Life as a Single Parent

Life as a Single ParentFor whatever reason, you find yourself taking on the roles of being both mom and dad to your child. It can be a challenging position to overtake, especially if you are your only support system. Being a single parent, nonetheless, married and having the support of the other parent, means you must put your needs aside, and put all your efforts towards giving your child the best possible life you can offer them. We are in no way saying spend every penny you have to make them happy, but instead shower them with love and compassion as those are two very important qualities to instill on their cute little brains.

Life is notorious for throwing us curve-balls, and if you find yourself being the only outlet and means to your child’s future, the feeling can be extremely overwhelming. Although your responsibilities may have doubled, and the journey that awaits you will have its bumps, remember that when life gives us a curve-ball there is always a possibility of a grand slam. Today we are going to share some helpful tips to overcome some of the obstacles single parents may face:

Tip #1: “A Bad Attitude Won’t Get You Anyway!”

Being a single parent won’t be easy. It’s a constant emotional roller coaster that will have you at times so exhausted you might not know what to do. Take a breath, count to ten, and know everything is going to be okay! Even though you’re the head of the house and the one making all the decisions just remember that even though you might be alone raising your child, it’s still an awesome experience teaching and watching them grow up. Keeping a good attitude will not only keep you from feeling stressed, but it will also help improve your child’s attitude as well. When they see mommy happy, they will be happy.

A huge helpful hint is to never talk about your ex in a negative manner. A positive attitude is a healthy attitude, and something you should model for your child. If they occasionally bring up the missing parent try and keep it short and simple. Don’t dwell on the past and crush your child’s persona of their parents. Even though it might hurt you, you’re child had nothing to do with the past and whatever decision was made. Talking bad about your ex in front of your child is irresponsible and nothing good will come out of it.

Tip #2: Learn to Multi-task

You’ll become a pro at multitasking in no time. Learning how to make dinner, pack school lunches, and settle a meltdown will be so much easier to tackle in time. The key to this is practice. Learn how to practice patience and find the best ways to handle certain situations, like your child not wanting to eat what you made for breakfast when you have to get ready for work and ironing to get done. Make a schedule and a routine for them to follow daily. This way you’re always prepared and they always know what to expect.

Don’t burn yourself out with a million projects. Get done what you need to get done and then move onto another. Things will be a little difficult at first when your child is a baby and a toddler, but once they get a little older, and can take care of themselves things will get better. A fun thing to do when you have a bunch on your plate, and your child is having a meltdown, is to try and come up with a game to keep them preoccupied. For instance, if you’re folding laundry or making dinner try involving them into the process. Talk about shapes and colors and different foods. This will make things go a little smoother.

Tip #3: Find a Work Schedule that Works for You and Your Family

If you have a family member or friend who is able to pick up your child from daycare, school, sports practices, etc. that’s awesome! But if you’re not so lucky, try talking to your boss about a different work schedule. If you’re able to come in an hour earlier, work on your lunch break, or maybe take some of your work home with you, don’t be afraid to ask. Your child is your main priority and nine times out of ten your boss will understand.

Tip #4: Somethings You Can’t Control

Although you’ve mastered to ease the meltdowns and have finally found a schedule that works for everyone, realize not everything can be controlled with effort. Extra expenses are going to come up when your child is in school and they need field trip forms signed, sports registration payed for, camps, etc. Child support will help with the basic necessities, but much will come from you. Don’t stress yourself out over the little things. Learn to live within your means. Life will be a lot more comfortable and happy that way.

If your ex neglects your child remember it is their loss, not yours! Again, don’t stress over things you cannot change. Giving your child with love and stability is the best thing you can do for them. One day they will recognize your efforts and what is really right in the end.

Tip #5: Be Proud of Yourself!

Last but not least, don’t forget to be proud of all your accomplishments. While it can be a stressful road raising your child all by yourself, trust that you are giving it your all as a parent. Being a single parent isn’t an easy task, and at times you may be the only one there to give yourself a high-five when you’ve mastered a milestone with your child. Be proud when you reach limits you didn’t think possible because you will get there. When you believe you can achieve.

 

 

Celebrating Dad’s Role and Breastfeeding This Father’s Day

Celebrating Dad’s Role and Breastfeeding This Father’s DayFather’s day is this weekend, and we’re sure you’re getting ready for lots of time spent celebrating with your family. Dads are notoriously hard to buy gifts for and rarely ask for any one item in particular. Why not thank your partner this year by detailing all of the specific ways he’s helped you while breastfeeding? Men generally report feeling removed from the breastfeeding schedule moms keep for their babies, and for understandable reasons most of the attention surrounding breastfeeding is attributed to the mom. Let your partner know that he’s a great dad and an essential part of your breastfeeding journey by thanking him for all of the times he’s brought you a snack while you nurse. Or let him know how much his encouragement kept you going when you had trouble getting the perfect latch in the beginning. Your baby’s health, care, and happiness are the most important goals you both share as parents, so let him know that he’s doing a great job keeping your family supported (like your favorite nursing bras!) this year.

Bottle feeding breast milk in the middle of the night, helping you figure out how your new breast pump works, laughing at your favorite television show together while you nurse—these are a few of the ways your partner has shared breastfeeding moments with you and your baby. Celebrate dad’s contributions and let him know how much his attention and care have added to your breastfeeding journey.

Happy Father’s Day to you and your families from all of us at Loving Moments.

Postpartum Depression Felt in New Fathers Too

Postpartum Depression Felt in New Fathers Too Becoming a new parent (especially for the first time) can be a period of rough transition for some moms and there are important signs to watch for if you think you or a loved one is affected by postpartum depression. New fathers are also prone to feeling symptoms of depression too, a new study shows, and can display features of postpartum depression that linger up to five years after the birth of their child.

While raising a baby is a time of immense joy and excitement, it also presents new schedules, responsibilities, and the pressure of learning how to parent on the fly. The study, which was conducted by researchers from Northwest University and appears in Pediatrics magazine, also notes that younger men (around 25 at the time of their child’s birth) experience symptoms of postpartum depression that have a 68% chance of increasing over the next five years. This statistic applies to men who live at home with their partner and child; interestingly, men in the same category who live separately from their partner and child but still parent are less likely to experience depression with the same intensity or longevity.

A new baby changes the environment a couple once knew and coping with those changes, along with parenting expectations, is one way to help combat postpartum depression. Flexible schedules, freedom to go out on a whim, a full night’s sleep—all of those lifestyle features are put on hold when raising a newborn, and this perceived loss of control can be hard for a dad to accept. Keep the lines of communication between you and your partner open and honest as a way to save both of your sanity; admitting that he needs time to himself does not make any dad a lackluster father, so being appreciative of each other’s feelings and congratulate each other on the little things that make you great parents.

If you’re worried about your partner or another new dad you know, seek advice from a doctor or counselor that can recommend what steps you should take to help. Knowing that other new parents feel the same as you or your partner do can help, but sometimes it takes a licensed professional to administer the proper care to help combat postpartum depression.