It can get pretty hard trying to do your best as a single parent while also trying to be a good employee. Both of these things are very demanding and they are both pretty important. You need to be a good parent if you want to help your child grow into a responsible adult, but you also need to earn that salary if you want to provide for your family. That means that you shouldn’t neglect either. If you’re struggling to balance working from home and being there for your kid, don’t worry. Here is how you can manage to do both very well, and stay sane.
Self-care is important
You can’t possibly be there for other people if you’re not there for yourself. That goes for your boss, but also your child. You need to acknowledge that you are a human who can sometimes be vulnerable and have your own needs. Not only do you have to acknowledge that, but you also need to respect it first, before anyone else will do it. It is normal that you feel like you should put your child’s needs first, but you need to remember that you can’t be a good parent unless you feel good. Parents are the key figures and they have the largest impact on the kids and their development.
You need to remember that kids usually learn by a model, and that model is the parent. If you want them to take care of themselves, you need to do it first. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s good to go outside and take a walk. Even a 15-minute walk through the neighbourhood can make you feel better due to fresh air and some movement. When it comes to your daily life, self-care is sleeping enough, eating regularly, and resting whenever you can. If you also manage to squeeze in some exercise, you’ll feel much more ready for your daily challenges.
Life is very hard, for everyone. If you’re a working single parent, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed most of the time. You have a lot of responsibility and it’s impossible to expect that you are a superhero. You don’t need to do every single thing on your own. When you feel like you need help, don’t be ashamed to accept it.
There must be people around you who care about you and want to help you. You can talk to them and let them know what kind of help you could use. For instance, when working from home, you don’t always have a flexible schedule. If there is a meeting you need to attend, maybe one of your friends could take the kid to school.
Have multiple options when it comes to childcare
If you have a demanding job, you may struggle to organize your time well. That is exactly why it is so important to know what our options are when it comes to childcare. For instance, one simple option is to type into your search engine “childcare centre near me”. That way, you can go for something near and save some time commuting to take the kid there or pick it up. When you are a single parent, every minute is important in your day and you simply have no time to waste.
You can also turn to some other childcare options. For instance, if you know a student looking for a job, you could offer them a job. You could also swap kids with other single parents. For instance, when you work, kids could be at theirs, while they work, kids could be at yours. You can also ask your parents, siblings, or friends to help if something unexpected comes up.
Have a routine in your home
Even adults like to know what to expect. The same goes for kids. They need to have routines in their lives to learn what control is in the home of a single parent, this is even more important. For instance, if there are too many different caretakers, the kid could be very confused. Life could seem unpredictable for them, and even chaotic.
To avoid that, make sure to establish some kind of routine in your home. Your child should have a schedule, but you should also be flexible because you won’t always be able to follow it. For instance, you should know when the kid goes to bed, when he or she eats, when he or she eats, and when he or she does the homework.
Be consistent with discipline
Even though you should know when it is time to change the rules, you should also know how to follow them strictly. Even though, you’ll sometimes have to change or adapt them, make sure not to do that too often. That, as well, can confuse the kid. Once you establish clear rules, talk to everyone involved in the upbringing and childcare.
For instance, if you share custody, talk to your ex and make sure to agree upon your approach to discipline. Include the babysitter or grandparents too, and let them know how to handle discipline. If your kid realizes that the rules can be bent with certain people, they’ll use that to their advantage and cause you issues with discipline and behaviour in further upbringing.
Plan for emergencies and stay positive
Having a backup plan is always a good idea, especially when you are a single parent. You should have a list of people you can call if something unexpected happens. You never know when you’ll need someone’s help and it’s good to have people who’ll be there. If you know there’ll be someone to take care of your kid in such a case, you’ll handle the situation much better.
Whatever comes your way, stay positive. A perspective is really important and it can change your and your kid’s world. Since your kid can detect almost any shift in your attitude, try to make it a change for the better. Maintain your sense of humour and make them laugh whenever you can.
Even though balancing these two things can get tough, it’s not impossible. With some good organization skills and people to rely on, you’ll be both the parent of the year and the employee of the year.