Single parenthood is a rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges.
And whether you’re juggling a job alongside your childcare duties or dedicated to your family full-time, your role is a highly demanding one that leaves little time to focus on your own wants and needs.
For many parents, time spent dedicated to yourself can lead to feelings of guilt. But remember – you can’t run on a flat battery, and as the saying goes, it’s important to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
Leave those negative feelings behind and discover three enriching ways to prioritise yourself as a parent.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Asking for help often makes us feel vulnerable, and sometimes even feels like admitting defeat. It’s as if a little warning voice appears in our head to tell us that asking for help is as good as saying, “I can’t do this.”
But whether it’s asking a friend to watch the kids for an hour, asking your boss for a little flexibility, or admitting that you’re struggling emotionally and need support, getting help takes strength but receiving it will take a huge burden off your shoulders and fortify you in the long run to face bigger challenges and do what you need to do.
2. Learn something new
Discovering a new passion can really affirm our lust for life.
And rather than taking time away from us, as you might expect, it actually helps you to make the most of your time, spending it on activities you truly relish rather than killing an hour here and there in front of the TV.
By finding hobbies that truly refresh your soul, you’re better prepared to face each day with more energy and a dash of optimism.
It can be as simple as learning an instrument or picking up activities like crafts. Or, for the busy parent, remote qualifications from institutions such as ARU Distance Learning offer flexible study from home at your own pace.
Your new passion may be something which boosts your employability, but remember that your learning doesn’t have to be for the sole purpose of furthering your future – do it for the love of it!
3. Take time where you can
As a single parent, most of the time you barely find five minutes to yourself throughout the day
And on those rare occasions where you do see a few moments of quiet, rather than seizing the opportunity to wind down, we instantly find more tasks that need our attention and seldom stop to smell the roses.
It’s great to check tasks off your list when you get the opportunity, but don’t feel bad about using these snatches of time to relax and get some peace and quiet. You’d be surprised what you can achieve in as little as 10-15 minutes, and remember that anything which leaves you better prepared for the day ahead is productive in its own way.
We hope these three tips help you shake off that parental guilt and put yourself first from time to time.