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Single Parent Survival

03/21/2015 03:08PM ● Published by Hood Magazine

By Ally Vogel, Local Mom, ‘Hood Magazine Designer 

 


Every working parent experiences the struggle of juggling work and home life. As a single parent, the expectation to successfully manage all the needs of the family can sometimes be overwhelming and all-consuming. It is important to be intentional about defining a “new normal” for the family after a divorce or loss of a spouse in order to establish new roles and responsibilities.  To survive the challenges and celebrate the joys of raising children alone:

Take care of yourself. It’s easy to focus your attention on work demands and the calendar full of kids’ activities and events, but don’t forget to schedule in time for yourself. It can be an early morning workout, a half-hour with a good book, a monthly massage, or a mid-day drive with your favorite CD. Allow yourself to press the pause button on the demands around you in order to recharge and better manage stress.  

Ask for help. There will be times when you find yourself double-booked and juggling too many responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to meet those commitments. Establish a network of friends, family, and neighbors that are available to help drive the kids to practices or provide meals from time to time. If keeping the house clean is last on your list, hire a cleaning company once or twice a month to handle the deep cleaning.  You can also assign household jobs that are age-appropriate to your children. If you stress the importance of their role in the family, they will begin to take pride in their work.

Play nice. It’s important to develop a healthy relationship with your ex.  Find an avenue of communication that works and minimizes the potential for blow-ups. When hashing out sensitive matters and holiday schedules, email and texting can be effective. It’s helpful to have written documentation of the exchange and it allows each parent to take a breath before responding. Be cautious of the tone in your communication. If you receive an email that is upsetting, take a break and walk away from it until the next morning.

Get creative with childcare. Lean on neighbors and friends who have children and childcare needs similar to yours. It’s great to have someone close to home that can care of your kids in a pinch. Talk with your circle about swapping time to save on your budget. This can be informal and isolated events or even scheduled time blocks that you take turns caring for the whole group. Your children will enjoy and look forward to these play dates and as parents you will treasure the break and quiet time.

Plan ahead. Find an effective tool to use to manage everyone’s schedule. Whether you use a planner, a whiteboard, or a calendar app, be diligent about using it. If all of your commitments are merged into one location, it will be easier to spot schedule conflicts and plan for adjustments. If the children do spend time with their other parent, it’s important to have that time scheduled and visible so they can plan for it. Proper planning and an open dialogue about daily schedules helps all members of the family stay on track, feel confident, and be less likely to miss events.

Have fun. Raising children is the best job in the world! Don’t get lost in all of the busyness and forget to cut loose and enjoy your life. Have a family picnic on the living room floor with pizza and your favorite movie. Take in the free concert at the park or let the kids explore at a local museum or zoo.  Use resources like the ‘Hood Magazine Calendar of Events to find family-friendly adventures to fit any budget. Your journey may be different now that what you imagined, but it’s still meant to be enjoyed. Breathe. Live. Love. You can do it!

Parenting, Family, In Print family single parent
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    02/01/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Skyzone Toddler Time

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Toddler Time

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM — 11:30AM

    Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to di...


  • Little All Stars

    02/01/2018
    10:00AM — 10:50AM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Wee Play & Learn

    02/01/2018
    10:00AM — 11:15AM

    Come with your child to play, meet other families, and talk one-on-one with child development exp...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/01/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • New Baby & Me

    02/01/2018
    01:30PM — 03:30PM

    This group for new moms and their babies meets weekly. Moms can join in open discussion on topics...


  • Creative Kids

    02/01/2018
    03:15PM — 04:00PM

    Elementary-aged children are invited to join us for books, activities, and a craft. For more info...


  • S.T.E.A.M. -N- Thursdays

    02/01/2018
    03:30PM — 04:15PM

    Discover science, technology, engineering, art and math through activities. This month's theme: S...


  • A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER

    02/01/2018
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead ...


  • Walking Program

    02/02/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/02/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/02/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • First Free Friday

    02/02/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for Free First Fridays, whether you are new to the area, new to the Pavilion, or even a r...


  • Little All Stars

    02/02/2018
    06:30PM — 07:20PM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Teen Night at Skate City

    02/02/2018
    08:00PM — 11:00PM

    This session is directed toward, but not reserved for, middle to high school aged skaters.


  • MallWalk 2018

    02/03/2018
    08:00AM — 10:30AM

    Pre-register your team for MallWalk 24--Saturday, February 3rd at the Empire Mall! Here's how! ...


  • Walking Program

    02/03/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • MallWalk

    02/03/2018
    08:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us as we Walk and Roll for people supported at LifeScape. 100% of Mall Walk proceeds will he...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/03/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Ice Fishing 101

    02/03/2018
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Winter is the perfect season to explore your frozen waterways while enjoying the cool calming atm...


  • Little All Stars

    02/03/2018
    09:00AM — 09:50AM

    LITTLE ALL STARS (Walking to 6 years )


  • Tai Chi

    02/03/2018
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    f you are looking for a way to reduce stress, consider tai chi (TIE-CHEE). Tai chi is a gracef...


  • Decorating Days

    02/03/2018
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Call us by Friday and you can come in and decorate cookies on Saturday! We do cookie decorati...


  • Saturday Morning Family Skate

    02/03/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Spend Saturday morning with the whole family at Skate City! Parents skate for FREE admission with...


  • Morning Skate

    02/03/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    This session is directed toward, but not reserved for, beginner skaters and their parents.


  • Pioneer Day

    02/03/2018
    10:30AM — 12:00PM

    Bring the family to experience our prairie heritage. Churn butter, make newspaper twists and butt...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/03/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • Open Gym

    02/03/2018
    12:00PM — 01:00PM

    OPEN GYM (Ages 6-18) $80/10 punch card


  • Bookworms Reading Program

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 01:30PM

    Join local celebrities and Zoo Educators for a free story time and animal encounter. Bookworms Re...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/03/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Saturday Cookie Decorating Days

    02/03/2018
    02:00PM — 04:30PM

    Call us by Friday 605-978-0991 and you can come in and decorate cookies on Saturday! We do cookie...


  • SUPER SATURDAY

    02/03/2018
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for SUPER SATURDAY each Saturday from 6-8pm! 2 hours of RUNNING, JUMPING, PLAYING FUN! ...


  • Walking Program

    02/04/2018
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Location: Morningside Community Center, 2400 South Bahnson Avenue Walking is one of the best w...


  • 2018 Spring Classes

    02/04/2018
    08:00AM

    Register for spring classes at the Community Learning Center at your Washington Pavilion! We want...


  • Sensory Sensitive Sundays

    02/04/2018
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Chuck E. Cheese's is proud to support families who have children with autism and special needs. W...


  • Sensory Sensitive Sundays

    02/04/2018
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join us from 9AM-11AM Chuck E. Cheese's now offers a sensory-friendly experience on the first Su...


  • Yoga

    02/04/2018
    09:30AM — 10:30AM

    Bring your yoga mat for a one-hour session in the warm, lush Butterfly House. It's a peaceful, se...


  • Inflatables and PlayDome

    02/04/2018
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    The County Fair has family entertainment for kids of any age—from our inflatables and Play Dome j...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/04/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/04/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/04/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/04/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...


  • Weekend Open Gym and Game Room

    02/04/2018
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Open gyms are a time for people to drop in to play basketball. If space allows, volleyball may al...