Being a single parent can be difficult. Without a partner to share the parenting with, it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle.
Childcare can also be challenging, especially when it comes to finding a job that can offer you the more flexible hours that suit bringing up a child.
Being a parent is both the most rewarding thing and the most stressful thing that many of us will ever go through. Here at , we have come up with 5 survival tips to help you navigate your way through being a single parent.
1. Single parent? It is vital to look after yourself
Being a single parent can mean that you have to take on the role of a mum and a dad. As well as this dual-parent post, you will also have to do the shopping, clean the house, go to work…the list goes on.
Frankly, it can be absolutely exhausting.
This is why it is vital that you take care of yourself. It may be at the bottom of your priority list but a healthy you is essential to keeping everything going.
Ensure that you are sleeping, eating properly and finding a little bit of down time to relax. It may seem impossible but take a look at what you do on a daily and weekly basis and ask yourself ‘does this really need to be done?’. OK, so your house may not look great if it hasn’t been vacuumed for a week or two, but if that means you catch up on some much-needed sleep to recharge your batteries, then so be it.
Also, fresh air and exercise could help to keep you on top form not just physically but also mentally. If you can, try walking your child to school, nursery or the local shop, instead of driving or taking the bus.
2. Do not be afraid to ask for help
Many people feel that to admit that they need help, is in some way a failure. This is simply not the case.
Often, people want to help out but don’t know what they could do or think that you could take it as an insult if they offer. Family and friends are often more than happy to take on some babysitting duties while you take some time out for some much needed TLC.
In fact, people are often flattered that you trusted them enough to ask them for their help in the first place.
3. Mix with other parents
As a single parent, it can be all too easy to feel isolated.
Often, it feels like everyone around you is a couple, in their own little family bubble. This can make it seem too intimidating to head out and mingle with other parents.
However, by making friends with other people with children in your local area, you can start to build up a community of people around you, who are going through a similar stage in their life.
Being a single parent or not, bringing up a child is hard. Being friends with other single parents, as well as those in a couple, can result in a really supportive social circle, full of people you can turn to for help and advice.
Try joining a playgroup or club in your local area, in order to meet people with children of a similar age. For those with young babies, swimming clubs can be a great way to meet other parents – and you get to jump in the pool for some light exercise, too!
4. Check if you are eligible for any financial support
As a single parent, making ends meet can be challenging.
Worries about how you and your child will cope financially can add to the pressure.
Head to the to find out what benefits you could be eligible to receive.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
5. Enjoy it
OK, so it is difficult to enjoy parenting when you have not slept properly in over 24 hours and there is a pile of sick on the jumper you’ve only just put on fresh from the washing machine, but children really do grow up quickly.
Bringing up children as a single parent can be the most stressful, frustrating, wonderful, hectic and amazing experience. It’s something that only a single parent can experience, a club that couples can’t enter.
So make the most of every day and when things get difficult, just try to enjoy the ride. Easier said than done, but it really will be over before you know it.