How to Be an Excellent Single Parenting All Rounder

It is never easy to be a single parent. This article shares some dynamic information and support on how to be a winning single parent with strong, respectful relationships with your children and a comfortable, working relationship with your ex-partner.


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    Know what you want. The first step towards getting what you want, is knowing what you want. When you can get clear in your head about what’s going to work for you and believe it genuinely, then that sincerity will come across in your negotiations and you’re going to get the best results. Get clear about the benefits of why you want a great work-life balance and get clear of the benefits for the other people who will influence the outcome.
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    Prioritise family time. It’s easy to let minutes turn into hours and hours turn into chunks of time that keep you away from home until way passed the children’s bed times. It’s a slippery slope. Practice raising your productivity during the day – don’t stop to chat, don’t ‘Facebook’ or ‘YouTube’, don’t mess around with your personal emails. Work at work. Leave on time. Get home promptly. Children thrive on routine and will thank you (when they’re 50!) for being there for them on a regular basis. Remember, work-life balance includes a bit of everything; earning, playing, bonding, studying, health, fitness, dreaming, growing … and sleeping!
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    Allow an hour for home management each evening. When your children have gone to bed, check that the laundry’s up-to-date, there’s food prepared for the next day, the kitchen’s cleaned up, the bathroom’s tidy and any school correspondence, play dates or diary-planning is done. Now this may not take an hour every day, but allow that time to make sure that you're on top of your home life.
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    Ask for support. If you’re working part time or full time, managing a home and caring for and encouraging your children single-handedly, you deserve a sainthood! Remember that to balance these things well over time is an art. It takes a clear head, it takes good health and it takes lots of energy and drive. Ask for help when you need it – if it’s a babysitter so you can have a night out, a friend to come over and cook one night a week, a family member to drive one of the kids to karate, or a colleague to take on some extra projects at work to keep you from tipping into overwhelm – whatever it is, ask, ask, ask! Asking for support is not a failing, it’s the practical application of wisdom. Your children rely on you to be at your best. True saints practice humility!
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    Be open with your children. It takes a lot to learn the balance of sharing with and shielding from our children. Age-appropriate conversations, when you need to have them can be a life saver. ‘If you’re scared in the middle of the night then call. If you just want someone to be here to lie with you, don’t call. When you have 2 more sleeps in the daytime, mummy is working very hard to get everything done so that I can get home for us to have fun before bath time, story time and bedtime.’ Tell your children about the consequences of you not going to work. Talk through that the knock-on effects of this would be no money coming into your household, the possibility of changing homes, how you eat and what you wear, stopping holidays, and maybe even changing some of your friendships. These conversations aren’t about laying huge burdens on our children. They are about asking them gradually and bit-by-bit to share a greater amount of responsibility for contributing to the smooth running of the household. Review the distribution of responsibility regularly as your children get older. This is not just about your work-life balance. It’s about your children’s too. And they’ll thank you for it in the end!

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Categories: Parenting