Being a single parent is tough: you don’t have a partner to turn to to help you make the difficult decisions; you feel guilty if you don’t spend every waking hour with your children; and trying to juggle all the different responsibilities which come with being a parent can seem downright impossible at times. It’s perfectly normal to feel stressed out when you are having to balance all of these different aspects of your life, but it’s also important to try and find ways to keep your stress to a minimum, and the best way you can do that is to introduce a little more organization into your life. Therefore, in order to help you do that, here are a few top tips on managing your life as a single parent.

Put together a support network

Raising children is never straightforward, and every day brings about a new test; after all, you are responsible for the health and wellbeing of another person who is entirely dependent on you, so naturally that’s going to come with a whole heap of challenges. Getting through parenting alone is difficult, tiring and sometimes isolating, so it is important to make sure that you have strong support network around you. This could be comprised of anyone from family and friends, to other parents and even co-workers who you know you can depend on. Reach out to those around you in your time of need, whether it’s just to vent about something which is causing you stress, or whether you just need to have some social time, or even ask someone to look after your kids so that you can have a little time to yourself. Trying to juggle everything on your own is just going to damage your health, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Keep on top of your finances

Money is a big cause of stress for most people as, while it might not be the most important thing in the world, it is needed in order to provide a comfortable and secure way of life for you and your family. As a single parent, you don’t have anyone else to depend on when it comes to securing your financial future, so it is important to take the bull by the horns and tackle any monetary issues head-on, rather than avoiding them.

Firstly, make sure to look at your current incomings and outgoings, and look at exactly where you are spending all of your money. This will help you to identify any areas where you might be spending too much money, such as on groceries or on takeaway coffee. Then you can start to create a detailed budget which outlines how much money you have to spend on certain things, such as bills, food and toys for your kids. This will also enable you to put aside some money each month for emergencies, such as dealing with unexpected expenses. There are lots of ways you can cut back on your spending too, such as by using ULTA coupon to save money on a range of different purchases.

Create schedules and stick to a routine

Routine is really important for keeping your mind and day organized, and also for making life easier for your children. Creating a detailed schedule requires you to think about every aspect of daily life, from meal planning to scheduling the morning routine, setting times for homework and family time, and finally having a set bedtime for each of your kids each night so that they (and you) can get enough sleep. Stress often is a product of chaos, so getting some organization into your life should help you to relieve some of the stress. It is also important to plan for any eventuality, as unexpected and unwanted surprises can pop up every moment. For example, it may be worth carrying around an emergency survival kit in your car in case you break down somewhere.

Have quality time with your kids

Daily life requires a lot of time and energy, from doing work and looking after the chores around the house, to taking the kids to school and participating in events. Therefore, it can often seem like there is no time in the day to breathe, let alone spend quality time with your children; but nonetheless it is really important that you make the time to do so. Children learn a lot about the world from their parents, which is why bringing up emotionally and socially well-balanced children requires you to spend some quality time with them to teach them the life skills they need. You don’t have to do anything particularly strenuous, the most important thing is to just be together, talking and having fun. For example, try and find 30 minutes each day to sit down and converse with your kids: sitting down together at dinner time provides the perfect moment for this. Make this a regular occurrence.

Prioritize your own health and wellbeing

Not only is it important to make time to build a strong relationship with your children, but it is also vital that you make quality time for yourself as well. When you are at your happiest and healthiest, you will have more energy to give back to your children compared to if you are feeling tired and run down all of the time. Take at least a few minutes each day to ground yourself and focus on your own health and wellbeing. This might mean taking a 20-minute nap during the day to recharge and unwind, or it could simply mean making sure that you eat well and stay hydrated so that your body can function well and keep up with all of the demanding tasks in your life. If you can continue to make more time for yourself, eventually you will start to notice the positive effect this has on your energy levels, mood and ability to be more productive.