Guest post by Hannah, a single mom to a beautiful 4-year-old boy, as well as a blogger for Direct4tv.
Being a single mom or dad is no easy feat. Juggling between a full-time job, your child, household responsibilities and a modest social life only leaves you more exhausted and strained. At a low point in your life (we all have them) you may have asked yourself “what am I going to do?” There is no one answer for this question, or resolving the issues and stress you may encounter on your parental journey, but realizing that you have the strength to do it is the first step.
Here are three reminders and tips to help you navigate the job of both mother and father in one.
1. Ask for help.
Sounds easy, right? Not so much. When it comes to our children, we feel as though we should be able to handle everything they need. Reality is its hard taking care of a child, especially on your own. Everyday tasks like errands and cleaning seem impossible to complete at the end of a long work day, while also trying to have time with your child. If you have family around, ask them for help. Chances are they just want the best for you and your child and are more than willing to help you. You don’t have to struggle with all of life’s duties on your own. Talk to your boss about altering your work schedule. Have your groceries delivered. You’ll be less stressed and happier overall, and so will your child.
2. Get your “me” time.
This is more important than you may realize, and much more difficult to get than you know. Having your personal “me” time to do whatever it is you love is like recharging your batteries. This is where asking for help comes in. Ask a grandparent, other relative or friend to watch your child for a few hours so you can hang out with a friend, go to a movie or get a pedicure. Try to get some “me” time to do whatever it is that makes you feel like you at least every few weeks. It’s so important to take care of yourself so you can properly take care of your child.
3. Minimize your life.
That’s right, cut out everything that is unnecessary or that gives you a headache. If you commute too far for work to have any quality time with your child, try looking for a job closer to you or adjusting your work schedule to get more time, if you can. If chores give you a daily headache, balance them out over the week and ask your child to help. In addition to that, you need to know your limits. Focus on what you can do and go from there. It’s not always easy, but you will be glad you live a simpler life, being a good, single parent.
Single parenthood is the hardest job you will ever have. It’s difficult, tiring and sometimes sad. Keep your head up and remember to ask for help, minimize your life and have “me” time when you need it. A child is precious gift; they need you more than anything else. If you are managing the role of both mother and father, know that life is always changing, but right now you are all your child needs.
If you are in need of help, dial 2-1-1 for resources in your area.
The author works with Eddie D. Shackleford, Editor of Direct4tv; you can follow him at @Eddie20Ford.