As a single father, you likely face a multitude of daily challenges. There can be so much pressure on a father to be absolutely everything that children need and want. Of course, we aren’t Superman and we need to recognize our own limitations and where and when we need help. Family Connections offers these five areas to focus on to be the best dad you can be.
Choose Your Lifestyle
Stress can be at the heart of a single father’s life. No matter what, however, it’s important to manage your stress with healthy coping strategies. This starts with building a support network. Whether it’s friends, family, or a group dedicated to being a single father (or even all single parents), you don’t have to carry the stresses alone. Meditation can also potentially help to alleviate any emotional burden you might be carrying. It can help reduce anxiety and depression, while possibly giving you higher energy levels. Exercise is an excellent way to raise energy levels and burn off the strains from your day.
It can be easy to fall into a routine when faced with time-consuming responsibilities, but spending quality time together can help raise the spirits of you and your kids. Financial concerns can be a deterrent to doing unique and fun activities, but they don’t need to be. You can make an adventure out of exploring your neighborhood park or going to the nearest wildlife reserve and having a picnic. If it’s winter, take the kids ice skating or snowshoeing. There are plenty of online lists available to help give you ideas for activities that will go a long way to nurturing a close bond with your children.
When dealing with bad behavior, the difficulty of enforcing rules and instilling good manners can be overlooked in times of stress. So, first of all, create a set of rules that you feel comfortable applying consistently. That can be a key aspect of ensuring your children won’t be confused or try to push boundaries. Never yell, but don’t try to be their friend before being their father. You are their principal authority figure, so try to find opportunities to praise and celebrate your children’s good behavior as a means of rewarding them and encouraging self-esteem.
One of the most ever-present worries in a single father’s life is money. There are worries about making ends meet and giving your children the quality of life that you feel they deserve. While there are no easy solutions, the core priority is to budget for the now, while, if possible, planning for your children’s future. It’s also crucial to recognize that financial issues have an emotional effect. Children can be sensitive to money troubles, so what they need most is reassurance and supportive attention. They need to know that regardless of finances, they are loved and safe.
Get Creative with Income
When your finances are top of mind, a side hustle is a great way to boost your income. You can flex your schedule with your other responsibilities, which is ideal for single parents. Plus you can do whatever you want, whether you decide to sell your signature salsa or tinker with small engines.
Lots of people start side gigs or launch small businesses to help make ends meet, but they don’t always do it the right way. The last thing you want is to get in trouble with Uncle Sam. Make sure you register your LLC in Montana, which is straightforward and inexpensive when you go through an online service. And if you really want to ramp up your business, consider building a website. Using a website builder makes it easy, since most are drag-and-drop. Customers will find you on the web, and the work (and dollars) will start streaming in!
There’s no manual for parenting. If you make a mistake, you don’t need to punish yourself. You’re human, as are your children. There will be rough patches, as there are in every relationship. So long as you keep trying to do what is best for your kids, while learning from the mistakes you do make, you’ll be on the right track to a healthy and fulfilling balance between your role of single father and you as an individual.
Written by Josh Moore
Image courtesy of Pixabay
If you need helping finding childcare or paying for childcare, reach out to Family Connections. We’re dedicated to the development and education of all children, because we think every child deserves a successful future!