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How to cope as a single parent

Living
 Certainly, it’s not easy raising kids alone [Courtesy]

When you’re a single parent, you go through multiple heartbreaks at once. First, you’re mourning a relationship that didn’t work out, then, you have to come to terms with the fact that you won’t have that complete family you had hoped for.

For others, unexpected situations like the death of a partner or divorce have caused them to raise their kids alone, which is traumatizing. If that describes your situation, you are somewhat forced to make peace with the reality ahead of you and the amazing thing is, many people have slowly learnt how to cope well with being a single parent.

Certainly, it’s not easy raising kids alone. But there is hope and you can experience parenting differently with these five tips.

Don’t try to do it all

There is a lot of pressure that comes with being a solo parent. Usually, the responsibilities would be shared when you’re a couple but, in this situation, you’re forced to be extra strong.

You need to do your best every day because someone else’s life depends on you. So don’t turn down assistance and learn to accept support from friends and family.

You need people around to help you instead of trying to be a super parent because you can easily break down. You can’t do it all. It takes a village to raise a child.

 Having a routine is at the core of successful parenting [Courtesy]

Accept that some days will be harder

A common piece of advice you might have heard is, to remain positive. This works, but sometimes you just need to accept that you’re overwhelmed and stressed out instead of forcing yourself to be happy.

Some days will be tougher than others and that’s just part of life. Embracing this truth early can help you be more mentally prepared for the bad days and get through them.

Seek therapy if you need to

Therapy might be what you need especially if you’ve gone through a lot. There might be some grief, self-blame, depression and hidden resentment that you need to overcome and one of the best ways to deal with that is to go for professional counseling.

If you’re feeling like you need to contact a therapist, don’t ignore it. Your kids need you to be whole and this might really give you a fresh start.

Work on yourself so you can be the best parent to those kids who are depending on you.

Figure out a routine

Having a routine is at the core of successful parenting. It helps reduce some of the chaos and, it might boost your emotional well-being as well.

Try and get into a routine whether it’s putting the kids to bed at a specific time, prepping meals over the weekends or bringing in someone who can help clean your house bi-weekly.

Even though your routine won’t always go perfectly, you will still have some order. Make sure the kids understand and if you must, put a reward system in place to encourage positive behavior.

Acknowledge your efforts

A big challenge that many single parents face is self-doubt. It makes you feel like you’re never good enough regardless of how much effort you’re putting in.

Take time often to just appreciate how hard you’re working to ensure your kids are fine as they can be and avoid putting yourself down all the time for slip-ups that will occasionally happen.

Remind yourself that there is no such thing as a perfect parent when you make mistakes and commit to improving if there are areas you need to work on.

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