If you’re a parent, you would most likely agree that raising children can be a challenging experience. However, raising kids after a tumultuous divorce takes the word “challenging” to an entirely different level. In West Virginia and around the country today, it seems like the number of single-parent households is increasing. According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, just under 30% of children under the age of 18 are living in a single-parent household.
While it’s true that children tend to do better with more stability present in their lives, if you’re a single parent you know providing stability for your kids is easier said than done. There is also a common misbelief that children from single parent homes are not as happy or successful as kids from two-parent households. If you suddenly find yourself solo-parenting after a divorce, what follows may make the parenting journey a little easier for you.
Take care of yourself
You may feel like being a good parent means tending to the needs of your children first while putting your own needs on the backburner. This is a recipe for constant exhaustion. Neglecting self-care can not only be detrimental to you, but also to your kids. You can only show up as your best self and be the best parent when you are healthy and well-rested.
Find other single parents
It’s only natural to feel like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, there are like many others around you who know exactly what you are going through. Find other single parents and reach out to them for support. A good place to start is your kid’s school, extracurricular activities or through social media. It is likely that there are other single parents who need just as much help and support as you.
Create a routine
Routines may be the best parenting hack. For many children who live in single-parent homes, they often have to travel between households or have different caretakers, making life seem unpredictable and chaotic. Although it may be difficult, try to carve out a routine and schedule for your kids as much as possible. The younger your children are, the more they will need the stability that a routine provides.
There is help available for family law related issues
As a single parent, you’ll naturally have to take on a lot more since you won’t have a partner to fall back on. You could also suddenly be faced with new challenges regarding things such as child custody, child support, alimony, etc. Fortunately, there is professional support readily available to you for these important matters should they arise.