Single parenting can be challenging. You were in a committed relationship that you hoped would last a lifetime, but for whatever reason the dynamics are no longer the same. Whether your partner has passed away or you’ve decided to part ways, making the adjustment from a two parent household to one is difficult for you and your children. Reducing the stress, taking care of your health, and ultimately being the foundation your kids need is the only way to get through it.
Chronic Stress = Deteriorating Health and/or Addiction
As moms, we tend to wear the superwoman cape at all times. We don’t want to allow our children to see us feeling “less than ourselves”. However, as human beings, we are ultimately grieving the loss of a relationship – and this takes time. Allowing stress to pile up without resolve can lead to chronic levels of stress. Chronic stress can ultimately lead to deteriorating health including body aches, pains, lack of focus, and more.
Many women try to cope by masking the pain with a drink of wine here and there. Unfortunately, this can lead to dependency on alcohol to cope which can quickly start a vicious cycle of addiction. If you’ve reached the point that you’re relying on substances to make it through those rough days it is important that you seek rehab for women. They can assist you in detoxing and also give you key tools that will be monumental in helping you to get past this loss and back to being the rock your kids need you to be.
Minimizing Stress Before it Takes Over
So now that you know the extremities of where stress can lead, let’s look at some ways that you can minimize the stress in your life so that you can heal from the loss of a relationship and rebuild a foundation that your kids can depend on:
- Get Professional Help – Even if you haven’t reached the point of dependency or addiction too much stress can make being a mother a lot harder. It is beneficial to seek professional help from the likes of a therapist who specializes in family therapy. They can not only help you cope with the changes to your family dynamics but can also give you tools to help the children as well.
- Get Support – Trust that you are not the only mother who has been left with the responsibility to raise her children alone (and unfortunately you won’t be the last). It is important that you seek the support of others to get you through some of the trying times you’ll have as a newly single parent. They have support groups in local communities as well as online that you can draw inspiration from as well as get advice.
- Rely on Your Village – Your “village” as I like to call it would be friends, family members, and other supporters that are willing to pitch in and help you raise the children. Reach out to them and let them know when and how you’ll need their help. Whether it’s keeping the kids for a while as you deal with your emotions or helping with school activities and transportation, sometimes asking is all you have to do to get the help you need.
- Talk to Your Kids Early Only – as difficult as it may be to explain to your children the changes in family dynamics it is imperative that they hear it from you. Your children will also grieve the loss and may even begin to think that it’s their fault. Therefore, talking to them and reassuring them that you and their other parent love them just the same is important for the healing.
- Stay Positive – If the relationship ended badly or your partner has passed away it can be pretty easy to get caught up in the negative or emotional side of things. For your mental sanity and the sake of your children, it is important to try and focus on the positive.
- Take Care of You – This point can’t be stressed enough. You are no good to your children if you don’t first take care of yourself. Make sure that you’re making healthier lifestyle choices such as getting enough food each day, exercising, and lastly get enough rest.
- Talk to Someone About Your Finances – Aside from adjusting schedules and helping your kids to cope with the changes, finances will likely be one of the biggest stressors of being a single parent. Talk with a financial advisor about your finances to determine how you can ultimately raise your kids on a single income.
There are very few people that “sign up” to become single parents. The change in family dynamics can really take a toll on you and your children. While you might be used to sweeping things under the rug and rolling with the punches, taking on too much emotional stress can lead to a decrease in your health and ultimately the impaired healing of your children. Try as best you can to minimize the stress with these tips above and one day at a time you’ll start to adjust to the new normal.