Single Parent Problems
Parenting itself is a task if done in the effective manner. And that to Single Parenting is tougher for both the mother or the father. Everything needs to be done alone, starting from handling school, child care, finances, travelling for work, emergencies, etc etc and the list goes on.
Who is the unsung hero who said parenthood is the toughest job you'll ever love? Truer words were never spoken, but ask any single parent and they'll tell you how tough it is to raise a child.
You may be raising kids in an single-parent environment, here are seven child care problems and ideas for solving them.
· Maintaining a Work-Life Balance As a single parent, you know how precious your employment (and salary) is. Different companies have different cultures; some allow for more flexibility and others demand a set schedule. Recognizing what will fly at your company and the behavior that will cost you a promotion gives you the framework for creating a support system to keep your child safe while you're at your desk.
Monday to Friday ie, Week-days child care may include a day care center, nanny, maids, babysitter or combination. Many parents find themselves in a difficult situation to fill the gap between the end of the school day and the workday. If school finishes at 3pm and office finishes at 5pm,it is difficult to will this gap.
Here what can be done-
· If you have school-aged children, find out if your child’s school offers transportation to your daycare center / after school study center where they can stay till the time you pick them up after office.
· Do your best to maintain a set routine for the work week, so your child knows what to expect and can count on a solid, comforting routine that includes homework time for them and time together with you, even if it's only for a bedtime story.
· Dealing with Emergencies Emergencies always come unexpected so a certain level of backup is needed. Who hasn't received that dreaded call from the school nurse about a child's spiking fever or an injured leg. It happens with kids.
Here is what can be done-
· Schedule a time to speak with your HR department or boss about any probable situations that may crop up which require you to make a speedy exit. Let them know your job is important and ask if this will affect your standing at work.
· Make suggestions for systems you can put in place ahead of time so your workload doesn't suffer and your boss feels taken care of, too.
· It's also a good idea to have the phone numbers of several people on hand that can pick your child up in case of an emergency.
· Make sure the school has a list of emergency numbers with their names on their file / document so that someone can reach at the earliest.
· Traveling for Business Even if your job does not include the need for frequent travel, professional conferences or staff retreats may come up, requiring overnight stays. Having a plan in place can help to alleviate both your and your child's anxiety.
Here is what can be planned-
· If the trip is during the week, try to arrange for overnight care in your own home so your child's routine isn't disrupted.
· If you have a family member who can stay with your child, this can be a great bonding opportunity.
· Another option is to arrange a sleepover for your child at a classmate's home, offering reciprocal childcare at another time. Always make the child mentally prepared for the upcoming situation. It can be like a surprise but not as a shock.
Before you leave, make some time to speak with your child. While away try to catch a conversation via telephone or Skype. Small children will also enjoy the opportunity to learn about the place you have traveled to. Bring back a souvenir that makes them feel a part of your experience.
· Changing Plans You're getting ready to leave for work. But, just as you're reaching for your PowerPoint presentation for an important meeting, your nanny calls and says she is sick. For a single parent, a sick child is bad enough, but a sick nanny can be even worse. That's why it's incredibly important that you set up your backup care plan, so you aren't caught is these unavoidable situations.
Here is what you can do –
· Some employers reimburse for Childcare partially or fully and have corporate tie ups with various good Daycares also. Check with your HR department to see if your company offers any kind of child care.
· Also, consider looking into services where immediately they can provide Childcare Nannies. They will be little expensive but it is worth when you're really in a pinch.
· It's also a good idea to identify one or two neighbors who have flexible schedules and can either pinch-hit for the entire day, or who can stay with your child until the backup care provider arrives. If you do rely upon friends or neighbors in emergencies, make sure you reciprocate with a favor or show your appreciation with a home-cooked meal or baked treat.
· Getting Personal Time "Single parents tend to be helicopter parents because we feel guilty." At times they cannot provide quality time to their child / children. Single Parents think, “We tend to take care of everything, to make up for our family structure, rather than finding balance.”
Between caring for the kids, house and job, this type of behavior will have you burnt out without a second to yourself during the busy work week with no time left to recharge. You need ---- and deserve ---- a break, even if it's only for 30 minutes a day. If your child is old enough to understand, let them know your body and mind needs a bit of rest from time to time.
Here is what can be done-
· Soak in a tub for 15 minutes after the kids go to sleep. It gives a deep relaxation.
· Read quietly while they do their homework or play in another room.
· If they're still very small, carve out some quiet weeknight moments for yourself after they're asleep.
This is not an indulgence, but a necessity. The more refreshed and relaxed you are, the better your household and work front will run.
· Finding Child Care for a Night Out You probably look forward to downtime with your children on the weekends, but building in some free time for yourself should also be part of the equation, at least on occasion. If you're planning a date night, reach out to friends and schedule reciprocal sleepovers. This is a win-win situation and a cost-savings, too.
· Paying for Child Care It's no secret that child care can become pricey over time and, if you're living off of one paycheck, the costs are more draining. Your child's safety must always be your first concern, so skimping on quality care isn't an option.
You may be worried about overstaying your welcome and asking for help from family and friends too often. If that is the case, create a quid pro quo arrangement with the people in your life, so you are lending them a hand as well as enjoying their support. Reciprocal child care and nanny sharing are also great options. Find out about sliding scales, payment plans and scholarship programs to the local day care center or nonprofit study center.
For single parents, life can sometimes feel like one big juggle, but don't lose sight of the fact that you're a family and in it together. It may not always be easy, but with planning and support, you just might find yourself sailing through your days with laughter, ease and more joy than you thought possible.
The two of you are also family. Share age appropriate stuff with your child, teach them to be helpful. Every night at dinner table, talk about the day. This enhances the bonding.
These were a few problems and solutions discussed in this blog. Hope this turns out to be helpful.