If you are currently going through a divorce or you have just finalised, the thought of taking care of one or more children can seem daunting and lonely. You may feel like the weight of the world as you may no longer have the father of your child there, one step behind you. Fear not, becoming a single mum allows you an element of empowerment, you are 100% capable of doing this! It might seem like stability has been thrown off since you have become a single mum, you can still maintain structure to yours and your children’s lives.
We can provide some top expert tips to help you not only cope but thrive!
Its OK to ask for help.
Asking for help can sometimes seem like giving in, but this is not always the case. If you have any family or friends that are offering their help, whether it be for baby-sitting, giving you some ‘me-time’ (which you are definitely entitled to) or just generally offering a hand, take it! There is no shame in this, taking care of children, whilst of course beloved, can be extremely exhausting so it is important you allow your body and mind to unwind every once in a while, so to avoid running out of juice.
Your family and friends are the best kind of support for during this time so allow yourself to talk to them, you are at risk of becoming lonely or isolated so you should take the opportunity to confide in these closest to you.
Occasionally with the children but also with yourselves. You are bound to have bad days and make the odd mistake. You will lose your temper and sometimes feel lonely, remorseful, guilty, angry, and just about the whole nine yards but it important to have patience and remember that you are doing well to be where you are now.
Organise a routine
Children need routines to feel in control, especially when living in a single-parent home. That is even more important when there is only one parent.
Especially as they may be going between two different homes now, maintaining a routine is good for the stability of your child and making life as comfortable as possible.
Routines do not mean that things cannot change. It is simply a default schedule to fall back on when nothing else is happening. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant, and the day will run more smoothly.
Observe Rules and Discipline
Maintaining a consistent level of discipline is extremely important. You should communicate with your ex-partner to ensure that they are under the same agreement as you as to how your children will be disciplined.
Avoid a ‘good-cop, bad-cop’ situation. If you are considered ‘good-cop’ then your child may try and use this to their advantage in regard to their behaviour, this could case additional issues with limits, behaviour, and discipline down the road.
If you have older children, it is a good idea to encourage them to help out around the house or consider getting a part-time job.
Universal Credit, Child Tax Credits and Child Benefits are all credits that you can claim from the government to financially support you now that you are no longer have two forms of income to fall back on.
Worrying about finances is not a problem that you are likely to wish to encounter during this unfamiliar time so if your job is not providing enough income to keep you and the kids comfortable, consider looking into one of the above.
If you are struggling, please take a look at the following help websites: