How to cope with a single-parent stress

A survey reveals, nearly 17 million children in the U.S. live in single-parent homes and researchers suggest that it can take up to three years for a family to adjust to this new lifestyle. Raising children is challenging, and at times the stress is overwhelming. However the list of whether, single parent for several weeks or several years is mammoth.

Some informative material useful for both, taking care of the children as well as the parent himself/herself:

–      The challenges: It’s hard to cope with the emotions a single parent and the children have about a divorce or death of a partner.

–      Other challenges one may likely face:

  • Getting back to the work after being a stay-at-home parent
  • Being unable to make ends meet.
  • Having no one to share housework
  • Not having enough time to spend with the child
  • Finding adequate babysitting
  • Not having time to socialize, pursue a new relationship or relax

–      Dealing with finances: An alarming number of single-parent live below the poverty level. Some parents can’t afford health insurance or medication. If individual or family counseling is needed, single parents often lack the money to pay for it. And for some parents, just food and clothes is hard to do.

–      Few suggestions in dealing financial issues:

  • Put up a budget.
  • Look for ways to cut back. E.g. look at how cell phones are used, buy a cheaper plan.
  • Contact your state’s social services department to get information on public assistance in your area.

–      Child care worries: Finding child care is a major headache for a single parent, start by asking friends for references. Visit the day care centers before making the decision. Make sure the day care center has an open-door policy that allows parents to visit at any time.

–      Sharing the responsibilities: Get even the child to help. Assign the work and work together for 15 or 30 minutes to get things in order, this way there is time to relax together without clutter and confusion getting in the way.

–      Take care of health issues: Don’t let health be neglected due to other obligations, make sure to eat right, get enough rest and 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

–      Take care of emotional health too, find time for yourself, even if for a short time to relax with a good book, work on a hobby or unwind by listening to your favorite music.

–      Get support: Reach out to family members and friends who can take the kids off your hands for a while, drop off a meal or can do laundry for you.

–      Reach out to other single parents: Find a support group, to share ideas and thoughts with other parents who have similar problems.

–      Socialize: Find a way to get yourself out of the house and into the presence of grownups when you can.


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