You are now a single father. This feels like the most difficult, uncertain and confusing time of your life. You are the one your children must rely on, and you have to make difficult decisions on your own. You are a little lost, and you are not sure about the challenges that lay ahead. If this sounds familiar, some practical tips can help you to persevere through the challenging times ahead.
Develop A Support Group
Raising children is tough work, and trying to go it alone will increase your stress level. Instead of feeling all alone, find some people you can trust. These individuals can include extended family members, a support group, close friends or a listing of neighborhood babysitters. Knowing you have individuals to turn to when you need someone to watch the children or some parenting advice will make your job, and your life, easier.
Schedule Alone Time
Fathers who raise children alone often commit all of their time to their children and their jobs. They know that their children need attention, and they know that their jobs provide the financial support that their families need. While both of these aspects of life are important, it is equally important to take some time and focus on yourself. Schedule some time into your calendar when you are not accountable for anyone else. Take that time to enjoy a favorite hobby, read a special book, exercise or go out on a date if you are ready. Doing so will make you a more fulfilled individual and a better parent.
When You Are With Your Children, Be With Your Children
Today’s society is filled with electronic gadgets, mobile devices and busy schedules. When you are with your children, turn all of these things off. Make family time special by focusing on your children instead of the Blackberry or iPad. This lets your children know that they are important to you, and it gives them real opportunities to communicate with you. You might learn a lot about how they are feeling during this important family time.
Find Like Minded Individuals
You can gain a lot by spending time with others who are in the same situation, and those individuals can benefit from your insight too. Find a local support group of single fathers through your church, a recreational center or the library. If a local group is not available, or their meeting times are not convenient, look for an online group to join. A support group will provide you with advice, guidance and a place to speak out about your concerns and frustrations.
Identify Your Strengths and Stay Positive
You have many strengths as a parent. You started to develop them when your child was born, and you have continued to develop them throughout your children’s lives. Take time to think about those strengths, and focus on the things that have worked in the past. Many of the strengths that you used when your partner was present will work for you as a single parent. Focusing on your strengths is a great way to feel positive, and a positive outlook will empower you to be a better parent and move on despite the challenges you are facing.
Single fatherhood is not the ideal situation, but it need not be negative. By taking time to seek out help, schedule alone time, spend quality time with your children and identify your strengths, you can become a happier, more productive parent. Doing so will benefit your entire family unit.
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