Single Parent? Top Tips to Success

Single parents exist in every society due to divorce, making a conscious decision to be a single parent, due to the death of the other partner or a multitude of other reasons. Whatever the reason, single parenting is not easy in any way, and anyone who has been or is in this position know how much hard work goes into taking care of a child or even children alone.

So, are you a single mum or dad struggling to keep up with the responsibilities that come with this 'special job'? Read my tips below to help things move along smoothly.

Like the saying goes ‘say what you mean and mean what you say’. Do your best to be consistent in your words and actions. Don’t say one thing and be found doing something different entirely. Every parent wants to be a shining example for their kids, and this can only be done when you are consistent. Be disciplined and, set rules for them to follow, this is the best way to be consistent.

Take charge of your finances. Let's face it, in today's economy raising a family on a single income is a tough job. Strained finances will leave you stressed and frustrated and in turn affect your parenting. Speak with your bank about possible long term investments and go into it, if this is not feasible, consider an additional source of income from a 'side-hustle'. If possible, go back to school to ramp up your knowledge and qualifications to improve your career prospects. In the long run, you will end up smiling to the bank.

Build a strong support network. Yes, we all understand you want to be a super single mom or dad by doing everything alone. The simple truth is, you can’t. Ask for help when you need it and have someone to talk to when you need to, this will go a long way towards improving your state of mind. If your finances support it, please hire help.
However, before hiring a nanny or any other domestic staff,  do your homework. Also, be sure to observe them for a few months before leaving them unattended with your child or children.

Honesty is (typically) the best policy. We all know children and questions are like '5' and '6' so there's no avoiding answering their questions. Answer their questions as honestly and directly as possible. However, answering honestly doesn't mean bashing your 'ex' to your child. Different questions will come up at different stages in their life, assess their level of maturity before you give an answer.

Plan Like A Pro. Map out a daily routine for your chores and children's activities. This will help free up your time and make it easier for someone else to step into your shoes and help if needed.

Single Parenthood is Not a Death Sentence. Take good care of yourself, be sure to have 'mummy' or 'daddy' time. Happy parents make happy kids.

On a final note, remember always to stay positive regardless of circumstance, your children will easily be affected by your mood.

Written by Temitope Ikusika