Single Parents: Find Some Time for Yourself

I spend a lot of time alone with my daughter because my husband is so busy. I quite often think about how grateful I am when he’s home and I can have a few moments to myself. This train of thought often leads me to think of single parents who never have this luxury.

Some children are really easy going and they make things a little easier on their parents. My daughter, however, is three fulltime jobs all rolled into a cute little package. When she’s at her worst, I can’t imagine doing this without support from family. Single parents have my utmost respect.

It can be especially tough for single parents who have no family nearby. Even the best parent needs some time to themselves and without spouses, this is hard to come by. There are a few ways single parents can find some time to themselves without paying a fortune for a babysitter.

Family

This one is pretty obvious, but some parents don’t think to ask family members to help them out. Just a few hours can help your mental state and give you a chance to breath. If you have family members that also have children, offer to take turns with the children so each of you can find a few hours to have some adult time.

Special Projects

Have a special box full of craft items your children can handle on their own. This can be as simple as crayons, paper, and glue. Give them a stack of magazines and safety scissors. If you have a large box, let them decorate it so it becomes anything their imagination can conjure up. If you don’t get this box out everyday, it will become a special treat. It will give you an hour to read a book or catch up on your favorite hobby with little interruption.

Television

I know many people will disagree with me on this one, but TV isn’t always a bad thing. The trick is to limit the time they watch and know what they are watching. Choose a handful of movies you approve of and throw one in when you are feeling particularly stressed. Tell your children if they watch the movie and leave you to relax while it’s on, you’ll do something special with them after it’s over.

Parents Without Partners

If there isn’t a local chapter of PWP in your community, start one. This wonderful organization is run entirely by volunteers and specializes in activities and support for single parents. This organization helps coordinate family outings, as well as outings just for the children. You can find time for yourself though these events, as well as giving other single parents in your area the same gift.

Preschool

Many communities have preschool that is absolutely free or very low cost. In most cases, your child will need to be four years old to attend. Depending on where you live, they may come pick up your child and bring them home. Preschool hours are not as long as regular school hours, but it will give you some free time, and will give your child a head start for school.

Community Activities

For older children, there are most likely some great activities in your community your children can get involved in. Look in your local paper or ask friends for recommendations. These can include sports clubs, clubs such as 4H or scouting, and other activities. Volunteer to help on some occasions, and at other times, take a few hours for yourself.

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