Tips for Single Parent Sanity!
Most single parents throughout the world juggle with their finances. Some people can do it easily, come can’t. Research shows it’s a personality trait. Budgeting and strategies will make it work for you First assign the money to fixed costs, that’s the ones that don’t change eg rent, mortgages, rates. Next your flexible costs eg. food, clothing, telephone. Analyse and then determine any savings you could make or you might want to spend elsewhere.
After 14 years of single parenting, a take-away meal is still a special treat in my family. Exhausted or home late with the children, a tin of baked beans, boiled eggs, a pie, or a frozen meal I’d previously prepared was often served for dinner. Cheaper than take-aways, the money saved was spent elsewhere.
Also, decide what’s a treat for you. This is important because effective single parenting will be easier if you have some money for yourself, for a night out a bottle of wine or a bunch of flowers for yourself. My goal was to ensure I had enough money for petrol for my car (old that it was) so I could leave the four walls of my home and visit people.
New clothes and furniture, was not in my budget, but second hand or re-cycled stores, friends and family were always a constant source.
It’s important for single parents, to look after ourselves. There’s no-one to support us when we’re tired. We need to learn to do it for ourselves and when it fits our daily routine. Fatigue and burnout are the result if we don’t.
From an early age – my children were taught to cook. Often that became one task off my daily list. Cleaning up was often a challenge. However meals improved, from burnt toast with baked beans, to hamburgers. I’ve also had roast dinners where the bird took on the characters of the latest book by my comedian daughter and flew
around the kitchen, with the appropriate squawking, before finally making it into the oven. It still tasted the same!
Sometimes we think it’s easier to do it ourselves, but if we don’t teach our children, they’ll never learn.
Teaching our children respect for themselves but also for you is important. This means they need to learn about ‘time out’ for you. While you rest for ten or fifteen minutes, they need to be taught to take care of themselves, play or read and not bother you, unless an emergency. A lie on the bed, sitting in the sun, a luxurious bath (with a
few drops of oil and flowers from the garden floating in the warm water) or turning television at a time that suited me, still works for me.
If your self-esteem is low (as mine was) you need to learn it’s not being selfish but important for you on your journey to self-love and needs to be high on you priority list.
The challenges we face as single parents are solvable. Opening your mind to a new way of thinking helps you make new decisions. It takes 21 days to change a habit. Be gentle on yourself changes don’t happen overnight. Set yourself ‘intentions’ or goals to make change, keep them small so they’re achievable, one at a time is better
than none at all.
Most importantly…remember what decision you made at a particular second of the day and your life, was the best decision you were capable of making at that moment. Don’t bash yourself up if you made an unwise decision…the trick it to learn from it and ensure you don’t do it again in your life.
Being single parent savvy and keeping your sanity is a huge task..There’s no one to support or back you up at times……but remember somewhere, somehow you’ll find the inner strength, so pat yourself on the back for doing so! Keep your rewards within your budget and reward yourself as often as you feel is necessary. It’s your self-esteem and respect for yourself you need to keep in tact. Do whatever you need to do that. Nobody will do it for you, except yourself. You owe it to you!
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