According to the US Census Bureau, 23 percent of children in our country now live in single-parent homes. While the reasons can vary—the parents may be divorced, widowed, or simply single parents by choice, being a single parent is often stressful. Parenting is a difficult job under any circumstances, and doing it on your own can be very challenging.
Take heart, though, there are some things you can do to reduce the stress of single parenting and make your life a little easier. Here are the top five ways you can reduce the stress of single parenting:
When you’re supporting your family one income, or relying on an ex to provide child support, it can be hard to budget. However, it’s important that you do so. You may be facing a mountain of bills and worried about future expenses like college, but the earlier you learn to set up a budget, the better. First, come up with a plan for paying your bills on time. This may be as simple as using your bank’s ‘bill pay’ feature that does the work for you. Set the dates, the amounts, and forget it. They do the rest. Always know how much money you’ll need to reserve for the big expenses, like rent, car payments, and electricity. Clip coupons, cut cable and use free online options (or cheaper online options) and even think about renting out a spare room occasionally on sites like AirBnB.
2. Connect with Others
Make sure you have a solid support system in place. Single parents need help and there’s no shame in that. Have someone you can call on to watch the kids if you need to run errands, or simply need a break. Make sure there’s someone you can call if you just need to talk or ask for advice. There are plenty of single-parent support groups out there, and probably lots of family members or friends who’d love to be there for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
3. Quality Time with the Kids
Make time for your kids. A single parent’s life is stressful. Many are often working one or two jobs to make ends meet, and barely have time to think about eating, showering and sleeping, but it’s very important to make time for your kids. Take them for a walk, head to the playground, go to the mall or the movies, or just sit and listen to them tell you about their days. That connection is very important, especially as they grow older.
4. You Time
It’s important to spend time with your kids, but it’s equally important to take time for yourself, too. Send the kids to their grandparents’, aunt’s or friend’s house while you take a relaxing bath, read a good book, or get your haircut. Taking a breather and relaxing will recharge you and make you a better parent.
5. Think Positive
It’s very easy to become stressed out when you’re raising children on your own, but if you can maintain a positive attitude, your children will notice. They’ll adopt a positive outlook, too. Kids can tell when you’re upset, stressed, or overwhelmed, so make sure they also see a sunnier disposition once in a while. Make sure you’re eating right, sleeping and exercising to help you feel more balanced and less stressed.
Free Consultation with SLC, Utah Family Law Attorney David Pedrazas
While these five tips may not solve all of your single-parenting problems, they will help you feel a little less stressed. And if you’re having problems with your divorce, or have questions about your current situation, contact experienced Salt Lake City, Utah family law attorney David Pedrazas at the Law Office of David Pedrazas today. We can help! Give us a call at 801-263-7078 today for a free 30 minute case evaluation.