Hacks Every Single Parent Will Want To Know

Lex Gabrielle
single mom
Unsplash | Omar Lopez

Being a single parent is a lot of hard work. You are not only parenting and raising a child, but you're doing it alone most days and you don't have a partner to fall back on and lean on when times get hard. Many single parents are the "lead parent" who has the kids the majority of the time, while their partner—if in the picture—sees them on weekends and some nights.

Most single parents not only are responsible for their children but also work full-time jobs to make ends meet. Being a single parent can be really stressful, so try out these tips.

Pick up extra work while kids are away.

Unsplash | Andrew Neel

If your kids are spending the weekend with their other parent, consider overtime. You may not have as much time to work and make money while you have to care for your kids, but if they are with someone else and they are safe and taken care of, use that time to make ends meet.

Or, use that time for you.

self care
Unsplash | Maddi Bazzocco

Or, if you already have enough hours on the clock, you can use the time they are with their other parent for "you time." Do some self-care. Watch the TV show you have been talking about binge-watching for months. Order in your favorite take-out dinner. Or, you know, make a huge brownie sundae knowing you won't have to share it.

Make bulk dinners so the week is mapped out.

Unsplash | Alyson McPhee

Making dinner every night for a working and single parent can be incredibly tiring. But, if you make a big meal at the beginning of the week, you have a few nights of leftovers for you and your kids. Meals like chili, lasagne, meatballs, or chicken cutlets can go a long way and can be warmed up multiple days in a row.

Make a schedule.

Unsplash | Eric Rothermel

Getting a big whiteboard calendar and mapping out months/weeks at a time can be super helpful to single parents who are stressed or overwhelmed. Map out what activities you have on the schedule for the week and that way you can always look back and reference it.

Don't trade in the important things for less important things.

Unsplash | Jessica Rockowitz

Don't make your life harder than it has to be. You may think making your house spotless and clean is the most important thing in the entire world—but, if you have a few extra moments in your morning or your day, you shouldn't spend it cleaning, spend it with your kids.

Invest in a good-quality babysitter.

Unsplash | Alex Pasarelu

Most single moms never get time to go out with friends and do things without their kids because they don't have someone to watch their little ones at home. But, if you find a babysitter that you love, trust, and your kids adore, it'll make your life that much easier.

Don't bad mouth your ex in front of your kids.

Unsplash | Marisa Howenstine

If your child has a relationship with their other parent still, it's in your best interest to not talk badly about them in front of your kid. At the end of the day, your problems with your ex are your problems with your ex, and they shouldn't be your kid's problem.

Don't spoil your kids because you feel guilty.

Unsplash | Chris Hardy

Going through a divorce or being a single parent can feel like your child has a "different" life than their friends who may have two parents. Sometimes, you feel guilty that your kid doesn't have that nuclear family like everyone else. But, the last thing you want to do is overcompensate by spoiling your child with gifts and material things because you feel bad.

Find a support group.

Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

You are by far not the first single parent or the last single parent in the world. Find other single parents that you can relate to and also that can help you. When you feel extra stressed, your friends who are not single parents may not understand. Having like-minded people in your corner can help.

Give your kids chores to help.

Unsplash | Christelle Hayek

Cleaning up and taking care of the household seems very hard at times when you are a one-parent household. Having your kids take on some responsibility around the house is the best way to combat this feeling. Give your kids a list of chores so that you are not the only one who is cleaning up constantly.

Let other people help.

Unsplash | Johnny Cohen

Asking for help may feel like you're failing, but it's not. Family and friends who want to help out do it because they care and also because they want time with their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends. If your mother or father wants to do drop off, let them. If your sister wants to come to hang out, let her.

Use technology to your advantage.

Unsplash | Patricia Prudente

Some parents say "no" to movies and screen time, but sometimes these can be your best friend when you truly need them. If you need to get a quick shower in, or even empty the dishwasher and want some peace and quiet, let your kids watch a movie while you do it or even let them get some iPad time in so you can be hands-free for a few.

Create routines.

single mom
Unsplash | Paul Hanaoka

Having routines in place will make your life easier and will also make your kids' lives easier. Have a routine for getting ready for school where clothes are laid out, lunch is made, and kids are able to grab and go for breakfast. Make routines for homework, or for before bed—whatever the case may be. If your kids know how things go, the less you are needed.

Stop trying to be perfect.

Unsplash | Hollie Santos

When you go on social media, it seems like every parent you see has it all together and their life is "perfect." But, remember, no one is a perfect parent. We are all learning and trying our best to get through the day-to-day. Stop trying to achieve "perfection," because it really doesn't exist.