This is a partnered post.
Parenting is hard work, there’s no denying that. Even with two of you sharing childcare, you’re pretty much run ragged for the first few years of your child’s life. When it’s just you on your own, things can get even trickier, and if you’re a single parent (or your partner works away a lot), you might wonder how exactly you will cope. But don’t panic- it’s perfectly possible to do things by yourself, be an awesome parent, and raise an even more awesome kid. Here are a few things to consider to help things run as smoothly as possible.
Something all parents should aim to be is organized. Not only are you running your own life, but your child’s too. No one is expecting your house to look like a show home because it’s just not realistic. But you should know where all of your family’s important documents are, appointments should be carefully recorded and your house should be tidy enough that it’s easy to keep on top of. Invest in a good home filing system, so your medical documents, passports, and birth certificates are all in one place. You could hang a large calendar on the wall, and have a color coding system to allow you to see what’s going on at a glance. Each family member could have a different color, or you could do medical appointments in one color, bills, and finance in another, personal meets and appointments in another, etc. When it comes to housework, after running around after a baby or young child all day, it’s probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you do a little each evening- ten or fifteen minutes- you keep it at a good level and don’t have to spend hours and hours at the weekends.
Make Travel Easier
Parenting while you’re in the safety of your own home is one thing, but it’s a whole other ballgame when it comes to going out! To make life easier for yourself, pack up a bag with everything you think you will need so you’re not caught short. You could invest in a click and connect travel system like the Graco Aire 3, these can be popped off and used as a pram or as a car seat. It saves you from fiddling around and makes everything quicker and easier. Ideal if you’re on your own.
As parents, we feel as though we should be doing it all. However, everyone needs a break from time to time. Especially if you’re parenting on your own, having some time to yourself every now and again will do you the world of good. If a friend or family member offers to babysit, don’t be afraid to take them up on the offer! Even if it’s just for a few hours, it gives you some peaceful time to have a bubble bath and just relax. If you’ve separated from your child’s mother/ father and they offer financial support, don’t be too proud to accept it. It’s money that can be used for your child making things that bit easier for you. Even if a loved one offers to run an errand for you if you’re run off your feet take them up on it. If they’ve had children themselves, they will understand how hard it is for you, and will be more than happy to help.