I am delighted to introduce Dadsolo as my guest blogger on The Guilty Mummy Blog. Daniel has been a single dad to his daughter (9) and son (6) for three years. Daniel noticed that there aren’t a lot of resources out there for single dads so he decided to share his journey with the world via his site Dadsolo. I am thrilled to have him writing about his experiences and would urge you to please share this with a dad you may know who might benifit from Daniels advice. So without further a do, I will hand you over to Dadsolo.
Being a single dad comes with many difficulties; it can be overwhelming and exhausting to try and juggle everything yourself. However, parenting is often known as one of life’s greatest pursuits and rewards. If you’re a single dad looking for ways to embrace the challenge of parenting solo, here are a few tips to help you out along the way.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Whether you’ve lost your spouse to death or divorce, it’s a difficult life transition to make because you’re not only dealing with your own emotions but also your children’s. In the midst of this, your mental health and well-being can take a hit: “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.” Don’t be afraid to ask for help and build a support team around you of trusted family members as well as other single parents. Maybe you exchange dinners or develop a weekly carpool system, doing so will help you feel less isolated and like you have a safety net.
It's also important to make time for yourself so you can unwind and be mentally and physically there for your kids. Exercise is a great way to blow off steam and most gyms offer activities or rooms to keep your kids entertained while you fit in a workout.
You are now a one-man team. “From finding ways to grocery shop and meal plan more efficiently to keeping chores at home straight, there is a lot of organizing to do and not as much help doing it,” says The Spruce. Writing down everything ahead of time and making a list will help you visualize and remember what needs to happen. For example, a calendar on the fridge with all the kids’ activities is a great idea in that it serves as a daily schedule reminder every morning during breakfast. You can even set alarms on your phone to alert you throughout the day as a backup reminder. Putting the work in on the weekend to meal prep for the week ahead can make life much easier when you’re juggling homework or basketball practice on Tuesday nights, plus it ensures your kids get a healthy home-cooked meal.
As you’re exploring this new definition and dynamic of what family means, know that it’s more important than ever to create healthy boundaries, routines and dialogues. This means you don’t speak ill of your ex or be too quick to bring someone new into the picture. Instead, talk with your kids and listen to their concerns. Make a new work schedule so you can be physically present at their school events and or sporting games. Work with them to make new traditions and memories by spending quality time together doing things they enjoy. If all else fails, remember to cut yourself a break from time to time. As long as you are doing the best you can, the rest will fall into place.
Being a single parent is no easy feat, but with a little organization, a support system and some self-care, you can make it work. There will still be good days and bad days, but having a plan will make life a lot smoother. Not only will you feel better but so will