Being a single parent is incredibly daunting and you will be a thousand times more successful if you engage in self-care. In order to be a good parent, especially when doing the job solo, it’s important to be the best version of yourself. This can only be achieved by loving yourself enough to prioritize your own well-being in addition to that of your child.
As a single parent, you will probably not be able to attend every soccer game, be perfectly on time to work, and be the parent who makes the best chocolate chip cookies. THAT’S OK. Set parenting goals and life goals that you are attainable and stop holding yourself to a standard that is impossible to achieve.
Utilize outside support and resources
Having high quality and reliable childcare is important for any family and is especially critical for single parents. Inevitably, at some point you will have to leave your child in the care of others and that process is much easier when you trust the care being provided. Single parents may benefit more from multi-generational familial relationships that can offer both emotional and practical support in child rearing. It is important however that you maintain healthy relationships in this regard and this is where therapy may be a great addition to your toolkit as a single parent.
Lead by example
Positivity, praise, and constructive criticism are all essential elements of parenting, but it is very important that you lead by example; modeling for your child the behaviors you would like them to exhibit. A child surrounded by negative self-talk or constant criticism will have a hard time learning healthy emotional behaviors.
Your child is only young once. Tomorrow he or she is older and the moments from yesterday are gone forever. Being frantically worried about small things can, actually, ruin your ability to enjoy quality time with your children. Your child is not developmentally capable of fully comprehending the difficulties of single parenting and it is important that you not try and impress upon them this reality. Children often assume emotional burdens from their parents and can often feel guilty or responsible for fixing the problem.