There are many children in America that are currently living in a single-parent house. Some parents are widowed, others are divorced, and some are in a single parenting setting by choice. Regardless of the circumstances, managing as a solo parent is not an easy task. It is stressful, exhausting, and demanding. The responsibilities that come with parenting are hectic as it is, but they are even more so without the continuous help of a partner at home.
In a household run by a single parent, the to-do list can be never-ending. What is normally a shared set of challenges, from managing finances to taking care of the kids, fall solely on one person. According to the best dad blog, one of the most important steps that a single parent can take is to build a support system that can provide supplementary assistance that would usually make up for a conventional spouse.
Here we have discussed some core strategies that will help you succeed in the journey of parenthood.
Cooking Advice for Single Parents
A common issue faced by many single parents is that of managing their time and budget. You have to make well-thought decisions at the supermarket so that you can prepare quick and nutritious meals for your family.
First, you have to keep track of places and days that are best for shopping. Saturdays, for instance, ten to be busier and crowded for tackling grocery. Sundays are a much better option as there is less traffic, and you might also get discounts through coupons from your morning newspaper. Also, while it might take some surveying, try to look into resources other than the conventional grocery stores which, could a smart way to save money.
If time is a constraint, several grocery stores now provide a quick home delivery service for minimal charges. With some of these online stores, you can also save your already existing grocery list for any future orders, which can be super helpful if you buy the same staples in each round of groceries.
When it comes to serving food to your children, you have to avoid the prepackaged food items. Not only are these considerably expensive, but they also low in nutritional value. Instead, try to create a meal using healthy organic ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, wholegrain, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins. If possible, try to free a time slot on the weekend to do some meal prep in bulk for the coming workdays. These pre-prepped meals can be stored easily in the fridge or freeze for later use.
Try to develop a culture of table talk during the meals. Mealtimes make for an excellent opportunity for single parents to interact and bond with their children. You can plan out your weekend activities, share your favorite part of the day, talk about homework, or any other age-appropriate topic that might interest everyone.
Housekeeping Advice for Single Parents
Managing the hectic to-do list is challenging for every single part. Shuttling in between different chores can leave you drained and exhausting. One way to lighten the burden is to assign household chores to your children, as long as their age-appropriate. For instance, a child as young as three can contribute with simple tasks like putting away the toys and groceries and putting unwashed clothes in the basket.
Having your children help out in the regular chores is not only a smart way of keeping things organized, but it also cultivates a sense of personal responsibility in them. You can motivate them using the reward system where you give some allowance in exchange for completed tasks. You can develop a creative incentive system in which the child earns points upon completion of a task which, is later exchanged for cash or something of their interest.
Whether you involve children or not, try to divide the household chores into daily, weekly, and monthly sections. For instance, while it might be tempting to leave the dishes in the sink overnight, waking up to a tidy kitchen will enable you to start the day at the right foot. Laundry, on the other hand, is best for the weekend as it is economical and logical. If you have hired a childcare provider, check out the possibility of giving them a raise in exchange for some basic domestic assistance on your behalf.
Managing Schedules as a Single Parent
Time management is one of the biggest challenges faced by a single parent. However, with the appropriate resources and tools, one can effectively manage the process. The initial step should be to create a schedule or timetable that keeps track of all your commitments, meetings, billing dates, school activities, appointments, and anything else that needs a reminder. There are free email services offered by Yahoo and Google that provide calendar tools where you can set up reminders to keep yourself on track. By having a well-managed schedule or planner, you will feel more organized and prepared for the coming days.
To-do lists are an excellent way to manage time and save yourself from added stress and anxiety. Whether you prefer handwritten lists or use some electronic device, having an outline for your everyday objectives can make them appear more manageable. Such lists also help in getting a broader perspective on your priorities. Start off the list with tasks of highest priority and round it out to events that are an option.
Spending quality time with your family is a necessary part of your lifestyle. While every single parent would like to indulge in a small getaway on the weekends, managing time can become an issue. This is when you need to tap into your support network or people that might be willing to help out. Is there a relative who can provide childcare while arranging a lunch date with your friend? Can you convince parents of your child’s school for a carpool? Saving time through these small opportunities can be a great assistance when it comes to taking time out for yourself or your children.
It is understandable to feel overwhelmed by all the pressures and responsibilities that come with single parenthood. To stay on top of your parenting duties, you have to invest time in self-care and meditation. Try to exercise regularly and prepare well-balanced meals for yourself and your children. Try to make it a habit to communicate with your children every day so that they feel comfortable sharing their concerns with you and helps to build a connection with your kids going forward.
Shelly Carter is an experienced writer and editor who has written several guides sharing her expert advice on the topics of parenthood and childcare. Her best dad blog is a well-written piece that offers the expertise and skills required to cope as a single parent.