9 Self Care Tips for Single Parents
Being a single parent is no child’s play. To be a parent is a rollercoaster ride that fills you with happiness and gratitude but when you are a single parent, you have to play the roles of mother and father, both! That can be quite a daunting task and take a toll on you mentally, emotionally and physically.
While you may not trade parenthood with anything else, if given a chance, there are going to be times when the going will seem tough for you - right from raising your kids to inculcating values in them, celebrating their success and picking them up after failures and handling them when they act difficult (teenagers, mostly).
There are going to be times when you will worry yourself to death whether you are doing a good job at being a parent, giving them enough, or at the end of the day when the kids have retired to sleep and the house is filled with loneliness as you go through your life and wish you had the love and support of your partner. It would just add to the strength you have inside you, to know that your child is loved and cared for by both his parents and that you are not alone in this journey.
Parenthood leaves no time for self-care. But when you are a single parent, it is important you that take active steps to take care of yourself. Here are 9 tips you could use to take better care of yourself if you are a single parent:
1. Don’t Neglect Your Health
This is something most parents do. Make themselves secondary because their child becomes their priority. If you will not take active measures to look after yourself, it will eventually take a toll on you. Your kids are your world, there’s no denying that, but what you need to understand is that your health is equally important. Eat well, get a full night’s sleep, and go for regular check-ups. Make yourself a priority, as well.
Working out releases endorphins in your body that act as a great stress-buster. Pick any form of exercise that interests you and do it regularly. It could be yoga, a run or dance. Enroll yourself in a gym or yoga or a dance class and feel the difference it brings to your mood and your overall take on parenthood.
3. Make Friends
Friends can be a real boon if you are a single parent. Right from being there for you in your hour of need to pulling you out of a bad mood to giving you parenting tips that might just make things easier for you, friends are a blessing.
4. Indulge Yourself Once in a While
Yes, do that. You need it. Go for a shopping spree or a movie or read books from your favorite authors, take a coffee break all alone or take a hot bath. It could be anything. Anything you heart is set on.
Meditation is a great way to start your day with. However, you may choose to do it at any time of the day when you have some quiet time for yourself. Meditation will help you to channelize your thoughts and calm you down. It’s important to meditate when you have toddlers and they are driving you into frenzy.
6. Take a Break
It is important for you to take regular breaks from your duties of tending to your child’s need. Take a nap in the afternoon, listen to your body for any warning signs it might give you when you feel exhausted. You are a human and you have your limits. Know when to stop. And stop right there.
7. Don’t Shy away from Seeking Help
For most single parents, asking help might feel like a big task. But it’s ok. You cannot possibly do everything on your own. Ask a friend if you need advice, don’t shy away from dropping your kid at your parents’ or neighbor’s if you need to go out. It’s ok to ask for help.
8. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Parents
Yes, there are high chances you might be secretly comparing yourself to other parents. Ones who indulge their children with whatever they ask for, picnics or expensive gifts or anything else. Stop comparing. You are doing the best you can, within the means you have. Forget how others are going to judge you. They are not single parents. They do not know the hardships you have to go through every single day, raising your kids all by yourself. Give yourself some credit.
9. Don’t Stop Dreaming
Yes, don’t stop dreaming. Because the first thing that goes out of the window for a single parent is their dreams. Dreams of studying ahead and growing in their career, dreams of taking a vacation, dreams of turning a hobby into a full-time career, any dream. Or the dream of finding love again. Don’t stop dreaming.