Maintaining Healthy Relationships When You’re a Single Parent

child holding parent's hand

Being a single parent is undeniably hard, especially if you have no one else to rely on. Single parents can become consumed with working and providing for their children that they forget other relationships. While the intention is good, this can be harmful to both yourself and your child. Interpersonal relationships keep us mentally and physically healthy.

If you are a new single parent, make sure that you don’t burn yourself out by maintaining healthy relationships with others.

Friends

Some single parents experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. This usually comes with a variety of factors. Being separated from their kids and working long hours to provide for them are two reasons why these parents feel alone. It can be hard for them to maintain a healthy social life when they have so much on their plate.

These feelings, while seemingly harmless, can turn into something dangerous. The parent can spiral into depression and burnout, which can negatively affect their physical health. Their children can also feel negativity and tiredness. It can result in forgetfulness and neglectful behavior if left unchecked.

Even as single parents, friendships are still an integral part of their life. Not only are those friendships there to make you happy, but they can also serve as an additional support group. If you need help with taking care of your child or need someone to vent, friends will help you overcome them.

This may be hard for single parents, but one thing you can do is connect with those of the same position. Fellow single parents are sympathetic and understand the struggles you are feeling. Another good option is to maintain good relations with your neighbors. Since they live near you, you won’t necessarily have to go far to meet with them. You can also try reconnecting with old friends that you haven’t reached out to in a while.

Dating

If you feel that you are now in a good position, you can start going back to the dating scene if you’re comfortable. Though, you might find that it has its fair share of challenges. More than just finding the time, some people do not have the maturity to date those with children. When looking for someone, you have to assess if that person can fully comprehend that you have responsibilities as a parent.

Fortunately, technology today has made dating a lot easier. Online dating apps let you discover new people and filter out those that don’t meet your criteria. Older parents may have a more limited pool as some people their age might not even be using these apps. Some employ professional matchmakers, who give a more in-depth analysis and do the job of searching if you are busy.

mom holding daughter

Kid Time

Single parents have to support themselves and their kids, and many don’t have others’ help. That means you likely spent long hours at work. While this is important to provide for your children, it is also important to have quality time. Kids, especially at a young age, don’t immediately understand the financial reasons behind why their parents are away.

Fortunately, studies showed that it isn’t about quantity but quality. Even if it’s just a few hours a day or once a week, the quality of your time together is what is important. When you do get to spend time with them, make sure that your focus is on them. Avoid doing anything work-related with them. It’s best to make it a fun activity that they can enjoy and something positive.

Self

After everything, don’t forget to give time for yourself. Sometimes, we need some alone time to meditate or organize our thoughts. It gives you a chance to reconnect to who you are and reinforce your character. This can be time spent doing personal hobbies or just taking a long bath. Time spent by yourself can be a wonderful and rejuvenating experience that helps you become a better parent.

Personal time reminds you that being a parent isn’t your entire existence. You are your own person, who has their own interests and needs. This is important because some parents become resentful and depressed when all their time is spent being a parent. Have your family or friends take care of your kid for a day or just a few hours. This gives you time to do things without having to worry about anything.

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