Single Parent Day started in 1984 to recognize single parents in a manner similar to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. March 21 is National Single Parent Day, and we salute the parents out there who are doing the hard work of parenting all on their own. You’re doing an amazing job!
This post celebrates the accomplishments of single parents and provides tips from some single parents in our community to help others who are raising children on their own.
Child Care Life Hacks:
“Trade babysitting with another single parent. I can’t tell you how invaluable this was when I was a single mom. I had childcare I felt zero guilt about and could afford. We both felt confident in our child’s caregiver that they’d treat the kids with love. It’s worth introducing yourself to every mom you meet.” - Nicole S.
Time Management Life Hacks:
“If you can, double up on bathtime. If they can do it themselves, even better.” - Rachel C.
“Lower expectations of what you get done in the evenings after work. Yes, cooking a great meal for your family is awesome, but when you have such a small amount of time to connect with your kids, it’s better to have sandwiches for dinner and more time to bond.” -Nicole S.
“Establish a schedule [and stick to it]. Kids need some structure.” -Brandie F.
Split Custody Life Hacks:
“The kids will argue that they should get to do something at your house because they can do it with the other parent. Remind them that there are rules. That is their house, what is the rule in this house? Speaking of rules, write them out to be seen. When they try to negotiate, point to the rules. Saves your voice.” -Rachel C.
“Make sure the kids know they are loved, and don’t talk badly about the other parent.” - Holly S.
Self Care Life Hacks:
“[Losing yourself in the parent role is] hard, and there will be times when it happens. The thing you have to keep in mind is that even the small things amount to big reliefs. If you enjoy wine, go get yourself a bottle on sale and enjoy a glass in the evenings. If you have a television show, record it and watch it in bed after putting your little one(s) down. It doesn't have to be extravagant, it just has to be something that is wholly and completely you.” - Rebecca T.
“Speak words of kindness. To yourself. Out loud. In front of your children.” - Rachel C.
Advice For the Recently Single:
If you don’t have a built-in support network of friends and family near you, being a single parent can get lonely. Find a single parents support group (even if it’s just on Facebook) or a local in-person meetup to start creating a support network for yourself. It will remind you that you aren’t alone and that you can do this. Here is some advice from our community for parents going through a separation, who are recently single, or who are just feeling a little lost and lonely:
“The single greatest untapped force of nature in this country is a single parent who needs to provide. There are many services out there, state and federal, that are geared toward helping with these transitions. Research and utilize them. They will lift many, many burdens from your shoulders.” -Rebecca T.
“Don’t dwell on what life would be like if you had a significant other. The grass is always greener. Yes, in some ways a two parent household might be easier, but in some ways, I’m happy that I’m the only one in charge. There are no disagreements about the right way to do anything.” - Renee L.
Add Your Own Advice
What advice do you have for the single parents out there?