10 Ways To Help You Cope As A Single Parent
Being a parent isn’t easy. Doing it alone is even harder! Here is our guide to help you cope as a single parent when you feel like giving up.
Ten ways to help you cope as a single parent
- Learn to recognise your levels of stress. Take time each day to reflect on how you are feeling.
- Try to identify things that went well each day, no matter how small they are.
- Try not to focus all your energy on what is going wrong. Explore who can help you, what steps can you take.
- Make a list of the issues you need to resolve. Try to be less critical of yourself. Name the things you are good at, focus on these.
- Create time to think and plan – can children go on play dates to allow this happen for you?
- Talk with your children about what is going on and help them to form a plan with you. Hear what it is like for them.
- Don’t give up. Your children need you and no one can replace you. You need to believe that you are the right person to parent your children.
- Join a parenting group to get support from other parents and learn new skills and knowledge, which will help you understand your children.
- Identify your needs. Where are the gaps? You will need to be creative in finding ways to meet these needs. By parenting yourself you will be able to parent your children.
- Seek professional support if you feel really low. Call the One Family helpline to talk with someone. Talking can usually help you understand what is going wrong and what changes you can make. Seek support from your GP or contact your local social worker if you feel you need support around mental health, addiction or abuse.
“I became a single parent to three children when my marriage broke up about four years ago. I struggled with the term ‘single parent’ for along time. For one, their Dad still lived locally and helped out with them. But also, if I’m being honest, I never saw being a single parent in my life plan. How could this have happened to me?
It’s hard to come to terms with it all initially. Often in the early days it’s the little things like sitting down to dinner as the lone adult that have the biggest emotional impact. However it soon just becomes your new family dynamic, and there are huge pluses too! No more arguments over who does the washing up, or feeling resentful that you are the one doing all the housework again. You simply get on with it yourself. You are the Captain of your ship and your crew are there to help you navigate the choppy waters until it’s all plain sailing again.
My top tip is: Look for the laughter, and don’t be afraid to ask for help."
- Kate Gunn, mum-of-three.
What tips would you add to this list?