Parenting is a challenging job as it is. However, it gets even more demanding if you cater to this role alone. Whether it is by choice or due to circumstances, taking on the responsibility of parenthood means taking on double the challenge.
As a single parent, you must single-handedly cater to numerous things like running the household and sustaining the family financially, while simultaneously giving time and attention to your growing kids. You are required to perform the duties of both a mother and a father. Due to such a hectic routine, single parents often struggle to take care of themselves. They get so caught up in looking after others that they forget to check in on their well-being. As selfless as that may be, the harsh reality is that one cannot pour from an empty cup. If a parent is unhappy, stressed and frustrated, they will never be able to treat their kids right. Jonah Engler emphasizes that taking care of yourself is equally important as taking care of your children.
Tips to Cope With Parenting Stress by Jonah Engler
Here Jonah Engler gives you a few tips to help you cope with the stress of being a single parent:
1. Make Time for Yourself
No matter how busy your day is or how many tasks you have on your to-do list, make it a priority to set aside some time for yourself, even if it’s just 20-30 minutes. Jonah Engler emphasizes that 20 consecutive minutes for no one but yourself to check in on your mental health and take a breather can benefit you more than you can know. That said, it is difficult to find alone time when you have so much on your plate. In this case, ask a friend, a relative, or a family member to watch over the kids while you take a walk or set up a movie for your children while you go and enjoy a quick bath.
2. Avoid Feeling Guilty
Single parents often feel like every single free moment of their time must be dedicated to their kids and kids alone. They feel guilty if they take time to fulfill their hobbies and interests, indulge in a fun activity, or hang out with friends every now and then. Creating a balanced life for yourself is key to avoiding burnout and mental exhaustion. Remember, your mental health affects your kids’ mental health; safeguarding your well-being is equivalent to protecting the well-being of your children.
3. Set Clear Boundaries
As a single parent, you are likely to face greater judgment and criticism from society than regular parents. People will comment on your every move and try to tell you how to look after your household and family. This constant critique can take a toll on your mental health if you let it get to you.
Don’t let people take advantage of your time and energy. Let them know kindly yet firmly that such scrutiny isn’t welcome. As a single parent, know that you are doing your best to give your children the life they deserve. Nobody else’s opinion on raising them matters because only you truly understand the needs and requirements of your family.
Jonah Engler understands that life as a single parent is not an easy task. While taking over the role of two parents means double the work and double stress, it also means double the love and attention. Remember that as challenging as it may be, the job of a parent is also rewarding.