If you’ve stumbled across this blog as a newly single parent, then I know that you’re probably feeling a little nervous, unsettled, and anxious about what the future holds for you and your family. It’s a tough time to try to deal with, and it’s likely that you’ll be dealing with some complex emotions as well as knowing that there’s a ton of practical considerations which need your time and energy.
You’re not alone though, and there’s plenty of advice and guidance out there that can help you to get through this. It’s just a case of taking one day at a time, and knowing the steps you can take to help you to recreate a life that works for you and your kids.
If you’re a newly single parent, pour a cup of tea, and pull up a chair. This is what you need to know…
There may be financial support out there that you can tap into
When you leave a relationship, your finances can really suffer. If there were previously two wages coming into the home and now there’s just one, for example, then you’re going to have to take a close look at your expenses and see whether they’re still viable.
Though budgeting is an essential tool that can help you a lot, remember that you may be eligible for some extra financial help. You should consider benefits, tax credits, and child maintenance. A great place to start if you’re unsure is to contact Citizens Advice Bureau and organise an appointment.
You need to allow yourself to grieve for the relationship you’ve left behind
Regardless of whether it was you or your partner who decided to end the relationship, or if it was a mutual decision, it’s important to recognise that it’s normal to feel emotions such as sadness, anger, or regret. They’re all simply part of the grieving process, and you need to allow yourself to feel them.
Yes, you might have a lot on your plate, and a lot of practical considerations to take care of. But if you’re rushing around trying to sort everything without ever processing your feelings, it can start to take its toll. Speaking to a counsellor is always an option if you’re struggling.
It’s essential that you look after your mental and physical health
This point moves on nicely from the last one. You know when you’re on a plane, and the cabin crew tell you to fit your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help others? The same principle applies here. You can’t take care of your children and support them during what’s also a difficult time for them, if you aren’t looking after yourself.
Get out for a walk and get some exercise and fresh air. When you’re feeling a bit low, avoid the temptation of a bottle of wine and a takeaway, and cook a healthy meal instead. Small things like this can make all the difference to your general wellbeing and ability to deal with whatever life throws at you.
There’s no shame in asking for a little help
Your friends and family no doubt want to support you, but you need to give them the opportunity. Talk to your loved ones about how you’re feeling, and don’t be too proud to accept some help. That could be letting your parents pick the kids up from school a few times a week, or even just visiting a friend for a cup of tea and a chat.
Imagine how you’d feel if you knew a close friend was struggling, but they didn’t tell you about it. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, and it can really help you to get back on the right track and start moving forward.
Being a newly single parent is never going to be a walk in the park, but it can be much more manageable when you action this advice here.