There are so many of us who are single parenting these days. This blog is not to exclude parents who are together working as a team, this is a request to blog about the challenges most face and how to balance everything. Even couples find it hard to balance, so just imagine doing it all by yourself!
I was talking tonight with a very dear friend of mind whom I’ve know since we were both 12 years old. He is a single dad and a great one at that. I ask him what he found to be the most challenging thing about being a single parent.
His response, like most of us, is spending quality involved time. Trying to juggle work, housekeeping, shopping, cooking, always telling the kids what do without coming across as a grouch, going over homework and chores. It’s all the, “not so fun part” but your the only parent. Always feeling like your riding them but also teaching them responsibilities & what would be nice is to have the time to enjoy being the ,”fun parent”. He really would like to have more quality time and sharing in moments of laughter and just simple fun.
So, first and foremost our job is to be a parent and secondly our kids are the people we want to spend more time with over anyone else. The key is to be the best parent we can be! We need to teach, guide, protected, and care for our children in the best way possible, keeping all of our “Other” responsibilities in tack.
Well I like the idea of team work and sharing in some of the responsibilities with your children. It’s teaching and team work that makes this feel better instead of everything feeling like chores, I present it as “the sooner we get it done, the sooner we can go have fun”. Reward systems are incredible. I know they work for me as an adult. When my work is done, I want to hang with my family and friends. When the house is clean, I want to relax and watch a movie. It is the same for our children as it is for us.
Now I know sometimes our kids are too young for certain responsibilities. There are certain things that our children cannot help with or shouldn’t. Keep in mind, age appropriate delegating. I do feel as they get older, it does make them feel good when we trust our kids with more responsibilities. They start to feel a little more grown up and all though sometimes we meet resistance regarding chores or the “not so fun things” again just remind them of that video game they have been wanting or the amusement park they want to so badly visit.
The more families can work together, the more families can play together. Discuss that with your kids. Open the line of communication. If your overwhelmed as a parent and feel like the “grouch” tell them what you need help with so everyone can pull together to get the job done and you can all feel accomplished and have the free time needed to have that family quality time that is so very important.
I would like to dedicate this to my friend I mentioned above, Dan Jennings and to all the single parents out there who work their butts off! Keep up the good work, you and your families are worth it.
Light & Love, Samantha Bennington