|Being a Successful Working Single Parent|
Being a working parent can be a challenge for any mother and perhaps even more so when that mother is a single parent. Many of the challenges are similar; finding good child care, dealing with the guilt of being separated from your child and feeling torn in several directions at once can all be common experiences.
I am now in the position to see this situation from both sides, having recently separated. While I am lucky enough to have a career that allows for working around my daughter's schedule, there are still many challenges to face that I had never expected. First and worst of all has to be the tiredness. Not just regular 'wish I could put my feet up for ten minutes' type tiredness either - more a type of 'fall asleep as soon as you allow yourself to be motionless for longer than a few seconds' tiredness.
Solo parenting is always difficult. There is no-one to share the responsibilities of day to day living, no-one to help make decisions and to bear part of the responsibility for mistakes. I must confess that having someone else to be responsible for at least part of the discipline would be nice too, or even to be able to have a few hours away alone.
All of those problems are magnified when you also have a career to consider. It is one situation where you really do need the support of friends and family, people around you willing to share the burden, but also the joys. Having someone to share your pride is just as important as having a shoulder to cry on.
For all the stress and worry, there are some amazing rewards to be had. The feeling of independence and of looking at your child and knowing that you are providing for them by yourself and doing a pretty good job of it too.
Prioritise. You need to know what is important to you and be prepared to put up a fight for it. Don't feel guilty that you can't make the netball game this time, or the meeting tomorrow. Realize that you need to be with your child sometimes but that your job is what puts food on your child's plate. You can't let yourself feel guilty for doing what you must.
Instead of spreading yourself too thin and trying to do everything at once, decide which things are really important and concentrate on doing those things well.
Plan. Be prepared for good old Murphy's Law. What can go wrong will go wrong and how will you cope when it does? Be sure you know whom you can turn to for help at those times.
Make sure you can depend on your child-care provider. This is probably one of the most important aspects of being successful in a career when you are a single parent. Without childcare, you are unable to achieve anything. You need to feel confident in yourself that your children are happy and being well cared for when they are not with you.
Don't sweat the small stuff. You have a lot on your plate, don't beat yourself up over the little failures, and try instead to see the amazing successes and appreciate them. See the little successes in day to day life. If the bathtub has a ring around it, but your child has a smile on their face, then you have succeeded.
Join a support group, or perhaps participate in your local church. You need all the support you can get.
Make time for you. Let your hair down once in a while and have some fun. Spoil and treat yourself occasionally, you are important too.
Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.
|< Prev||Next >|