Guest Post by Lisa Preisley: Lisa is a single mum with a 9 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. She writes about raising children and being a mum for a variety of mummy blogs with like minded readers.
Being a single mum can be a challenging job, but it doesn’t have to drive you crazy. Millions of one-parent families thrive without ever losing their sanity. What’s their secret to keeping it together? In the interest of sane single parents everywhere, Lisa will tell you a few tips and tricks that can help you stay calm and be a good parent.
Work and home life can merge marvellously
Most single mums work hard to support their family. If you are able to work from home, good for you. There are many online jobs that allow mums a way to work at hours that jive with their kid’s busy schedules. If you work in a brick-and-mortar office, speak with your human relations rep and ask if the company has any remote work opportunities.
If you like working at the office but find that your work hours conflict with your child’s childcare pickup time, ask your boss if you can rearrange your work schedule. Most employers would rather work with you than lose your skills, say sane single motherhood pros at Parenting magazine.
At home, don’t worry about things you can’t control. If your child’s other parent forgets their visitation date, don’t sweat it. Do something fun with your child instead. If orange juice is spilled, clean it up and get on with your day. If beds aren’t made every single morning, let it go. Childhood is short and you have better things to think about.
Road-tripping with kids
If you’ve ever taken a road trip with kids, you know how restless and rambunctious the backseat can be. For this reason, it’s important that you choose the right sort of vehicle for traveling with children. One of the benefits of opting for driving in lieu of flying or taking another mode of transport is the fact that you can bring a lot more entertaining stuff along. When traveling with little ones, single mums are glad a Dodge Grand Caravan holds a lot of kids and cargo, too.
Do your homework before leaving home. Research your destination, and find out which local hotels there are family-friendly. When traveling as a single mum, or dad, the last thing you want to deal with is a bunch of honeymooners or retirees who are on vacation to get away from other people’s children, says Travel Mamas magazine.
Schedule some no-kid time for yourself
Single motherhood is rewarding, but it can also be exhausting. Be sure to take a little time for yourself now and then, to protect your mental health. Ask a trusted neighbour to watch the children for an hour or two, and splurge on a pretty pedicure. Better yet, swap babysitting time with another single parent, and you’ll both enjoy a sanity-saving break.
Being a single parent is an important job. Your children depend on you to keep it together, so take breaks, breathe instead of screaming, and above all, do what it takes to keep yourself sane.