Being a successful single parent may seem like something that is close to impossible to do, but there are some very basic tips that you can take note of to help you be the best single parent that you can be.
Surround yourself with support structures
An important thing about being a successful single parent is not to try to do it all by yourself. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to support you through this stage of your development and it is your responsibility to reach out to them for practical help and emotional support. People who can help you are:
- Local family and friends
- Local single parents
- Online single parents
Being a successful single mother or a successful single parent is not as hard as you may think it is, especially if you have support structures in place.
Make sure that you have some “me” time
Obviously you have to think about your children first, but in order to be a successful single parent you also need to schedule time for yourself. This will allow you to take a step back and relax just a little bit and in the long run will make you a better parent because you are taking time out to care for yourself. In some situations it may not be easy to do this, but it is important that you try. It doesn’t have to be very often, but make sure that you spend a little bit of time every once in a while looking out for your own physical and emotional health.
Say “no” when necessary
It is not easy to say “no”, but according to http://singleparents.about.com/od/homelife/tp/successfulsingleparents.htm there are a number of situations where you simply have to do this in order to be a successful single parent:
- Your kids’ tendency to manipulate you into giving in
- The guilt that’s been weighing you down since you embarked on this single parenting journey
- The expectations of others who have no idea what it’s like to walk in your shoes
To be a successful single mother you need to set the boundaries in your relationships and then maintain those boundaries strictly to maintain your sanity.
Play with your children
It goes without saying that you need to find the time to play with your children no matter how busy you are because your children are the most important things in your life. The best way to make sure that they know that they man so much to you is by playing with them regularly and often and making sure that they get to see you in a meaningful context as frequently as possible. This is one of the most important steps to being a successful single parent. Work constraints can make this difficult, but your children will appreciate every effort that you make.
To be a successful single mother you need to keep a positive attitude because:
- If will affect the everyday functioning of your family for the better
- It will affect the long-term outcome of your family’s success
This is easier said than done especially as everyday stresses may make it difficult for you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However this is a very important part of being a successful single parent. A good way to do this is by writing down your daily life challenges. As soon as they are committed to paper solutions will begin to present themselves.
Keep your mind active
It is important that as a single parent you do not let your mind stagnate. Education is important and it is equally important that you, as a successful single parent, paint a good picture for your children to refer to. You don’t actually have to go back to school as this is far from being practical for every single parent out there, but you should read to expand your mind and focus on educational television rather than on entertainment for the most part. If your children see this in you they will follow in your footsteps, and it will also benefit you at a personal level.
Don’t forget your social life
This is also related to taking care of yourself. Single parents often forget about their own social life, but this is not a healthy thing to do. To be a successful single mother you will absolutely have to get a babysitter every once in a while to watch the kids while you go out with family or friends to unwind just a little. It may be hard to do this at first, but soon you will get used to it and start to see the benefits of keeping your social life intact. There is a large amount of self-care needed in order to become a successful single parent.
Train your children to be independent
A successful single parent needs to help his or her children to become more and more independent as they cannot always be around to take care of their children. You can do this by:
- Gradually allowing your children to make more and more age-appropriate decisions for themselves
- Teaching them to differentiate between right and wrong as early as possible
- Teaching them to do their part at home and outside the home
If you can foster independent behavior in your children your life will be considerably easier as a single parent as a lot of the stress will be lifted from your shoulders.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
What gets a lot of single parents down is that they are too hard on themselves, but if you ask any successful single mother or any successful single parent in general how they coped through the tough times they will tell you that they learned not to blame themselves. You are in a difficult situation with limited resources, so you will not be able to provide everything and get everything right all the time. Live with your mistakes, learn from them, but don’t be held back by them because that kind of attitude will not help you in the long run.
Build a strong bond with your child
The stronger your relationship with your child the higher chances you have of being a successful single parent. It is very important that you and your child build a relationship based on:
- Confidence, and
Have an authoritative parenting style where you make the effort to be warm and encouraging at all times while at the same time not being overbearing and allowing your child to make decisions that are appropriate for their age and to have a certain degree of control over their lives. A strong bond with your child will help to make you a successful single mother.
Something that is related to the point mentioned above is patience. You will need to have patience with your child at all times if you want to be a successful single parent. This means that even if you feel frustrated after a long day at work that didn’t go well you need to take a few deep breaths and try to keep that frustration separate form how you deal with your children when you get home. You cannot take it out on your kids. Children often inadvertently push the limits of your patience, but you need to try to maintain your calm at all times.
Love and affection
If you are someone who struggles to display affection even if you feel it inside you are going to have to change if you want to be a successful single parent. Any successful single mother will tell you how important it is to show your child love and affection, even in public, and even if it feels a little uncomfortable. Show them that they are special each and every day. Don’t stop if they say you are embarrassing them in a private situation because in the long run they will benefit from your show of affection even if they don’t know it at the time.
Quality of childcare
To be a successful single parent you will need to ensure that your child is cared for well when you are at work.
- Try to see if a trusted family member or friend will be able to take care of them during the day
- If you need quality childcare try to find the best quality possible as there are many less than ideal childcare facilities out there
- Look into government subsidies for childcare to help you afford the best possible facility for your child
The quality of care your child receives with and without you around is of paramount importance in their development.
A mistake that a lot of single parents make is being too proud to accept help from outside sources when it is offered to them. This is something that you cannot afford to do if you want to be a successful single parent. Take any help that is offered, whether it be from the government or from a friend or family member. Swallow your pride and think about what is best for your child or children. It is easier to be a successful single mother if you have help, and it is important that you seek out this help and accept when necessary.
Good time management is essential to being a successful single parent. Your schedule should include the following:
- Firstly you need to schedule time for your children as this is top priority
- Then you need to ensure that you have scheduled adequate time for work
- Once you have allocated time for both of those aspects of your life you can then pencil in all of the other priorities that may pop up
Single parents have a lot on their plats so good time management is necessary for success. Spend a bit of time planning out your life and you will find that things suddenly get substantially easier.
You need to have a very good work ethic if you want to be a successful single parent. This is for two reasons:
- You will be better equipped to fit all of the things that you have to do into your busy schedule if you have a good work ethic
- You will set a good example for your children to follow in their own lives
Just do what needs to be done, no matter how difficult it may seem or how tired you may feel. This is a tall order, but that is why it is important that you engage in the self-care tips that we mentioned earlier in this article. You need to have a good balance in your life between working hard and relaxing when necessary.
Supporting your children
The last tip we have to help you become a successful single parent is that you should support your children in everything that they do. You need to make sure that they are aware that you care about what they are doing with their lives and that you are interested in helping them achieve whatever goals they have in mind. You need to support them through every situation that they may face. If they get in trouble express that they have done something that you don’t approve of while at the same time making it clear that you are there for them unconditionally and that you will help them get through this challenge in their lives.
As you can see, being a successful single parent or a successful single mother is not as hard as you may think. Be calm and try to fulfill as many of the above goals as possible throughout your career as a single parent. And it is a ‘career’ because of all of the hard work that will have to go into maintaining your family and being the best that you can be as a single parent. Just remember to stay positive and keep in mind that you are not alone.