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If ever there was a year when parents needed to be celebrated it is this one. After all the new challenges of making your children wash their hands a zillion times a day, mastering zoom, setting up an office at home, not going out, doing your children’s homework, being friend deprived, having no social life, putting on an extra few pounds, getting really bad roots, running out of toilet paper and endless homebaking – the list is endless. You have gone through home hell, it is time to step back and bask in your glory.
Parents of the world, I salute you. You are amazingFM Hepton – fellow parent
The United Nations set up this Global Day of Parents so that we may appreciate all parents around the world and I couldn’t have put it better myself:
Designated by the General Assembly in 2012, Global Day of Parents provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents for their “selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.”
Parents of the world, I salute you. You are amazing
We are always telling the kids how amazing they are, but what about you? Who is witness to all your hard work and sacrifices? Oh yes, the partner that has to go through hell with you. The one you loved until the littl’uns came along and sucked up all your romantic time together! Am I being too harsh? Is it not quite like that for you? Well maybe the witnesses to your hard work could be your judgemental parents – or in-laws – always ways around with a helpful: “That’s not how I did it and my little Johnny turned out fine.” Or “Why don’t you peel the potatoes like this, it saves time. What!? You don’t boil your chicken carcass!” Then comes the condescending tut, tut or rolling of the all-knowing eyes.
It is a wearisome lonely road at times as a parent.
That’s what makes it so nice that the UN have dedicated a whole day to recognising your efforts. But wait! I hear you cry. “My kids are witness to my efforts and sacrifices.” Oh yes, sorry I should mention those little tweens who think they are grown ups filled with a merry-go-round of hormones who bless you with their mood swings for at least 3 years. Or maybe the teenager who doesn’t quite see you as human and blames you for all their hang-ups. Now you know why they say: “Enjoy them while they are young. These early years go by in a flash!” Dealing with dirty bums and orange food paste splattered on your face and walls is nothing compared to the psychological dramas that await you after they hit “teendom”, which by the way can be as early as 8 years old!
For my part I consider myself blessed. I am truly grateful for my two teenage boys. Yes we’ve had our ups and downs, but we love and respect each other. As a single mother it was hard at times, but I really feel like it was also easier.
Single parents – harder or easier?
It’s not always harder to be a single parent – despite what the media says. Here are some of my humorous/brief Pros and Cons:
Pros to being a single parent
- As a single parent you don’t have to consult someone else on stuff like schools, religion, bedtimes, which toothpaste brand to buy.
- There is no one else for your child to pit you against.
- You can manage your own time and budget.
- No compromising. The bed is all yours. You can do what you want!
- You can follow your own dreams. (Not everyone has a supportive partner!)
- Your children grow up faster and understand responsibility sooner.
- No waste-of-time, annoying obligatory dinners and holidays with the in-laws!
Cons to being a single parent
- It might be nice for you to have somebody around to consult and ask their opinion – for the big decisions and the little ones.
- The children may lack another parent’s opinion or the male/female role model.
- If you don’t like managing your own budget, you may wish you had a partner (personally I feel every parent should know their financial circumstances – it’s empowering).
- You might find yourself doing all the chores. Read my guide – start-em young!
- Having your child being more aware and mature can be a con for some parents who want to preserve the innocence of childhood.
The above was not meant to be an exhaustive list. Just a lighthearted bird’s eye view to give you a different perspective on things. I love being a single mum. But then again, I’ve never liked constraints. Guess that’s why I’ve always enjoyed working for myself too.
Francesca has always amazed me as she was the first woman I’d seen breastfeed while typing her reports. She’s an inspiration. A strong role model for all women.Sam Brice – mother of 3
It doesn’t have to be hard for you either. I’m sharing some of my insider tips with you right here:
My Golden Pillars to Easier Parenting
I have been running my own business since 2004. I started working from home when my first son was born. 20 years ago. When I realised after a year I couldn’t give the company what they needed as it involved travelling around Europe (afterall, I was the European Sales and Marketing Manager!) I knew I wanted to be at home with my kids, not dropping them off at nursery, working and seeing them when I was tired. So I made it work. It wasn’t easy, but I love my sons – that’s why I made it work. I got to enjoy being with my children whilst being the sole breadwinner as well.
My golden rules are:
- You are in charge of the situation
- Routine, routine, routine
- Exercise daily outside (you and the kids)
- Include children in your household chores
- Specific times for work – never overlap fun and work
- Do not drink (alcohol) every night
- Minimise or cut out sugar and processed foods (you and the kids)
- Sleep when they sleep
- Plan weekly meals and shopping lists
All of these must be respected. If you don’t, the harmony of the household starts to slip. You can’t just cherrypick from the list.
If you wake up waiting for the end of the day, for a drink, for that series on the TV, then this guide is for you. Enjoy your day. Enjoy time with your children. No need to dread it. Get the guide.
- The essential ingredients for destressing (not distressing!)
- 4 techniques to keep the balance in your home and mind
- Example daily routine for single parents who work at home
Get your guide to easier parenting here – even if you’re a couple you will find it useful! Strength in numbers! It’s my gift to you as one parent to another.