Rising to the Challenge of Single Fatherhood
Being a parent in a two-parent home is challenging enough, but when the maternal parent is no longer around, difficulties can rise to a whole new level. Men typically aren’t raised to be homemakers and nurturers in the same way women are. All through our culture, we see that the maternal side in men is often undeveloped. So when suddenly the male parent is faced with the reality of being a single parent, it can make life much more emotionally complex. And without proper personal intervention, Huffington Post reports it could lead to poor mental health.
One of the first things you can do is to keep your mind focused on positives. While it’s okay, in the moment, to admit to your child that you’re both having a difficult time, always reassure them that things will get better. Teach them to use their sense of humor in dealing with the nuances of a “dad only” lifestyle.
If you’re new to single fatherhood or single parenting, you’ll also be faced with a sudden surge of responsibility; where once two people stood, there is now only one, and this can make the knees wobble. But it doesn’t have to. Your new situation is going to teach you, at record speed, how to multitask and be more organized.
As Quickbooost explains, writing tasks out can help you regain a sense of control. Start developing lists, calendars, or anything that keeps you from being overwhelmed. It’s also imperative to tally expenses and create a sound budget. Apps like Acorn and PocketGuard can help you track your spending, and there are even budgeting and chores apps for kids, like Bankaroo and Allowance & Chores Bot.
With your budget configured, it’s not unusual to realize you need to snip household expenses. Thankfully, there are many ways to do this, like cutting cable to stream free programs and dropping your gym membership to workout at home.
Sometimes no matter how you squeeze your budget, there just isn’t enough. If you must pick up a sideline, do something you enjoy. Start a vlog that monetizes your hobby, offer a service through an online platform, or tutor local students virtually. If you can dream it, you can work it, thanks to the many internet solutions available these days!
Start out properly, though. That means registering your business, creating a business plan and building a website. There are internet solutions for these tasks, too, that make things simple: an online guide with LLC examples can walk you through business structure and registration, a template can simplify your plan, and building a website is simple for any layperson with a website builder. And you’ll have an official and professional business when you’re all done.
Let guilt go
You’re the only parent, which means you’re the one saying “no” to things like foods outside your budget, and enforcing quiet time while you work. Avoid feeling like the “bad guy” in your role of disciplinarian. Children are often seeking boundaries and discipline from their parents as a sort of security system to know they are truly cared for. So don’t spend this time trying to make them your best friend or leaning on them for inappropriate support.
Step up, and establish that you’re in control and will be handling family matters as all parents should. This will allow for fewer negative issues down the road, and as Hello Motherhood points out, you’ll be role-modeling what good parenting looks like for when they grow up. Just say “no” to being a pushover.
It’s time to rise to the challenge, to be the best parent you can be. The parent you are, in all likelihood, will be the parent your child becomes. So do take care to teach them the very best.
Cris Johnson has spent almost 20 years providing educational and motivational school assemblies through magic, music, laughs and more. Reach out today to find out how you can help your child’s school enjoy one of these amazing shows! 716-940-8963 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Sherwin is a single dad raising two children, a 9 y/o daughter and 6 y/o son. He created DadSolo.com, aiming to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.