Single Parent Success
Toni and her daughters
Are you wondering how to be a successful single parent? The first question is how do you define success? Having happy kids? Being happy yourself? Being able to pay your bills? Having a good career? Remarrying?
Having a clear definition of success is extremely important, because otherwise we’re just going through the motions . . . paying our bills, changing diapers, cleaning, working, helping our moms, going out to dinner. . . . You can begin to feel like a robot — and we all feel that way sometimes— but what is it that you really want?
Being a single parent is similar to a wheelbarrow. One parent represents the tiny wheel holding a lot of weight on top and wobbling around like crazy. Paying the household bills with one income is hard for both parents and trying to juggle kids with only two hands is impossible at times. So how do we do it and can we be successful? Here are a few ideas that have helped me:
- Define success. Take five minutes right now to write down what you want your life to look like.
- Ask for help. It takes a village to raise children, and you’re being selfish if you think that your child needs only you. Your child needs a variety of support, ideas and encouragement, and you're delusional if you think you can do it all. If you’re telling me that you do not have any help — stop! You're just giving me an excuse. Make friends who will help you, go to a church or find a way to afford babysitting a few hours here and there.
- Stop being a victim. Let’s be real. It’s understandable that you’re angry, but you’re the one in charge of your life. You may have anger at your ex, but the real anger is because you are not happy with where your life is right now and your ex is an easy target. Believe me, I've been there!
- Practice gratitude. Maybe your life is not where you wanted it to be when you dreamed of growing up and having a cute little family with a picket fence. But drowning in your sorrow is not going to move you forward. Write down 10 things every day that are great in your life. Remember, it could always be worse!
Toni Langdon is a single mom of two daughters living in Chester County, PA. Toni is a nonstop mom juggling work, parenting and life. She brings a unique perspective while having a black belt in martial arts, a love for fashion and a passion for giving back. This post is adapted from her blog Tickles and Time Outs.