Successful Single Parenting (In 5,387 easy steps)

So you’re a single parent? Then you totally get that there are pretty much 5000+ things we feel like we deal with on a daily basis. Alone. It’s an overwhelming task at times, but it can be made a little bit easier.

Choose the Simpler Option:

We must be the masters of choosing our battles, if for no other reason that we do not have the time to address every. tiny. issue. Since we do not have the luxury of having two adults in the home, we have to decide daily what the most important things on our plate are.

I have come home from work so tired that I can barely get up the stairs and shower. My epic plans for cooking and cleaning are thus shut down. Instead, dinner might be cereal, and I make sure the essentials are done – homework, kids are showered and in bed on time. As it turns out, the housework is all still there the next day, and nobody is worse for the wear. And yeah, my kids ate cereal but it wasn’t sugared cereal, and they are healthy kids. I can only do so much.

Find Your Village:

You cannot do this alone. I recently had a mini-crisis with one of my teens while I was 40 minutes away at work. I texted another single mom I know who was in the area at the time, and she resolved my situation in 5 minutes flat. The best part was, I didn’t have to explain myself. She’s been there. She gets it.

ALSO Read: How to Raise Independent Kids

Give Your Kids Some Credit:

Kids are smart, and while it is our job to protect them, they also need a clear picture (albeit age appropriate) of what life is like. If you cannot compete with what dual parent households are doing (and I’m going to guess you can’t), the kids should know this, and understand you are just one person. 

You may be raising them on one income and no child support. It’s ok for them to know that as well. They don’t need to know that you lie awake at night in fear of how the bills will get paid. They just need to know that there are reasons why you don’t live in a house as big as their friends do, or cannot afford to go out to eat. And really, how important are those things? Will they remember them? Or will they remember the time you spent with them? Money is not everything.

And finally, let me help you ease your stress about the one thing that drives most single parents crazy –

STOP EXPECTING TWO-PARENT HOUSEHOLDS TO UNDERSTAND! It’s not their fault. They have no idea what we go through, and hopefully never will. They simply do not get it, and that’s ok. They can’t. They haven’t walked in our shoes.

Let it go. Yes, even when they mention how they have had to be a single parent for the whole week due to their spouse being out of town. Just smile. Nod. Let it go.

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