There are approximately 13.6 million single parents raising children in the U.S. today, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.  This post is dedicated not only to the single parents out there, but also to the moms and caregivers who need to take better care of themselves (I suspect there are a few!).  Here are 6 Lifesaving Strategies for Single Parents

What do you think is the most important thing for a struggling parent to hold onto?    How do you know your limits?  Do ask for help when needed?

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Interesting question.  I think it depends on everyone's experience.  My life has been easier since I divorced my Ex in 1999.  He didn't help with anything, didn't fix anything, never did yard work and was so messy, my entire life was picking up after him. I was run ragged.

I actually never found time for myself until I became a single parent.  Sorry, but there was less work for me to do and more time, even with young children. 

I split from my ex Dec 1st while I was almost 37 weeks pregnant with our second child. As of now I am working full time and raising our 2 1/2 year old and almost 3 month old on my own and I actually have more time for myself and the kids now than I ever did with him in the picture. Much like Pat's experience, my marriage was nothing more than me taking care of and picking up after him. I and my children are much happier now and have time to do thing's we never could before.

That being said, yes we have less time than some people to get things done or have any kind of time to ourselves. I personally just try to make smarter decisions with the time I do have. I try to do my grocery shopping and errands on my lunch break from work cuz I already have the kids with a sitter. I try to keep up with most of the housework during the week so we can do fun things on the weekends. And any ME time is after the kids are in bed.

Babies Don’t Keep
By Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Lullabye, rockaby, lullabye loo.
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo,
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo,
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs;
Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

I have a son that just turned 3 and another that is just now 2 months. And I have been doing all by myself for 3 years now bc their father is always in and out of prison. Now he is doing 10yrs and Im done. When he was around he never helped me with anything. He would make more work for me and spend all my money and just turned my life upside down. I finally relised that I do better when he is in jail. I now have a full time job that I work 45-50hr a week while the kids are in daycare and I am doing very good by my self. For only being 22yrs old Im very proud of my self for wat I have accomplished and for all that Im doing on my own. But I do find my self wanting me time, time to be 22yrs old, time to go to the club or have a couple drinks. Im not the partier that I use to be before I had kids but I do like to have fun. I feel like an old lady anymore I go to be at 9-10pm everynight bc Im soo tired and I dont have anytime to my self even to take a shower. I just moved to Ocala a year ago and I still dont know anyone or have any friends to talk to.

Love, love this!  I often feel guilty that my house is not as pristine as I want or perfectly decorated as my friends' homes.  this says it all though, doesn't it?

Raven<3 said:

Babies Don’t Keep
By Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Lullabye, rockaby, lullabye loo.
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo,
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo,
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs;
Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

You should feel proud of yourself for all that are accomplishing and what you are providing your children!  Being a single parent, the ME time is the most difficult.  Don't be afraid to ask for help, I always was, I guess I felt like I was failing if I didn't do it all myself but we all need a hand now and then :-)  Check out our groups, there are moms that do regular get togethers with and without children. 

There are also churches that do moms nights out.  Can anyone else else suggest which are currently doing these and what their schedule might be? 

Danielle Shaffer said:

I have a son that just turned 3 and another that is just now 2 months. And I have been doing all by myself for 3 years now bc their father is always in and out of prison. Now he is doing 10yrs and Im done. When he was around he never helped me with anything. He would make more work for me and spend all my money and just turned my life upside down. I finally relised that I do better when he is in jail. I now have a full time job that I work 45-50hr a week while the kids are in daycare and I am doing very good by my self. For only being 22yrs old Im very proud of my self for wat I have accomplished and for all that Im doing on my own. But I do find my self wanting me time, time to be 22yrs old, time to go to the club or have a couple drinks. Im not the partier that I use to be before I had kids but I do like to have fun. I feel like an old lady anymore I go to be at 9-10pm everynight bc Im soo tired and I dont have anytime to my self even to take a shower. I just moved to Ocala a year ago and I still dont know anyone or have any friends to talk to.

