How do you manage your mental health as a single parent?
Hi, I am about to become a single parent and the thought of raising a kid alone is terrifying. I’ve read a lot about how difficult it is to raise a kid alone and I keep wondering what single moms go through. It’s also worrisome that how my kid turns out mostly depends on me as a parent. I want to be the best parent I can be to my child but that can’t happen if my mental health isn’t in check. Single parents typically have to deal with a lot on their own so I want to know how they manage their mental health. I’d have to always be there for my child, so what happens when I can’t? With all these struggles in mind, how do you manage your mental health as a single parent? What self-care steps do you make and what do you suggest I do to be in the right frame of mind as a single parent?
The first thing I try to do is to be nice to myself, I try not best myself up over not meeting the society impossible standard of parenting. If I can't cook dinner on some days because I'm tired, I'd order some good food instead. Was not able to do dishes last night, I try to convince myself it is not the end of the world. I believe the main thing is to be present for my children and to show I love them with all my being. One thing I think people underestimate is the importance of self care, taking time to recharge and go back to 100%. I believe you can't give what you don't have. If you are not okay mentally, how can you be there for your children totally?
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As much as we hammer on the fact that taking some time off for self care is good for a single parent, we also forget the feeling of guilt that comes from taking that little bit of time off. Please and please, try not to feel guilty, it doesn't do you any good and it's not good for your mental health. You're human and liable to break. Taking that small time off is to ensure you won't break or burn out. Avoid negativity, what do I mean? Avoid being negative or pessimistic about yourself and your situation or avoid people around you who are like that. It only makes you anxious and unsure of yourself which is very harmful for your mental health.