We recently posted a blog concerning the unique challenges faced by individuals transitioning to single parenthood. We noted that it is critically important for newly single parents to prioritize self-care both during this transition and beyond. Quality, consistent self-care is particularly vital for single parents, as this self-care enables these individuals to care for both themselves and their children.
If you are transitioning to single parenthood, you may have many questions about the process of self-care. Depending on the nature of your recent romantic partnership, you may not have been “allowed” to prioritize your own needs for some time now. Thankfully, there is a relatively easy rule of thumb that you can follow if you are new to self-care: If your child needs something in order to be healthy and happy, you likely need that thing to be happy and healthy as well.
For example, if your child gets irritable and easy frustrated if he or she fails to obtain adequate rest, this can provide you with a clue as to why you need rest as well. You may not need as many hours of rest as your toddler or teenager does, but you absolutely need good rest in order to function well for both yourself and your kids.
Similarly, you would almost certainly agree that your children need quality food, adequate exercise, access to fresh air, frequent socialization, time to rest during the day, creative outlets and comfort. These needs are not unique to children alone. You also need these things in order to be the best single parent you can be.
You may feel guilty, at first, for attending to your own needs consistently. However, in time you will almost certainly see that in order to be the parent your children deserve, your needs must be prioritized in a consistent and quality fashion.
Source: The Huffington Post, “What a Single Mom Needs,” Lisa Dubino, Dec. 7, 2015