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Being a single parent has its rewards. But it also has its penalties. If you have relatives or extended family close by, they may be able help you. You may be able to get help from your ex-spouse. But if you don’t have anyone near to help you, sit tight. I may have a few tips that will help you keep your sanity.

· Find a great babysitter. I know a great
sitter is hard to find but they are out
there and they are worth their weight in
gold.
· Set up a babysitting co-op. Take turns
with your neighbors watching the
children.
· Make or find time for yourself. It is
hard to find but essential to your health
and well-being. If you don’t, you and
your child(ren) will suffer.
· Do your best. No one receives an
instruction manual.
· Know yourself and your triggers.
· Exercise. Do it with or without your
children. Nike knows it best. Just Do It.
· Don’t live just for your child(ren.) They
are going to grow up, move away, and have
their own lives someday. You don’t want
to resent being a parent or be unable to
cope with life when your child(ren) moves
away.
· Organize your house. No, it isn’t
impossible. A little bit of work putting
everything where it is supposed to be
will help a lot in the long run. You
won’t have to look for Johnny’s socks if
they were put in the drawer right after
you did the laundry.
· Enjoy your children. Make time for them.
Try to look at the world through their
eyes. You will be amazed at the wonders
they see.
. A movie, visit to the park or an ice
cream can do wonders to help you all
relax when times get tough.
· Be careful not to say things that will
hurt them. Bite your tongue; bite your
cheek, and bite it hard. While most child
ren)forgive easily, they do not forget.
Harsh words can leave a lifetime of scars.
· Talk with them. Try to explain your
feelings. They will understand you better.
· Listen to them. They need to be heard,
too.
· Take turns cooking (if they are old
enough.) Plus, it takes the heat off of
you to come up with a meal plan every
night.
· Budget a parent treat. Take yourself to a
movie or dinner once a week or two.
· Visit friends. You need the adult
interaction.
· Make sure your kids pitch in around the
house. Teach your daughter(s) learn the
tougher work like mowing the lawn, basic
car mechanics and how to use the contents
of a toolbox. Teach your son(s) how to
cook, sew, and iron. The ultimate goal is
self-sufficiency.
· If you feel like you are losing your
patience, take a timeout for yourself. Be
sure to explain that you may do this to
your child(ren) before it happens so they
are not confused, upset or feeling
abandoned. It is vital to everyone’s
health and welfare.
· Enjoy the positive things about single
parenting. No spouse to argue with or
pick up after. No one to complain if the
house isn’t picked up. Your evenings are
yours to do with as you please.

Enjoy your life. It is yours alone. No one else can live it for you.