Life as a Single Parent

Single parenting. Why it’s important to take care of yourself… for kids’ sake!

Although being a single parent isn’t the taboo it was generations ago, the job of raising kids on your own is still a tough one. After all, it’s single parents who must carry out all of the parenting roles… from provider to nurturer and all else in between. And that leaves little time for a social life. Yet, according to family life instructor Jodi Pemberton, there is no one who more needs a network of family and friends than the single parent. “It’s easy for a single parent to get themselves into a bubble,” explains Pemberton. “Between work and quality time with the kids, a single parent has little time left to go out with friends, so they don’t network and get the support system that they need.” Pemberton adds that “single parent families are family units within themselves. So getting out there and being with other families is absolutely crucial.”

Jodi Pemberton suggests that another secret to successful single parenting is rewarding yourself for devotion to the task. “Try to reward yourself everyday. Do something good for yourself, like a long hot bath, a chocolate or 10 minutes of meditation. Rewarding yourself is very important.”

As well as taking care of yourself, single parents need to take good care of their limited finances. Senior tax manager Cynthia Santin says single parents often have quite a financial burden to contend with but that with diligence, life on one income can be managed successfully. “I think as a single parent there is potential for living comfortably, but you’re going to have to have extremely good control over your financial situation. You’re going to have to make a financial plan and budget, and compare your actual expenditures to your budget. You’re going to have to maximize all the tax deductions available and look to any government assistance you can receive,” suggests Santin.

And Santin’s final word of financial caution for the single parent is simple but true for any type of family unit! “If you have credit cards, manage them very carefully.”

Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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