Whether you’re a single parent as a result of divorce, death, never being married, or having a spouse that is always at work or travelling; all single parents face some common struggles. Parenting is a difficult job, even with two parents, so single parenting can be downright challenging. However, there are some ways to reduce the stress of single parenting and make the task less daunting.
1. Get a handle on your finances! Finances are one of the greatest challenges for single parents. Learn how to budget your time and money. Ask for God’s help with your financial planning, He has unlimited resources. “For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.” (Psalm 50:10) Consider taking one of the excellent financial management courses available. Some churches offer them at very nominal cost.
2. Talk to your kids early and often about the special circumstances of your family. Leaving them in the dark about family issues may breed resentment when they discover the truth. Answer your kids’ questions honestly. Assure them of how much they are loved, and let them know that you are there to protect and provide for them.
3. Find support and use it. Get help whenever you can. Most churches and communities have support groups for single parents, so take advantage of the resources God makes available to you. . . “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in the abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14) God provides help in many different ways. Thankfully accept help from family and friends when it is offered. There will be a time when you can reciprocate in some way.
4. Take time for the family. Working, fixing meals, cleaning the house and paying the bills can be overwhelming. Set aside time each day to enjoy your children and develop your relationship with them. Building your relationship with your children is more important that having a spotless house. Be sure to make good use of your time with your kids. That time in the car ferrying them to school and activities may be just the right time to catch up when you have their undivided attention.
5. Take time for yourself. Being a single parent doesn’t mean you don’t have an adult life. You need interaction with other adults to maintain a healthy perspective. Try to spend some time doing the things you love to do. Time is at a premium, but if you don’t take time for