Single moms and dads... you guys are heroes!
So, this article is about tricks and tips for single moms and dads who are in school, struggling to make a better life.
The one thing I want you to remember ALL THE TIME... you are a genuine, bonafide, freaking, gangnam-style HERO!
Nobody, on earth has a bigger job, a bigger heart
or a bigger need than a single parent of young children, trying to get through school, and most likely... still kinda poor.
Don't you ever forget - your first mission is raising the next generation. And it takes a hero to do that.
So... on to the tips and tricks for getting through this.
1. Extended family. If you have a loving extended family - use them as backup. Go to them and ask them for help. Say something like "I want to raise my daughter (son) in the best possible manner, but I also need to provide for her and college is my best bet. Will you help me by babysitting
Ask and you will receive. Get your family members on the bandwagon of your success. Don't be shy. This is the next generation we are talking about and nothing is more important. You must take the lead here. I'm guessing most family members are clueless about what you are going through or about what you need (really!).
Be honest, upfront and forthright. Ask. Be humble. Be grateful. Be specific. The most important thing is to ask and keep asking. Don't be too proud. Be a leader. Be the hero you know you are.
2. Look for more support. Great leaders seek great supporters. Look around and see what kind of support for single parents is available in your community. Churches, synagogues and single-parent clubs are great places to start.
Heroes don't just need great supporters. They need wise counselors and they need at least one super-fine sidekick that will support their mission with undying loyalty.
Where can you find that?
Where can you find a really great friend that will support your mission and kick you in the pants when you lose your focus?
Let me know in the comments!
3. Find your peaceful place. Hero/Leaders don't get to have pity parties. Leaders don't get to give up or run away. So, no pity party, no giving up. You HAVE to find your place of peace. Somewhere you can find your strength, build your inner core and rest your teary eyes.
Single parenting is a long, long road full of blood, sweat and tears. (and vomit - have you noticed?) You might not find the rest you need, you have to keep fighting - so you've got to have a place of peace that floods your heart and mind with strength and hope.
Many great leaders in times past have turned to the Bible for this place of peace, and there are thousands of encouraging passages that can really buck up your courage. Knowing there is a Creator out there who loves and cares about what happens to you and your little family can carry you through the rough times.
"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Isaiah 40:29
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10
The phrase DO NOT BE AFRAID is written in the Bible 365 times!
AWESOME Let's go.
4. Find quiet activities your little one can do while you do your online school work. I know this is kind of a duh! tip, but I'm hoping that readers will chime in with their own practical ideas.
Create a routine "school time" for mommy and baby. Let him know that this is the time we work on our school stuff - together!
- coloring (workbooks!)
- felt board
- a robust tablet with great learning apps
5. I have to say something about sleep here. Toddlers and preschoolers should be getting between 11 and 14 hours of sleep per day. Single parents have a much harder time than two parent households setting up good sleep habits. Part of that is having a much tighter schedule but I think the other factor is single parents thinking of their kids more as friends and partners than as little children.
When two adults are faced with an evening alone together, well that's cozy and junior gets put to bed 'toot sweet'. But a single parent feels like having the company of their offspring and prefers to go to bed around the same time as junior, which means much later in the evening. And that's not good for baby!
Put your kids to bed early and give them the gift of good sleep hygiene. And give yourself the gift of extra time for school work.
6. Take Breaks and Play, Play, Play. Enjoy your darling children. 100 times. Every day. Nuff said.
"There ain't never been too much kissin', or too much huggin' or too much lovin' in the life of any child."
Do you have any tips, tricks, or practical ideas for going to school while raising children? Leave your ideas in the comments.