Breakups takes a lot out of you. It takes all of your energy just to cope with the emotions and it takes a lot of your resources trying to reclaim your life and prepare for a future that is so different than what you imagined. Therefore it is only natural to feel overwhelmed when you are adapting into a future as a single parent. Odds are that you did not plan for this to happen, and this one question will keep coming up:“Where do I go from here?
To begin, it is necessary to know that going into the realm of single parenthood means one thing: 24hrs is not enough and in the midst of all the craziness that welcomes you, here are a few important things to remember as you go through your adaptation process
How am I supposed to manage everything on my own? When you are newly single, it is important to find balance and a way to do everything that you need to do. As a single parent, this can be difficult to do sometimes but there are tips that can go a long way. First: Keep a schedule. Keeping a schedule can help organize your thoughts and keep track of everything you need to do. Consider buying a small planner to carry around and jot down what needs to be done, or maybe put a calendar on the fridge for you and your kids to keep track of what all you have to do that week. Keeping a schedule will help you relax and it will also help your kids know what to expect. Second is Finding where your support is. Let’s be honest, you’re going to need it. You are one person, you cannot do absolutely everything on your own all the time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help or advice! Try reaching out to friends or family for some help with tasks, or even just for a listening ear when you have a lot going on.
I like the idea of support, but I need help finding it. Try reaching out to friends and family for support. If you need more support, you can definitely find some! Looking online or in your community for support groups can help a lot. We found a couple of sites that may help you get the support you need. One is for mothers, and it is called HelloMamas.com. On this site, you are able to make a free account and connect with other mothers in your area. This site is commonly used to things like playdates, babysitters for the night, advice, and even just a few friends who know and understand what you are going through. As for fathers, we found a site called citydadsgroup.com. This site represents a national organization that helps dads socialize with other dads and to support one another! Outside of friends, family, and online resources, Therapeutic Center for Hope is here for you, as well. Maybe consider scheduling a session with us in the comfort of your own home.
All right, I’m managing it all, but it’s really taking a toll on me. While it is important to take care of your responsibilities, make sure you are also taking care of yourself; self-care is essential through all of this. You are going through a lot right now, so make sure you take some time to breathe and relax- you need it! Do something that you enjoy each week, like treating yourself to a nice dessert, taking a hot bubble bath, finding a hobby that you like, whatever you think might help you destress (keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post about self-care!). The point is, it is hard to focus on keeping your life and your kids in balance if you do not put some time and energy into your own well-being. Plus, taking some time to care for yourself sets a good example for you kids as well by teaching them the importance of self-care when life gets kind of stressful.
Speaking of my kids, how can I help them through all of this? Right now, your kids are looking to you to keep them calm and understanding of what is going on in their life. When it comes to your kids, it is important to try and keep a level head, leaving the adult stress for the adults. Try not to burden them with the stresses that they do not need to be directly burdened with; kids need time to be kids. With that being said, you should not shut them out of what is going on. They are seeing it with their own eyes and are trying to make sense of it all, so it is important to keep an open, honest relationship with your children. They are probably very confused about everything that is going on, so take some time to sit down with them, address their concerns and answer their questions in a calm, age-appropriate manner. This helps them understand, reaffirms the fact that you care about them and want them to be able to talk to you when things get messy in life, and sets a good example of how to stay level-headed and responsible when life throws them curve balls, because let’s face it- life does not always go as planned! You are teaching them valuable life skills that will help them accept change and grow from tough experiences.
You’ve got this. Well, that’s our advice for the day. Try to focus on growing as a person and as a family. Try not to shut down and give up when life does not go as planned. Above all else, remember that you are capable and able to do this. You have people rooting for you, including us here at Therapeutic Center for Hope. Never hesitate to reach out to us if you want to schedule a session in your own home. Remember, we are here for you.