Raising a child can be challenging under any circumstance. The stakes are even higher if you are single mom raising a special needs child without a partner to help you.
Not only do you have to cope with the emotional, financial, and physical demands of caring for your child alone but you have to bear the stigma that comes along with this huge responsibility.
Being a single mother can result in added stress, pressure, and fatigue.
The GREAT news is there are things you can do as a single mother to make your life and that of your child happier, EASIER, and less stressful.
Here are 6 single mother parenting tips to reduce your stress and help you along your life’s journey. 🙂
Know Everything About Your Child’s Condition
Be open to learning anything and everything about your child’s condition to help make the process of raising them that much easier.
A GREAT first step to take as a single parent is understanding the condition that your child has and interventions that can help make your precious one’s life more comfortable and normal.
Even if your child’s condition has not yet been diagnosed or they are currently undergoing testing, taking your child to a specialist can help you move forward in knowing what next steps to take.
Also, doing your own research to know more about your child’s health situation will equip you with the knowledge you need to give your child the BEST possible care.
It will also help you know the right questions to ask when the time comes to talking to your child’s pediatrician or specialist.
Show Your Love
You can only give your child what they truly need if you understand them and their situation.
Getting to understand their personality on a deeper level, including their likes, dislikes, what makes them happy, mad, or excited, and so on will allow you to connect with your child on the highest loving level.
Look at your approach holistically and focus on their unique abilities.
What makes them stand out? What are their strengths? Focus on these type of qualities and what makes them better.
Remove ALL barriers that will prevent your child from excelling mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
You are their biggest cheerleader and support system!
They are looking up to you to guide them. 🙂
Join a Support Group
As the breadwinner and a single mother to a child with special needs, being on your own to raise and provide can be a daunting task.
Having support can be one of the most REWARDING things you can do for your child and yourself.
Here are several TOP rated National support groups:
- Parents Helping Parents mission is to provide information to our community, training, and support services for families who have children with special needs and the professionals who serve them.
- Federation for Children with Special Needs provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners, and their communities. This organization offers special education center for parents, family support, health advocacy, family and community engagement, parent-professional leadership, summer camp, parent-to-parent support.
- Goodwill Industries International offers financial coaching, savings and loan support, tax preparation, education programs, community services, financial aid, transportation, after school programs, housing assistance, clothing assistance, and medical rehabilitation.
- Special Needs Alliance is a national, not for profit organization of attorneys dedicated to the practice of disability and public benefits law. This organization will connect you to attorneys in your area that practice disability and public benefits law, covering special needs trusts and wills, Medicare, SSI, estate and tax planning, personal injury, health care, financial planning, guardianships and conservatorships.
- Easter Seals is America’s largest nonprofit health care organization that offer early intervention, inclusive childcare, medical rehabilitation and autism services for young children and their families as well as mental health and recovery programs, assistive technology, camp and recreation, caregiving support including respite and much more.
A support group will help you learn from the experience of other parents who face similar challenges as yours.
Support groups are also rich in information that can be helpful while raising a child with special needs.
For instance, if you want to take your kid to a special school, the support group will quickly recommend the best school within your locality thus making the process easy.
There are also opportunities for social and emotional support for you and your precious one.
A support group will make you feel less judged, lonely, and isolated. This is important as it helps reduce depression, distress, fatigue, and anxiety that can come with raising your child.
Create a Routine
Routine makes things simple because it helps you and your child know what to do and what to expect.
This not only helps to LOWER stress but also make life a little lighter for you and your child.
The key to making good habits is to stick to doing them regularly.
Creating schedules and structures will establish normalcy and a sense of security, which is important.
Some important routines to establish for your child include a time to wake up in the morning, bath time, playtime, mealtime, nap time, homework time, and bedtime. A routine will help make your work easier because your child knows what is expected while providing them much-needed confidence and independence.
Routine also can help you remember important things. For instance, if your child needs to take medicine at a certain time, the routine will ensure that you don’t forget to give it to them.
Take GOOD Care of Yourself
As a single mother, you may find yourself only focusing on your child’s needs and career and forget about yourself.
Do NOT feel guilty taking time out for yourself.
It is so important to set time aside for you whether that be going to dinner with friends, pampering yourself, having some alone time to read your favorite book or watch your favorite show.
When you are mentally re-energized that pours out in your attitude and how you care for your yourself and child.
Most single mothers think that self-care is selfish but that is far from true.
Self-care is one of the MOST self-less things you can do for yourself and your child.
Taking good care of yourself helps to restore a sense of identity, which is important both for your health and well-being.
Self-care will help you establish positive feelings and boost your self-confidence and esteem. So, take good care of your body by exercising, pursue your hobbies, and rest adequately.
Most importantly, keep the negativity out.
Protect yourself from people who don’t understand what you are going through and develop a friendship with like-minded people who support you and understand your struggles.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by all the responsibilities and demands of being a single mother raising your little one.
The best way to overcome the challenges you are facing is by staying POSITIVE. Regardless of how tough things get, try to stay in good spirits.
Positive thinking brings optimism and hope, which is the KEY to managing stress and anxiety.
When you have less stress and worries in your life, you will have more energy to give your child the love and care they need. You will also be able to do the things you love.
Being positive does not mean that you are in denial of the challenges you are facing.
Instead, it means being in charge of your life and making a deliberate choice to stay happy.
There is always something good to find in any situation. So stay positive and always find the learning experience in any situation regardless of how challenging it is.
Be honest with your child if you are having a difficult time but assure them that things will get better.
When dealing with everyday challenges, always keep your sense of humor. 🙂
Being a single mother may feel lonely and stressful BUT just know that you are not alone.
There are wonderful resources and positive support to help you along your life’s journey.
As a parent you will face many highs and lows but with a good attitude and determination, you will ALWAYS be victorious.
If there are questions you may have, parenting tips you would like to share, or anything you’d like to add that I did not cover in this post, please feel free to comment below.
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