The Parental Panic – 6 Ways to Reduce Stress as a Single Parent



This may sound like fake news – tips to reduce stress as a single parent might appear to be contradictory or an anomaly but there are ways in which you can help ease the stress levels and smooth the waters while you sail through parenthood on your small raft for one. Sometimes, or perhaps more than you would like, it can all seem too much; here are a few things you can try to ease the stress and focus on the joys of parenting.


Give Yourself Room To Be Your Own Person


Raising a child is hard, and finding the time and money to do it right can be difficult and stressful for a single parent. It’s important that you remember that you are still your own person. You’re not just a mum or dad, but you have your own identity and needs. As such, you should be making time, at least once a week for yourself to go out and be you.


Whether that’s to go out on a date or catch friends for a drink, or to just take yourself out to an art gallery or movie. Give yourself that time, contact a nanny agency in Melbourne, or find a relative that can help out at least one day or night a week to give you some space to be you.


Establish a Routine


Having a set routine that determines what is happening when each day is a good way to ease the stress of figuring everything out on the run. Having set meals for each night is also a good way to shop in a cost-effective manner and give you one less decision to worry about each night.


This doesn’t have to be boring and the same every week, but setting out a meal plan before you do your groceries is a great way to ease the stress of the night time sprint from getting home to getting your child to bed.


Enforce Rules


Similarly to establishing a routine, remaining consistent with rules and discipline is beneficial to you and your child. Sometimes you might not have the energy to argue, but remaining consistent with rules on snacks, bedtimes, screen time and everything else all go a long way to giving your child stability – which will make them happier and easier to deal with.


If you are divorced or separated, then work with your partner to establish consistent rules. Your child shouldn’t have two sets of rules and regulations to live by, it’s confusing for them and creates more stress for everyone. We all like knowing where we stand.


Remember They Are Your Child


Sometimes when single parents are alone and doing it tough, they can fall into the trap of becoming emotionally reliant on their child for support, companionship or sympathy. Generally speaking, children don’t have the capacity to act as a substitute adult, and besides, you have to allow your child to be a kid.


Don’t burden them with this at their young age, allow them to have fun and play and see the world as the beautiful, magical place that it can be.


Make Time To Be Present With Your Child


There may be a million chores to do, food to prepare, bills to pay and everything else that goes with being a single parent, but it’s essential that you still take the time out to just be present with your child and enjoy each other’s company.


Leave that load of washing for later, and go out for a walk, or talk to each other while listening to music, draw and paint; whatever it is that you enjoy doing together, take the time to do that and to be completely present and in the moment with them.


Welcome Each Day


Find a way to make a positive start to each day.

Whether that’s by going for an early jog followed by a cold shower, or waking up and putting some music on while you prepare a nice breakfast; start each day with a smile on your face and bounce in your step.


Try not to get in the habit of rolling out of bed at the last minute to throw on clothes and rush out the door. That is a horrible start to the day and that mood will carry you through until you finally get some time to yourself at night. Set the alarm earlier, get up and welcome the day.


Take the time to look after yourself. There’s no point working yourself into a frenzy and becoming a walking ball of stress. Of course it’s difficult, but rather than focusing on what you’re lacking or what problems you have, try counting your blessings each day – starting with your child.


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I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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