Just kidding! There is no way one person can “do it all” and stay sane, especially if you’re a single parent. But you can figure out what’s most important (your kids), what you need to do to be there for them (stay sane!), and how to get the help you need to do it.
Before we were together, both Greg and I were single parents. Here is our best advice for surviving single parenthood:
- First, realize that your kids need you to be happy and well, so no fast food on a regular basis. Ha! Don’t worry. That’s a joke. Of course your kids need to be eating well, but it’s important to remember that all kids go through stages where chicken nuggets and applesauce are all they’ll eat. Make sure you’re sneaking in a multi-vitamin and a glass of milk each day, and cut yourself some slack.
- Then, create a routine that works for you. Getting up an hour before your kids so you can drink your coffee and read the latest self-help book might not work for you. We get it. You also might not have the energy to pack lunches the night before or the patience to play classical music to start each morning. Hear us when we say this: THAT IS OKAY. Different families thrive under different structures and routines. If eating your meals at 7, 12, and 5 with three snacks in between works for you, great. If your child needs three snacks between lunch and dinner, that’s fine too.
- Next — don’t laugh — make time for yourself. Stay up late one or two nights a week to peruse the internet while no one in the house needs you for anything. Call grandma to come watch the kids while you walk around Target with a latte. Turn up the music and ignore your kids for the duration of one of your favorite dance songs. A little time apart is good for parent and child, for real.
- Last but not least, you are going to need to stop procrastinating on the important stuff. Your financial, medical, and legal concerns are not going away, no matter how long you put them off. All jokes aside, making a list of everything you need to accomplish, big and small, and checking them off one by one will help you tackle the big stuff with minimal overwhelm.