Being a parent is both rewarding and challenging. However raising a child on your own adds another dynamic to this incredible responsibility. If you do not currently have a partner to share this with, it is extremely important that you find alternative ways of getting support. Here are 10 ideas that can help.
If you have close family ties, this can be a huge source of support. If they live near you, ask them for help when you need it. Sometimes people don’t offer because they assume you will request their assistance when you want it. Don’t be afraid to say, “Can you help me?” It is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness, when a person admits that he or she needs a helping hand. If you don’t live by your family, sometimes just talking with them on the phone can lift your spirits and make you feel more resilient.
Many people think of their friends as family members. Don’t hesitate to request their assistance as well. They care about you and want you to be successful in life. Here is a quote that perfectly describes true friendship: “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
If you haven’t already, become a member of the congregation at a local church. God intended for us to worship in unity. Attending church will give you, and your children, a sense of community and further enlighten your faith.
Share Child Care
Are there other parents from school, church, or neighbors that have children close in age to your own? If possible, try sharing the responsibilities of child care with them. It will be beneficial for the parents by allowing them some much needed time to tend to other tasks, and the children will be happy for a bonus play date.
Support Group for Single Parents
Perhaps you’ve never thought that you were one of those people who could benefit from a support group. But as a single parent, it can be very helpful to seek out this type of circle. Every member truly understands what it’s like to walk in similar shoes. They will not judge you. Instead you’ll be offered encouragement and a friendly ear when you need it the most.
Maintain Your Health
In order to successfully care for your children, you must also care for yourself. It is built into our DNA to always put our children first. But sometimes, in doing so, we don’t make ourselves a priority at all. You have to make a promise to yourself that you will eat healthy, get adequate sleep and regular exercise. When we nurture our bodies, we are better equipped at handling the difficulties that may come our way.
Inner Spiritual Strength
In addition to your physical health, your mental and spiritual strength also needs to be cultivated. Take a few moments each day to continue growing your relationship with God. When you feel fatigued you can call upon His help to ease your mind.
Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. —Matthew 11:28
Schedule “Me Time”
As a single parent you are probably rolling your eyes and saying that you have no time for yourself. But, keep in mind the quality of time is far more important than the quantity of time. Do you enjoy getting a manicure, reading a book, watching your favorite television show, or taking a relaxing bath? These activities are few in invested minutes, yet this alone time is necessary for your well-being.
Have a Routine
Having a consistent schedule can also help reduce your stress level. It’s not to say that you won’t occasionally deviate from the normal daily routine, but you and your children will benefit from keeping an even pace.
Develop a Mantra
Although this may sound cliché, creating a mantra to say when you are feeling overwhelmed can be quite powerful. For example, “I am only one person, but I promise to do my best for my family and myself”. When life throws you those untimely curve balls, having a memorized statement that you can recite is very beneficial. This should be a sentence that provides you with a renewed sense of strength and perseverance whenever you need an extra boost. If you are searching for Scripture to use as your mantra, this one may be the perfect choice.
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13