10 Single Parent Resolutions
Stop Feeling Guilty
Feel guilty because your children's
dad/mom isn't involved? Feel guilty because your kids aren't being
raised in a "traditional" family". The list of
reasons to feel guilty can be endless. Parenting is often synonymous
with guilt. Guilt, however, is a waste of your valuable time.
It drains your energy and makes you focus on things you usually
can't control anyway.
No, we don't have "Leave it
To Beaver" families. But not many people do these days. 28
million children in the US live with one parent. Some single parents
are divorced, some were never married, some are widowed and some
are single parents who have adopted. Whatever the reasons or circumstances
that led you to become a single parent, right now is the life
you have. Embrace it and make the most of it. Life is to short
to feel guilty about things you can't control
See guilt above. Allocate a half-hour
a day for a worry session if you must - then move on to productive
Be More Patient With The Kids
Too little money, too much to do,
not enough time. Stresses are all around, especially when you
are going it alone. However, don't take it out on the kids. They
are easy targets because the balance of power favors you. If you
feel yourself becoming stressed lock yourself in the bathroom
until you get it together. Count to ten before you react. Do whatever
works to show your kids they aren't the targets of your frustration.
If you feel you're starting to lose control contact Parents Anonymous,
(www.parentsanonymous-natl.org) or (909) 621-6184. The National
Organization will be able to locate a chapter near you. They conduct
support groups for parents while the children participate in kid's
groups at the same time.
Go On a Date
Try it and see what it's like to
talk to an adult all evening. It might not turn into the romance
of the century. However, you get to practice your conversational
skills, see a first run movie that's not animated, and eat at
a restaurant that doesn't give you a cup of crayons and placement
Do One Nice Thing A Week Just for Yourself
The kids, work, the house, etc.,
etc., etc. With all the responsibilities your needs often come
last or not at all. It's vital that you treat yourself well. Do
something for yourself at least once a week. Buy yourself the
book you wanted, go see a movie without the kids, take a bubble
bath after the kids are in bed. Just remember not to neglect yourself.
Having a sense of humor defiantly
makes all the stress more manageable and puts things in perspective.
I have a friend who will only watch comedies on television and
at the movies. Her philosophy is that real life is dramatic enough
why watch it on TV? Keeping a sense of humor is easier on your
psyche and role models good coping skills to your children.
Let the Little Stuff Go
There is a book entitled Don't Sweat
the Small Stuff. And it's all Small Stuff. Are the kids clean?
Well-fed? Loved? Receiving an education? Then you're doing your
job. If the house is messy, the leaves not raked, who cares?
Keep Yourself Informed
Information is empowering. Keep
yourself informed about current parenting/childcare/child support
legislation. Write your congressman/woman if legislation comes
up you feel strongly about.
Learn basic home repair through
community colleges and university extension services so you are
not so dependent on expensive repairman. Continue to upgrade your
Get Help If You Need It
Life can often get overwhelming.
Seeking help doesn't make you weak or needy -it makes you smart.
Don't let lack of money prevent you from seeking help if you feel
you or your children need some type of assistance. There are many
free and low-cost counseling programs in most cities. Look in
the blue pages of your phone book for organizations. Call your
state United Way Information and Referral Line for referrals in
There are also programs in every
state to help you pay your heat and water bills. Each state has
free or low cost health insurance for your kids, food stamps,
free immunizations and other programs. Don't assume, also, that
you are over income for these programs. For instance, the Women's,
Infants and Children's Program (WIC) has a fairly high-income
standard. Single Parent Central's Government Page has income guidelines
for some government programs. It's a good starting point.
Congratulate Yourself Often
Look what you're handling. You are
raising children, running a household, working outside the house
and handling a thousand other things. You are CEO, coach, driver,
cook, educator and provider. You are holding it all together.
Many of you are doing this without any child support or help from
an ex-partner. Single parenting is not for the meek or mild. You
have a lot to be proud of.
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