggestions are easy, make sense, practical and simple. It feels like something anyone can easily absorb and put into practice. As a child of a single parent, I know how difficult it was for my mother. I’d be interested to know any additional thoughts you might have that I could pass on to a few friends? Thanks again for sharing, look forward to hearing from you.

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    • October 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm
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      Thank you so much for your feedback. There’s so many things that are helpful but I think one that I did not mention in that post is that it’s important to remember our scenarios are never permanent, so we always can look forward to changing tides no matter how rough the waters are right now. Thanks again.

      Reply
  • October 5, 2016 at 9:01 pm
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    Robert, thank ever so much for the wonderful website you have created. I have a 16 yr old son, and split up from his dad when he was 3. But one of the many reasons we went separate ways was that he was never around. So I virtually raised my son on my own since he was 1, and that includes financially too. Well, all I can say is that I wish I had come across a website such as yours at the time, as it would have made me feel less lonely.
    In saying so, me and my son battling it against the world at the time contributed to making our bond stronger by the day, which is something no other feeling can replace in the world. But I can certainly relay to the meltdowns – I must say, I used to be much more collective when my Thomas was younger than now that he is a teenager, and I don’t have a punch bag!
    My ‘me’ times used to be whilst commuting on the train. For 20-30 mins every afternoon on the way home, I would dive in my reading, to the point that I sometimes I’d have to be careful not to miss my stop.
    I have since married, and Thomas is happy with his step father. But as my husband also has his daughter, albeit now in her late 20s, we decided to keep raising our kids separately, mostly financially. So for argument sake, as my son is intending to go to university, I shall be seeing to the costs, as opposed to being a joint effort. And Thomas sees me as the one to come for advice or help in first instance – I suppose, again in virtue of that special bond.
    You are right, it is never easy, but I would not change it for the world!!
    Thank you again for your lovely pages. I should bookmark your site for more updates.
    Giulia 🤗🤗

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    • October 5, 2016 at 9:34 pm
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      Giulia, Thank you so much for relating your story. It is so similar to my own. I have been raising my daughter on my own for 2 years and while sometimes it is such a challenge, it is also very rewarding and like you said, it’s kind of like us against the world which creates such strong bond between us that I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Again, thank you so much for relating your story and for your kind words!

      Reply

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