Being a single parent has to be the most fulfilling and challenging thing I’ve ever had to do. As I tried to figure it all out on my own, I was constantly at odds with my emotions.
I was happy I was able to successfully navigate the journey of my single motherhood, but also tired, stressed, annoyed, frustrated and every other emotion a person could feel. And to be honest, that feeling of true happiness was something hard to come a lot of the time.
It’s hard to stop and really feel happy since you’re so busy experiencing every other emotion there is when you’re a single parent. Because there’s no one else but you (as in my case), I didn’t have time to stop and relish in happiness and wish I could have done a few things differently.
To help other single parents be happier, here are some tips on how to feel that joyous emotion a bit more, despite all the stress and troubles being a single parent come with. I wish I would have known about these a long tie ago!
1. Ignore everyone’s feedback
When you’re parenting by yourself, everyone will try and comment on what you should or shouldn’t be doing. It seems everyone has an opinion about how you parent and it’s more like they’re judging you. Stop trying to take it all in and apply it to your life because only you know what’s right for you and your kids. Sure, go ahead and listen when it’s actually good advice, but ignore everything that seems as if it’s judgment coated in an opinion. Trust your parenting kills and intuition because that’s what’s going to allow you to make better decisions as a single parent, thus making you happier in the long run.
2. Accept help when offered
Don’t turn away help when it’s offered. Take it from anyone that offers! Don’t feel as if you need to do it on your own because the whole experience will just make you resent your journey. If you want to be happier as a single parent, take the help. Whether it’s babysitting, helping with schoolwork or supplies or even small gifts, acknowledge the kindness and be grateful that there are people out there that care about your situation and would like to lessen the load. When this happens, take advantage of it. Just knowing people care about your family will make you warm and happy inside.
3. Don’t forget to do something for you
You’ll find that self-care is a hot topic in parenting right now, as it should be. But I find that self-care is especially important for single parents since you it’s just you (I’m referring to single parents whose ex-partner isn’t involved in their lives at all). Even if you do send the kids away for the weekend to the other parent (if they are in the picture), get some self-care in anytime you can. Get out of the house and coordinate some “me time” once in a while. Go do something that you love doing and just forget about your single parent life for an hour or two. You’ll find yourself way happier for it and will be able to come back to your family refreshed.
4. Find gratitude anywhere you can
Being grateful will change your perspective, especially in troubling times. When you recognize what you do have instead of what you don’t, you’ll find that you’re lucky despite your situation and that it could always be worse. Be empowered by what you’re grateful for, which will lead to a happier single parent!