Disclaimer: I was not compensated monetarily nor was I provided with any free product in return for my thoughts and opinions in this blog entry. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.
It has not been long since I labelled myself a single parent. After struggling to make sure that the girls’ schooling are not interrupted, their daily lives goes as planned and that they do not face unnecessary and cruel remarks from friends and foes on their status of being children of a “broken’ home, I am just starting to learn to take care of myself.
I find this ‘taking care of myself’ critical in being a single caregiver for three daughters.
A single parent does not have a partner. There is usually no other person who are involved in your daily life and who are looking out for your health and well-being. For what is lacking, who else it there to do this but yours sincerely.
I learned it hard, and learned it fast that I should not take in too much or I will face a burn out. My daughters are still children; they do not have the experience to see things as it and tell me, “mom, take it easy will ya?” My friends and my family are not in my daily life to tell me to stop, put that down and go take your much needed nap.
So this is dedicated to all single parents, all mothers, all fathers, and all caregivers who need to take better care of themselves before they can take better care of others.
Set A Limit For Yourself
You are only human. Know your limits. Identify it or any warning sign that clearly indicates that you need to stop, take a breather or change the situation you are in. For me, it is when I start getting annoyed over simple things or I find myself raising my voice over trivial issues the girls may raised. I am learning to recognise this feeling and am consciously aware of the need to stop, breath and tell myself to re-start when I feel it coming.
Ask for help whenever you can. Ask families. Ask friends. Heck! Even ask a stranger if you find yourself struggling with child and bags of groceries. Also, don’t wait to be offered help. Because it will never come. Ask for help.
Do Your Own Thing, Not What Everyone Else Is Doing
Don’t bother to be like the Joneses. Stop caring about others think. So what if your child wears old sneakers? So what if your eldest wears last season’s fashion? What’s important is that you and your child is happy with your life. Happy with how things are done at home. Happy that you are both happy. And that happiness can only be achieved if you stop listening to outside voices and listen to your own.
Don’t neglect your health
With taking care of 3 girls, one of whom is a special needs child, it is easy to put my own health as less important. But in reality, my health is primary. Should something happen to me, who will care for them? So now I try to eat well, get enough rest and sleep, and slot in an exercise routine or two every other day. In a single parent household, being emotionally and physically healthy is the best investment.
Put Your Dreams On A Shelf, But Look At It Every Now And Then
You matter. The children are important too but nothing is more important than a parent who shows to the children how to be a worldly person. Make time for hobbies. Spend money on yourself when you have a little extra. Go on a small vacation. Remember your dream of visiting the Maldives? Hang on to it. Look at it occasionally, but never let it go. Someday, trust me, you will find yourself going there.