Photo By: Roshinda Pettit-Soule
One question many have asked is What's the best way you can succeed and not fall victim to stereotypes that say "it can't be done, raising multiple children alone." Society has labeled single parents as being one of the largest groups who put their children at a disadvantage in life.
There are many challenges single parents are faced with. For someone not familiar with the person's circumstances they may feel judged or labeled as not fit to handle all the responsibilities that come with being a single parent.
However, there are variants to everyone's situation. A young woman may have gotten pregnant and want to keep her child, while a married mother may have lost her husband in a terrible accident and is left alone as a single parent. Either way, both women are still able to succeed as career women from different paths of life.
Single parents can also be men as well. Not every day do people realize men struggle just like women. Men can also go through upset and downs of having a wife and the circumstances change where they are left providing by themselves for their children. Back in the days, men were supposed to be the sole provider and the woman would stay at home to take care of the house and family. Now it's a working world were everyone has to do what best for their children when only one parent is involved.
Here are five steps on how to thrive as a single parent with multiple children.
1. Have a good support system setup
Having a good support system setup may be hard for many people because some single parents do not have anyone they can turn to for help. While others can rely on parents, siblings, and friends to help care for their little one when personal business arises or they need to go out.
There are also financial things that need to be put in place as well. Taking care of one child is hard enough, but having multiple children can bring hardship to someone just getting by. Every state has different services available to help single parents if they need assistance. Counselors and social workers are also helpful if you're not sure how to go about seeking the right programs for you and your children.
2. Make sure you are in control of your life
Have control over how you want to live your life with your children!
One of the first steps you should make is to set short and long terms goals. Have a plan for your future, and where you want to go. Plan accordingly, where you're not stressing yourself out. This situation already can be overwhelming when you're working on school or a career.
Don't feel like it's the end of the world, you can still make progress with everything going on around you without having to stop everything cold turkey. Having control over what you do, establishes boundaries for you and your children. Know what you want to do and how you want to spend that time with them. Explore daycare, if that is an option for you. Some daycares have after-school programs while you are in school or working.
3. Have your rights in place
When you are a single parent, make sure your children are protected. At times you may have to go to court for custody procedures. Getting a lawyer can be expensive if you are already struggling. If you're entitled to receive child support or alimony you want to have that in place so your children are provided for.
4. Don't take your frustrations out on your children
If you start to feel overhelmed get help immediately!
Having one child or multiple children can become too much for anyone. Don't get overwhelmed and take your frustrations out on your children. No matter what age your child is they feel and see what you may be going through. Take time to get help when it's available to you. Allow someone you trust to assist you. Reach out to a counselor, family member, or friend who can give you advice. Try not to let situations get to a point you are hurting yourself or your children. There are many online resources you can search for when you're feeling helpless.
5. Take steps to treat yourself
Make time for yourself, even if it's going to the park or meditating for an hour. You deserve to have some time where you have a moment to clear your head. Try a spa day, anything to just have a moment. If you aren't able to get some alone time you can also have a great day at the park with your children. Anything to make the day pleasing for everyone.
Thriving As A Single Parent With Multiple Children
Isn't easy nor does anyone expect you to be a superhero! The goal is to have a plan in place with someone you can rely on. The struggles of everyday life are real and can be hard for anyone raising more than one child on their own. There are many solutions available to help you get over the hump and still have a life. Try some of these steps hopefully in the end you'll feel less stressed and overwhelmed!