Your life will be filled with many ups and downs when you’re a single dad. But just like a fast roller coaster, it will be so thrilling that you’re going to ask to ride it again. Even if you’ll be asked the question multiple times, we bet your answer is never going to change. You’d want and need to spend a lot more time with your kids.
But you are also human. There will be times that you will compare your lives with others. There will be times when you will feel so alone. During these moments of sadness and self-pity, know that there will always be your core support group to help you get by with every little thing that life throws at you. You would even find fellow single dads slash single parents who know what you’re going through and will lend you a helping hand based on their own experiences.
Having kids is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Treat your predicament as a blessing so you can become the best single dad ever.
1. Keep your support group close and intact.
We’ve said it above. You are not a lone wolf. No man is an island. You would need the help of family and friends if you need to raise your kids and want to give them the best childhood years. Even if you are the most talented, smartest, and most skilled in the room, it will take a village to raise a child. Drop your ego and ask the help of others whenever you need it, or whatever will serve your child’s best interests.
This goes for both single moms and dads, but even to those couples who haven’t gone separate ways. You need to normalize asking for help from people who can connect you with whoever could help you. Again, these people have gone before you and know the ropes of industries more than you’ll ever do.
Plus, it’s important to surround your children with positive energy, affirmations, and knowledge during their formative years. Your kids will automatically have playmates and can even play with the children of your friends. This also means you surround your kid with like-minded people by enrolling them in different classes or activities that spark joy in them.
2. Maintain your personal life.
You want to be able to have personal time for yourself and do activities outside of work with the people that you love. You can only mark the thin line between work and personal life through proper time management and organization. Especially since you’re a single dad, this means that you have fewer hours of availability to make sure that you still get to spend some time with your kids even if you are working extra hard to send them to university and/or simply have food on the table.
Speaking honestly, you will have to work twice as hard to give your kids a comfortable life. First, manage the expectations of your kids. Let them know what you can buy and do with them and those that you are not able to afford. Show them they can have fun without money such as dancing to a Tiktok video. As much as possible, do not over-promise or blurt out vows that you are not sure you will be able to fulfill. But this also means you need to have time for your kids too. Make sure you are aware of their schedules and already block off these important dates on the calendar asap. You can always spend time with the kids during dinner or laundry. Your time spent with your kids should be a productive one and should practice self-control: helmet with school work, eat meals together, and bond over everything you have in common.
On a more serious note, understand that deep down inside your kid is looking for a mom. He or she would look around and see that their playmates have both parents with them. This is why you should also practice listening to the kids and making sure you are always available for them to talk to. When they notice that you listen without judging, they will be comfortable sharing their stories, thoughts, and feelings with you.
One way to have proper time management is to boost efficiency. You can invest in the right and smart tools by purchasing ergonomic pieces such as a standing desk or a standing desk converter from FlexiSpot.com
3. Do not badmouth your ex.
Your kids are very gullible at this point. Whatever is the cause of your divorce from their mom, you should still be very careful with what you share. Do not damage the reputation of their mom to them because it will only just give a negative impact on their lives. Even though it’s difficult for you, raise your kids well by teaching them how to be appreciative of their mom even if they did not grow up together.
We understand that you may not be on good terms with your ex but be the bigger person and always stay respectful of your kids and their social circles.
4. Routine is not a bad thing.
When you see each other every day, you become more comfortable being the real you. So don’t shy away from routine because it’s not the villain. Your kids may be bored because what they do every day has become routinary but it’s how you develop their personalities and character. You teach them to be disciplined and committed to the routine that works for them, you, and everyone residing in the household.
There are guidelines of course by first assessing if your expectations are too unrealistic or not so ambitious. You’d learn through your journey as a single dad that you should be realistic with your schedule and budget so that your plans will see the light of day. For example, if you want to go on a jog every morning, you should be getting enough sleep on a Sunday. You can never forget to walk your dog in the afternoon and have a movie night at least once a week.
When you are consistent with these habits, it will become second nature for you to do. You might not check your calendar but you already know what you’re doing for the day once you wake up. Be consistent with your routine plans for the kids so that this project materializes.
And of course, the most important advice is to take care of yourself. You can only give so much to your kids if you also feel loved and refreshed yourself.