Why its important to take care of yourself

It's easy to forget to take care of yourself when you spend all of your time seeing to your child's needs. But making time for yourself and for friends isn't a luxury It's important for your well-being and for good parenting. If you don't make taking care of yourself a priority, you may find yourself feeling tired, burned out, irritable, and isolated all of which can have an effect on your child. When you make time for exercise, eating right, being with friends, and doing the things that make...

Two scenarios and what to do

If there's one thing you can count on as a parent, it's that the unexpected will happen, and probably when it's least convenient. That's the nature of raising children. Having backup caregivers in place for emergencies and being aware of resources available to you through work and in your community will help you feel less stressed if the unexpected does happen. Here are two scenarios you may face as a parent and ways to handle them Your child is sick. You're at work trying to get a project in...

The dating challenge

Dating is one of the toughest issues single parents face. There are lots of factors to consider when it comes to dating as a parent, including your child's age and emotional makeup. Dating can sometimes be harder for children in single-parent families than it is for the parents themselves. Some younger children have strong fantasies that their parents will get back together or that a new person will immediately take on the role of mom or dad. Older children may feel hostile toward new...

Five reminders

Learn to recognize and manage symptoms of stress. It's important to be aware of the stressors in your life and to learn to manage them. If left unchecked, stress can weaken your immune system, take a toll on your physical and emotional health, and affect your quality of life. Chronic or ongoing stress is associated with heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, asthma, weight gain or weight loss, illness or infection (including gastrointestinal problems, ulcers, irritable bowel...

Finding mentors and role models for your child

Does your child have mentors and role models in his or her life A role model is anyone your child trusts, admires, and respects a neighbor, family friend, teacher, older relative, or someone from your community. A mentor listens and gives good advice, spends time with your child, helps your child make good choices, offers encouragement, and helps your child set and reach goals. Many children need more than one adult voice in their lives. The lessons and values you are trying to teach your child...

Being sensitive to your childs needs

Your young child depends on you completely. His fear of a new person coming into the family is real and deserves your sympathy, even though you might also feel impatient. Your child is wondering, How will this affect me You need to give constant reassurance. One mother started dating, and after her fourth date with the same man her 7-year-old son asked, Why are you going out with him again Last night I dreamed you got married and had a new baby and forgot about me. While your children are your...

Using resources available through work

There may be many resources available to you through your workplace to help with work and personal issues in your life. Here are some suggestions Learn about resources available through work. The program that sent you this publication provides extensive help with work life needs, personal and work concerns, parenting concerns, finances, and many other issues. Take advantage of this benefit. Find out about flexible work and time-off policies. Your employer may offer flexible work hours,...

Managing money

Talking about finances may cause some parents anxiety, but in fact, when you deal with financial issues rather than ignoring them, you are actually reducing stress. Here are some tips for getting a grip on financial issues Change the way you think about money. If your partner handled most of the finances, don't assume someone else can fix your problems. It's important not to let anyone else have control over you, your credit, or your life. Create a budget and stick to it. A budget helps you see...

Asking for help and being there for others

Asking for help can be very difficult. But if you expect to be able to handle everything on your own, all of the time, you risk burning yourself out. Learning to ask for help, and being available to help others, will help you build a network of support and community. Start with a small request. If you find it hard to approach friends or family to ask for help, try starting out by asking for a small favor, like picking up your child after school or moving a heavy piece of furniture. Be sure to...

Coping with guilt

Most working parents struggle with feelings of guilt at some point. That's true for mothers and fathers alike. We all feel guilty when we lose our patience or aren't as loving or patient as we'd like to be with our children. You may feel guilty about leaving your young child in someone else's care while you work, or about not being present for every event in your school-age child's life. You may feel guilty because your child has one parent at home, not two. You may feel inadequate because your...

Simplifying household chores and routines

A common complaint among single parents is that there's too little time and too much to do. You'll feel as though you have more time if you let go of the desire to do it all. And if you find ways to simplify, you'll have more time for yourself, your family, and your friends. Begin by examining your priorities. Is it more important to have a spotless home or to sleep in on your day off Would you rather spend an hour preparing dinner or order a pizza and use that hour to take a walk with your...

Single parenting today

Bringing up children is an awesome responsibility. It's demanding and rewarding work. Being a single parent is all of that and more. It can be extremely challenging and extremely gratifying. The demands of raising children on your own, combined with the responsibility of holding down a job, may leave you little time to step back and reflect on how you and your children are doing. You may feel tired, frazzled, and you may wonder how you'll manage it all work and personal responsibilities, time...