If you are single and working, you need to think about parenting solutions, especially if you are a full time worker. Modern society can be very insular, but what is still true in the 21st Century is that a child is raised by a village, not an individual, and this is especially true for the single mom or dad who is working.
Our Top Ten Parenting Solutions can give you Insight and Ideas!
Here is our Top Ten of Parenting Solutions for working moms and dads, and hopefully this will help you to take control of the parenting situation. This also colors how you see your work environment, and while all of these are not applicable to all workplaces, you may have to change your job situation for the benefit of your family.
1. Seek Help from Your Family or Friends
A single parent must not be an island, so look at your immediate family and friends and see if there is anyone you can trust who can share the load of caring for the children. Can you coordinate times with your mom, or with a close friend who knows and loves your children?
2. Share the Load
Pooling resources is a common and one of the most very effective parenting solutions. If you know other single parents who are working, then you can pool your resources and coordinate times and jobs so that sometimes you mind their kids, and other times they mind yours. It is a mutual exchange of child minding services, but again you need to be able to trust them.
3. Try to Obtain Flexible Hours at Work
Many jobs can be made flexible, and if you are a good worker your employers will be inclined to do all they can to help you, rather than lose your services. Talk to them and see if you can coordinate around school, preschool or other time constraints.
4. Can You Work from Home?
Many jobs can be worked from home, especially in IT. Perhaps you can make a job for yourself, but be wary of some of the “stay at home and get rich quick” internet schemes. If you are to work from home, you need to make sure you have an area away from the kids so you can do a proper job, but as long as you have activities for the children, this can work really well.
5. Get Organized
If you are to continue to work as a single parent, you definitely need to get organized! You do not want to work all day, only to come home to a messy house and out of control kids, do you? So, get organized and if the children are old enough, give them chores you expect done by the time you return. Make sure that your time at home is not all about washing and housework, but try to make time to invest in your kids.
6. Talk to your Kids
That’s right, talk to your kids! Explain the difficulties and how you need to keep on working, and ask them for their help and support as you do it. Even young children want to help mom or dad in their hour of need. As you gradually give more responsibility, they will rise to the tasks knowing they are doing their bit for the family.
7. Pay for Help you Need
Child care or after school care may require payment, but it is worth it to know that your children are safe and being stimulated, not sitting like logs in front of the TV! If you have to pay, factor the cost of this into your wages, because expensive child care might negate your work all together.
8. Make the Time Up
When you work it is time you are not spending with your children, so make the time up to them. Nothing says you love them more than spending time with them. You might take them out for an ice-cream, make a cake with them or even play a computer game. Anything is OK, as long as you are spending time and interacting with your child (not just watching TV).
9. Find Time for Each Child
If you have several children, you need to spend time with them collectively and especially alone. You might read to them in bed, or drop one to soccer while you take the other to have a treat somewhere. Kids need time, and time you invest into their lives individually speaks volumes to them of your love for them.
10. Be Careful of the Lock Key Teenagers
Teenagers can be self-sustaining, meaning they don’t need after school care, but it comes at a price. Be careful of the time between the end of school and when you arrive home. What are they doing then? Who are they with? Ask questions and make sure they are not doing things you don’t want them to do. A recent study showed most teenager’s first sexual experience did not happen late at night, but after school, before mom or dad got home!
So if you are a single parent who works either part time or full-time, have a look at our Top Ten and see if you can apply these principles. In your situation, with your family and your job, there will be parenting solutions that work!