Family, Kids & Relationships

4 Tips For Dealing With Single Parent Stress

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Parenting is hard enough…and single parenting can sometimes seem almost impossible. September 22nd is National Singles Day, and a great way to celebrate might be to reach out and offer some single-parent support to your friends and family members who are raising kids solo. But if you’re the single parent—whether you parent without a partner from time to time or are the primary caregiver 24/7—these tips will help you manage your kids, your household, and your stress level.

Establish some new routines

Both kid and adult brains thrive on routines. They create order and cut down the pressure to make a million different decisions every day. 

Review your family’s day-to-day life and see where it makes sense to create a new routine together. Maybe it’s a post-lunch clean-up, or just getting out the door to go to school—working out a simple routine with your kids can take a surprising amount of work off your plate!

Set your priorities

If the laundry doesn’t get done this week, or you have breakfast for dinner because you didn’t get a chance to shop, THAT’S OK! It’s really hard to parent a child all by yourself, so if you start to feel like something’s gotta give—let it go. 

It might be helpful to actually write down your priorities so you can remind yourself during tough moments what’s really most important, like your kids’ health and safety.

Lean on your support system

They say it takes a village, right? Identify who’s in your “village” and don’t be afraid to ask for help! That’s what they’re there for! 

Extended family members, friends, and trusted neighbors can all provide some level of support to single parents—from delivering food, to babysitting, to simply being an empathetic listener when things are difficult.

Show your kids love

News flash: NO ONE can give their kids everything all the time. This is true if you’re a full-time single parent, spend a lot of time solo-parenting or if you have a co-parent. You are human, and you are doing your best.

In the end, all that matters is that your kids know you love them, and that they are safe and happy. Give yourself a break when you need it.

Mckenna Saady is a staff writer and digital content lead for ParentsTogether. Before working for nonprofits such as the Human Rights Campaign and United Way, Mckenna spent nearly a decade as a child care provider and Pre-K teacher. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now lives in Philadelphia and writes poetry, fiction, and children’s literature in her spare time.