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Coping with Life as a Single Parent

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Single-parent households are more common than you think. In America, one out of four families is a single-parent household. Whether it’s because the parents are divorced, widowed, or separated by choice, single parenthood is a challenging and stressful situation. Oftentimes, you don’t have time to enjoy yourself or simply rest after working all day. But it’s important to take care of yourself, too. How can you take care of your child if you’re constantly harassed and stressed?

Manage Finances

If you’re living in Santa Fe, child support is something that you should demand from your partner (if they are still around). Almost every state in the U.S. recognizes the responsibilities of both parents to financially provide for the child. Getting proper child support will reduce the stress of having to provide shelter, food, clothes, and schooling for your kid.

Relying on one income is the hardest thing about being on your own. You need your partner to contribute to your child’s fund. Equally, you need to go back to work. You should learn how to budget and invest. Taking care of your child also means thinking about their future if something happens to you.

Get Help

No man is an island. Isn’t that what they say? This is never truer as it is with single parenthood. Single parents need all the help they can get. Ask family members and friends for help when you need to run some errands. You should be able to leave your child with people you trust who can look after them. You need time for yourself, too. If you can afford a sitter, hire one and get a massage every now and then.

Create a Routine

Dad playing with his sonRoutines are important for children of single-parent households. They need to feel more secure about their place in the family. Spend time with them. Do their homework with them. Eat dinner as a family. Learn about what has happened to them at school. Studies show that children of families who eat dinner together are less likely to have substance abuse problems as a teen.

Be Consistent

Along with creating a routine, make sure to stick to this routine. Be consistent with your schedules and rules. Talk with your partner about when they can take the child out and how to discipline them. They can’t have both parents undermining each other. That will create resentment. Your child will end up acting out. If you have a babysitter, make sure to discuss with them about disciplining your child.

Answer Questions

There’s bound to be questions about this new situation in your family life. Your child will wonder why the other parent left the house or why you need to move out. Answer their questions as honestly and as age-appropriate as possible. Never underestimate your child’s ability to understand the situation. Never badmouth the other parent. You don’t know how emotionally and mentally traumatic it is for your child to have to take sides.

It is easy to become overwhelmed by all the responsibilities and duties that suddenly fall on your lap alone. Take time to figure it out. Forgive yourself for silly mistakes such as not being able to prepare a healthy snack for the kid. You will adjust eventually. Pat yourself on the back for doing a good job so far.

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