Secrets to Success as a Single Dad
Guest post from single parent Daniel Sherwin, founder of dadsolo.com his tips are useful for mums + dads running solo!
There’s a lot of focus these days on the struggles faced by single parents. This attention is a welcome trend, since nobody could use a helping hand more than a parent who’s going it alone. But sometimes the media fails to mention the more than two million American men who, according to Uncle Sam, are raising their kids by themselves. In this post we’ll offer tips for those men who find themselves in this situation.
Making Peace With Your Employer
Maintaining a full-time job while raising kids can pose all sorts of concerns for single dads. You have to work if you want to provide for your children. Yet your career can make tending to your child-rearing duties difficult. Here are some ideas for balancing the two commitments:
Talk to your boss about the problem. She may have helpful options for you to consider. For example, your company might offer flex-time benefits. Or perhaps you can arrive at work a few hours early in exchange for afternoon time off to pick up your kids from school. You may never know until you ask.
Look into employment opportunities that offer a better work/parenting balance than your current situation. For example, sometimes home-based employment allows workers to set their own hours.
Find ways to increase your skills or learn a new trade or profession entirely. Many career paths are in marked need of skilled applicants. According to Forbes, these include many aspects of the IT and healthcare industries. Having the know-how to succeed in these jobs can give you added clout when dealing with prospective employers.
Making Peace With Your Kids
We could talk all day about how learning basic parenting skills is crucial to raising a family. You’ll find plenty of great resources online, from public agencies, or by consulting private foundations. This is one of the best investments you can make in your kid’s future.
One specific topic we would like to address is the need an outlet for your emotional frustrations; and yes, you will have moments when you feel like the world is against you. This happens to every parent, single or partnered. Punch a gym bag, go for a run, or do whatever it takes (short of using drugs or alcohol) to deal with the stress at a time when you’re away from your children. Anything is better than losing your cool around your kids.
Making Peace With Yourself
Sometimes the biggest conundrum a single parent faces is dealing with the stress of raising a family all alone. It may seem that your own wellbeing is trivial when compared the needs of your children. In reality, though, your mental and physical health have a direct effect on your ability to parent. Here are some ways to practice good self-care of your thoughts and emotions:
Stay mindful of what’s going on in your brain and what kind of habits you’re developing. According to org, “The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing.” So pay attention to yourself. Doing so will enhance your skills as a parent.
Link up with a single parent support group or other organization in your city or spiritual community. There’s nothing like having a sympathetic ear when you’re facing serious issues.
Use the tips in this post to help meet the challenges ahead of you with a clear mind and a confident attitude. You’ll look back on these years as the best time of your life. Best of luck and keep your eyes on the goal.