January brings the start of a New Year and for many of us with young families it can be a challenging month. Getting the kids back into a creche or school routine can be hard after a relaxing Christmas break and it can be a real struggle for some of us to find a decent work/life balance whilst managing a family and working inside or outside of the home.
We asked Daniel Sherwin, founder of DadSolo.com for some tips and tricks on how to make time for yourself and stay balanced at this busy time of the year. If (like me) you are thinking of a new hobby, starting a new course or exercise regime – Daniel has some sage words of advice for us all!
3 Tips for Single Parenthood
While being a parent is the most rewarding experience one can have, doing it alone presents many challenges. Whether you’re a single mom or dad, juggling both work and your personal life can be overwhelming. Here are a few easy hacks and tricks of the trade that may prove helpful as you solo parent.
Before you can effectively take care of anyone else, you need to make taking care of yourself a priority. Develop healthy habits such as getting plenty of rest, water, and exercise and eating right. Ask for help by hiring a babysitter or nanny to give you a break, or trade off with other friends and family members. Look for a gym with childcare so you don’t feel bad fitting in a workout. Stress is only natural, but how you cope with stress is extremely important. Take time for yourself and find the right outlet. It could be a hot bubble bath with candles, venting to a therapist, boxing, running, or practicing meditation and yoga to clear your mind. Whatever it is, indulge in it at least once a week so you can be the best version of yourself for your kids.
Going back to school
If you’re considering going back to school, prioritising is a must. Be sure to set a realistic schedule and stick to it. Don’t attempt to write your papers during the time you’re helping your kids with their school work. Make sure you set enough time aside for yourself so you can get the peace and quiet you need to focus. Get Educated recommends that, “When returning to school, you must learn to say no to demands that do not help you either 1) progress in your studies, or 2) personally benefit you and your children.” Going back to school can do a lot for the future of your family, so don’t feel guilty for saying no to others.
With so much on your plate, staying organised is the only way to get everything done. Whether it’s a calendar on the fridge or a day planner you carry with you, writing things down where you can see them will help you keep track of appointments, after-school activities, chores, as well as your responsibilities at work. Also think about setting reminders to help you manage your time more efficiently. As a single parent, be sure to communicate with your employer about your needs. Care@Work encourages “Workplace flexibility that offers the chance to work from home or to have an alternative schedule (maybe four 10-hour days, for example).” Lead by example and keep a good routine for your children as regular bed and meal times will make them feel stable and secure. Look into meal prepping or a food delivery service to get you through the week with healthy meals you can all enjoy together.
It’s all about spending quality time with your children. Including them in household activities is a good way to teach them about responsibility and bond. Life can get hectic, so wind down every evening together with a good book or some TV time. You’ll be glad you did, and they’ll cherish the memories forever.
Get in Touch
If you would like more tips and tricks from Daniel please visit his website DadSolo and if you are thinking about learning a new hard or soft skill please get in touch with us. Our Student Services team are always happy to chat about the different distance learning courses that we deliver.