How To Keep a Positive Attitude As a Single Parent (by Daniel Sherwin)

By: Daniel Sherwin Founder of DadSolo.com, a Website with tips for single parents. I find Daniel's content incredibly helpful for staying positive, healthy and happy. There's been a lot of talk about mental health lately, and it is so true what he says about our responsibility as parents to stay on top of self-care and mental health in order to create a safe and loving home environment for our children. "The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in." Please read, enjoy and support Daniel is his efforts to help parents create calm & loving homes for their children.  

"Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It takes huge amounts of energy, time, money, and emotional effort to raise a child in a healthy and happy home, and it can bring so much stress and anxiety that you may begin to second-guess your decision to have children at all. Don’t worry; this is normal. For single parents, especially, the task of raising a child while keeping both of you happy and sane may seem overwhelming, in part because everything falls on your shoulders.

It’s important, therefore, to have a plan of action when it comes to staying positive and being the best parent you can be. The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing.

Here are a few of the best ways to gain a “gratitude attitude”.

Practice self-care

It’s so important to take care of yourself, not only because you are the one responsible for the wellbeing of your child, but because it will help you be the best parent you can be. Daily exercise, a well-balanced diet, and careful attention to your mental health will help you stay happy and healthy. Of course, this means never abusing substances as a means of forgetting your problems or “dealing with” your anxiety or stress. For more tips on how to make good choices, read on here. 

Work hard, play harder

It’s a given that you’re going to work hard; as a single parent, that’s all you do. But it’s important to play just as hard, and that means you’ll have to work out a schedule that allows you to add a bit of fun to your days. Going through life drudging through the same old routine of work, dinner, dishes, chores, helping with homework, and everything else you have to take care of will grow old very fast and may lead to resentment at the fact that you’re responsible for everything. Taking steps to incorporate things that make you happy will allow you to make the most of your days and keep in mind what’s most important.

Be your own cheerleader

Being a parent is often a thankless job, so it’s up to you to be your own cheerleader. For every success you have in a day, treat yourself in some way. It doesn’t have to be anything big; splurge on the fancy yogurt when you give a great presentation at work, or plan a night out with friends after a long week of getting the kiddos to school on time with everything they need in their backpacks. These may not seem like huge accomplishments, but they don’t have to be. Just by patting yourself on the back for all your hard work, you’re allowing yourself to celebrate single parenthood rather than being stressed by it.

Know how to say no

It can be difficult for a single parent to say “no” sometimes, either because they feel guilty about all the things they can’t provide for their child or because they just don’t have the energy for another argument. Instead of saying “no”, find different ways to communicate what you want. For example, when your child wants more television time, say something like, “I’d rather you did your reading for class first.” It’s a way to compromise without starting a fight. For more tips on how to keep things positive at home, check out this article.

 Stay on top of your finances

One of the most stressful parts of being a single parent is handling your finances. Some days it may seem like there’s never going to be enough money, which can cause quite a bit of stress and anxiety. Those feelings can be internalized and come out in a different form, such as yelling at your child over a small infraction. Stay on top of your mental health by staying on top of your finances; create a budget and stick to it.

Remember that no one is a perfect parent; some days, the best you can do is feed, clothe, and bathe your child, and that’s okay. Think about the best ways to create a more relaxed, happy attitude in your home and stick with it."

Thanks for helping Calm & Loving Minds Achieve, Daniel.