Having a child is major step for any person. Sometimes it’s planned and sometimes it’s a surprise, and a child can be the greatest joy in anyone’s life. A kid comes with their own challenges, and becoming a single parent through any circumstances can make some of those things even more challenging. Usually when people think about single parents, they imagine a mom, but often times the single parent ends up being the dad. Being a parent is a lot of work for whoever is doing it. While there are a lot of resources available for moms, dads need assistance, too. Learning some of these skills will help in the everyday life, and help you and your child focus more on joy and happiness. Here is some advice on how to make being a single dad a little easier.
Stress is something that can consume us all. It can cause you to have very little patience, and when you’re dealing with large amounts of stress for long periods of time, it can wear you down and bring on other issues. Children require a lot of patience, and you want them to feel comfortable, relaxed, and loved. Being able to cope with stress is really important so you can continue to show them your love for them is unwavering.
According to wellness experts, “It’s important to learn small ways to face that stress head-on and reduce it no matter where you are, because having effective coping mechanisms handy will allow you to get through even the most challenging times. You can use your new skills to immediately start feeling better, and to prevent the emergence of chronic mental health problems.”
Here are a few tips on how to cope with stress as it comes up, and also how to help prevent and minimize stress.
Financial planning: Money is a huge contributor to stress. A single-income home can add an extra layer of anxiety for a family, but creating a budget will help you reduce some of this financial tension. Budget for groceries, try to set a little aside for unexpected expenses, and try to think about your long-term goals. Brainstorm what you can do to increase your income. Maybe it’s getting more education, or stepping up at work to move into a new position. The few extra dollars will help alleviate some of that stress.
Support system: This is really key. Family and friends are there to help. You may not want to ask them for help all of the time, but don’t be afraid to do it. We all need help, and raising a child is no easy task. See if a trusted friend or family member can watch your kid while you run to the grocery store, or if they can stay with someone after school for a period of time. You can even ask for some help with something seemingly simple, like house work. It’s hard to juggle everything, and asking for help will really benefit you in the long-term.
Routines, consistency and discipline: Developing a routine will help everything stay on track. Schedule time for your meals, laundry, chores, and even bedtime for you and your kid. Not only will the routines help you stay on track yourself, it will create a more stable environment for your child. If you’re consistent, it will help you deal with anything. This is also true with discipline. As much as you don’t want to have to discipline your child, it’s a good idea to stay consistent with the rules you’ve decided on. If your kid doesn’t know what to expect, it makes your parenting job a little more challenging.
Be positive: As difficult as it can be at times, staying positive will not only help you, but also help your child. Your mood directly affects your child, whether you want it to or not. If you’re angry or upset, they feel that, too. If you feel happy and positive, so will they. Being mindful of how you’re acting is good for any application in life. Remaining positive will help you face any of the challenges and struggles you come across. Try to see the lighter side of situations, and what positive outlook can be pulled from anything challenging. It won’t always be easy, but it will help you and your child in the long-term.
Step away: It is okay if you need to step away for a little bit. As much as you need to spend time with your kid, it’s important to take a little time for yourself, too. Relax and refresh yourself. We all need a break sometimes, and don’t feel guilty about wanting or needing to just spend a little time away from the family.
It’s no secret that being a parent is demanding and sometimes chaotic. But, with some tools to help you face the everyday demands of being a parent, you can reduce the chaos and the stress that comes with that. Utilizing even some of these tips will help with the everyday struggles you face, and you’ll find yourself less stressed and able to spend more happy moments with your child.