I agree with Chris.  You should definitely be proud of yourself.  It's tough, but gets easier as they get older. Well, maybe not emotionally, ha,ha, but the rewards are great.  You'll get your pep back.  :)

Danielle Shaffer said:

I have a son that just turned 3 and another that is just now 2 months. And I have been doing all by myself for 3 years now bc their father is always in and out of prison. Now he is doing 10yrs and Im done. When he was around he never helped me with anything. He would make more work for me and spend all my money and just turned my life upside down. I finally relised that I do better when he is in jail. I now have a full time job that I work 45-50hr a week while the kids are in daycare and I am doing very good by my self. For only being 22yrs old Im very proud of my self for wat I have accomplished and for all that Im doing on my own. But I do find my self wanting me time, time to be 22yrs old, time to go to the club or have a couple drinks. Im not the partier that I use to be before I had kids but I do like to have fun. I feel like an old lady anymore I go to be at 9-10pm everynight bc Im soo tired and I dont have anytime to my self even to take a shower. I just moved to Ocala a year ago and I still dont know anyone or have any friends to talk to.

You are doing wonderful Danielle!! I moved here about 3 1/2 years ago and it is hard at times to meet people. We have a group trying to schedule mom's night outs if you are interested. The group is just beginning so maybe you could meet other moms that you have things in common with. You can check that group out here. Honestly, most of the people I have met started through Ocala mom. :)

Pat Carter said:

I agree with Chris.  You should definitely be proud of yourself.  It's tough, but gets easier as they get older. Well, maybe not emotionally, ha,ha, but the rewards are great.  You'll get your pep back.  :)

Danielle Shaffer said:

I have a son that just turned 3 and another that is just now 2 months. And I have been doing all by myself for 3 years now bc their father is always in and out of prison. Now he is doing 10yrs and Im done. When he was around he never helped me with anything. He would make more work for me and spend all my money and just turned my life upside down. I finally relised that I do better when he is in jail. I now have a full time job that I work 45-50hr a week while the kids are in daycare and I am doing very good by my self. For only being 22yrs old Im very proud of my self for wat I have accomplished and for all that Im doing on my own. But I do find my self wanting me time, time to be 22yrs old, time to go to the club or have a couple drinks. Im not the partier that I use to be before I had kids but I do like to have fun. I feel like an old lady anymore I go to be at 9-10pm everynight bc Im soo tired and I dont have anytime to my self even to take a shower. I just moved to Ocala a year ago and I still dont know anyone or have any friends to talk to.

Danielle you need to be proud of yourself for what your doing. You are not alone. I am also a single mother of a 9 month old and times do get hard especially when you feel like all your doing is working and etc. I have also checked into some church womens groups as well or even get involved with the Ladies on here. If youd ever like to take the kids to the park or something send me a message :)

Danielle Shaffer said:

I have a son that just turned 3 and another that is just now 2 months. And I have been doing all by myself for 3 years now bc their father is always in and out of prison. Now he is doing 10yrs and Im done. When he was around he never helped me with anything. He would make more work for me and spend all my money and just turned my life upside down. I finally relised that I do better when he is in jail. I now have a full time job that I work 45-50hr a week while the kids are in daycare and I am doing very good by my self. For only being 22yrs old Im very proud of my self for wat I have accomplished and for all that Im doing on my own. But I do find my self wanting me time, time to be 22yrs old, time to go to the club or have a couple drinks. Im not the partier that I use to be before I had kids but I do like to have fun. I feel like an old lady anymore I go to be at 9-10pm everynight bc Im soo tired and I dont have anytime to my self even to take a shower. I just moved to Ocala a year ago and I still dont know anyone or have any friends to talk to.

Up until a couple years ago I was on the single parent thing and in some ways I still am. yes I am in a committed relationship but I still look at them as my kids and probably always will not our kids. But one thing that sets me apart from the majority of parents is that I think you have to put yourself first or else everyone will be miserable. I have always and will always take me time weather its to go get me fingers and toes did or just go to publix real quick and back or to go out with friends. I always asked someone to watch them for me. If not at least for me I will lose my mind I have always been the type that needs me time and adult interaction. That is my way to collect myself and deal with the rest of life. I for one would never be one of the parents that says I could never leave my kids with someone for a few hours. Heck, my kids were staying overnight with family before any of them were a month old. It doesn't mean that I love my kids any less than those that spend every waking moment with their kids it just means that I know what my limits are  and what I need to function and be a happy camper so everyone else is a happy camper around. Cause you know the saying if momma ain't happy ain't no one happy.  Even now that I am with someone I still do the I need to take a few and he is good at keeping them for me to go get said toes did or if he is going to the store he'll take one or both with him even if he's gone with them for 15 min that 15 min is enough for me to get an attitude adjustment.

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