If you are new at single parenting, you may think it’s up to you to make everything ok, and to solve all the problems your children may have. If you have been in the single parenting game for a while, you’ll know this is not only unrealistic, but actually not good for you or the kids. Single parenting is a lot more like a marathon than a speed race!
- So first of all, always remember to look after yourself. This is really important if you want to find the energy needed to be a good parent.
- Second, kids are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for, and they love helping out, so give them tasks that are age appropriate and watch them grow into the challenge.
- Third and most important, you will need a support network, and this may be something you create from scratch if you don’t have family members nearby. As a migrant I have had to rely on friends for help, and over the years we have swapped favours many times: babysitting of course but also pet minding, picking kids up at school, cooking meals for a sick friend, and most important of all someone to talk to when things don’t look so rosy.
If you are working you may have a pool of parents your own age to choose from. But if friends or colleagues in your age group don’t have young children, you could join a single parent group (plenty of free groups and meetups online), or create a playgroup with other day care parents.
Once the kids are in primary school it’s actually easier to meet other parents as everyone picks up and drops off at the same time. Many school activities like sports days and fetes are a great opportunity to meet other likeminded parents.
And never be afraid to ask for help, you will be amazed how kind and helpful people can be when you ask for assistance you need and deserve.
Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.? Ziad K. Abdelnour