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Being a single parent is hard work, whether you have split custody or you're entirely responsible for your child's care. It can be daunting, exhausting, and seem like it's impossible to manage. However, by keeping organized and with a manageable routine, you can prove to yourself that you have exactly what it takes to be the parent you want to be. Check out some tips below.
Create a Household Schedule
This can mean different things to different families. With only one parent guiding children, it becomes even more important to teach your children the benefit of working as a team to keep the household going. By creating a weekly schedule and working together, not only will you take some of the burden off of your own shoulders, but you’ll give your little ones a sense of security and responsibility. Have a large calendar your children can easily see, and mark down daily and weekly chores for both you and your child. Have mealtimes and bedtimes scheduled so you don't need to have the recurring conversation about when things will take place. Younger children will need more guidance and reminding, such as when to brush their teeth, comb their hair, and similar things.
Everything in Its Place
By staying organized and having designated and thoughtful areas for specific household items, you can save yourself a little hassle in the morning. If backpacks are always by the door after homework is done and packed, you can lessen the frantic rush by ensuring there will be no last-minute running around to find them. You can prepare outfits for your kids in advance, and hang them ready-to-wear in their closet. Acceptable snacks can be prepped and put in their specific place for your children to munch when they get hungry between meals.
If you do happen to be struggling with staying organized, there are apps out there that can help. From reminders and bus locators to apps that help you with your child's homework, there is something for every parent, especially useful if there are no other adults to consult. Even setting daily reminders and alarms in your phone can be a helpful way to remember when to make lunches, when to get ready for bed, and things of that nature.
Make Room for Downtime
As a single parent, it can be difficult to find the time for rest, and there is always that nagging fear that you have to be doing something, but respite is important for your own well-being. It's as vital as anything a parent can do, and even just disengaging from email and phone calls can help you to relax. Try to find windows of opportunity, whether it's when your children are at school, at a relative's house, or sleeping. Whether that's watching your favorite programs, reading a book, or keeping fit, it all has the potential to alleviate some of the stresses you might be facing. Above all, factor in your own health into a rest period, such as drinking water or eating a nutritious meal. It can, collectively, help you, and by extension, your children.
The stresses and strains of single parenthood can appear more than challenging. With the right mindset, you can achieve all that you wish as a single parent and give yourself and your children the direction and responsibility necessary for a strong and stable family. Utilizing these tips can help give you a foundation from which to build toward your goals, and remember it's okay to take a break when you need rest.
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