Being a single parent can be challenging, draining, and sometimes overwhelming but there are ways to manage your stress so that it doesn’t become too much for you to handle. In fact, the Mayo Clinic offers some helpful strategies you can begin implementing now, whether you are going through a divorce or recently had yours finalized that can help you reduce the amount of stress you might be experiencing. This way, you can focus more on your child and the time you get to spend together and can actually enjoy it.
- It is important to show your love. As tough as it can be to have your child rely only on you during the time they spend with you, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you “praise your child, give him or her your unconditional love and support, and set aside time each day to play, read or simply sit with your [them].” By giving your child more of your undivided attention and showing them just how much you love them, you may feel less stressed about your divorce as well as the current circumstances you have been faced with.
- Consider creating a routine. Developing a routine will help you establish some structure in your home. You can do this by having set mealtimes along with bedtimes so that your child already knows what to expect and you aren’t rushing around to get things done.
- Find quality child care. Should you need child care for your kid(s), be sure you “look for a qualified caregiver who can provide stimulation in a safe environment.” Most single parents are required to work one, if not two jobs, so it is likely you won’t be available to take care of your child at all times. Now, the Mayo Clinic does state that you shouldn’t have an older child such as a sibling or cousin babysit your child and you will want to be extremely cautious when choosing who it is you hire to care for them. The point of seeking child care is to make your life a little easier, not to add additional stress, so avoid putting yourself in any type of situation that is going to have you worrying or uncertain.
- Set limits. Now that your living circumstances have changed, you will want to develop your own set of house rules and be sure to review them with your child so they know what is expected of them and you aren’t constantly having to correct their behavior. Be sure to enforce these rules and set consequences so that if your child were to break them, they know what their repercussions will be for doing so.
- Don’t feel guilty. Although you might feel inclined to blame yourself for the divorce, the Mayo Clinic says you shouldn’t, and you will want to refrain from trying to make up for being a single parent by spoiling your child.
- Take care of yourself. Whether you are in the initial stages of a divorce or yours was just finalized, you need to focus on taking care of yourself. That means engaging in “physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of sleep.” You may want to “arrange [some] time to do activities you enjoy alone or with friends” and “give yourself a “timeout” by arranging for child care at least a few hours a week.”
- Lean on others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek support from others. Maybe you want to ask a parent to work out a carpool schedule to make life easier on the both of you. Perhaps joining a support group is what you need to relieve the stress you have built up inside so that it doesn’t affect your quality of life.
- Try to stay positive. Going through a divorce or accepting yours isn’t exactly easy for everyone, and that is understandable. But you might find that getting through it is much easier when you have a more positive outlook on life. When faced with an obstacle or those everyday challenges that many single parents have to deal with, try and “keep your sense of humor” to avoid from adding more stress into your life.
Aside from taking these tips for managing stress into consideration, you should also contact Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf to speak with a LA divorce lawyer if you are contemplating on filing for divorce or are ready to file the initial paperwork. Our experienced Baton Rouge, LA divorce attorneys will be there to guide you through the entire process, provide you with support, and address any concerns you might have. Most importantly, they will work to secure a favorable outcome for you.
If you would like to learn more about our office and how we can help you get through this challenging time, contact our office by calling 225-343-2205.
You can reach Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf at:
3960 Government Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70806