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Raising little ones as a single parent
Raising little ones as a single parent may feel daunting at times. However, it’s important to know that you’re not alone.
The UK has 2.9 million single-parent families, and there is support out there for you, should you need it.
In this week’s blog post, we wanted to give you some useful tips and make you aware of some great resources that you can access as a single parent. Just carry on reading to check them out!
Create a super network
As a parent, it’s in our nature to do all that we can for our little ones. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t ask for help when we need it. After all, there’s a difference between being independent and being alone. No one should ever feel alone in their parenting journey.
If you can, try to build up a network of close contacts who can help you if you need it. This could be made up of trusted close friends and family.
Check-in with these people, and let them know if you need a helping hand. It could be something as simple as minding the children while you run to the shop. Just knowing someone can be there to help can make the world of difference.
Connect with other single parents
Whether we have chosen to be single parents or circumstances have led us to become sole caregivers, we’re not alone in our single parenting journey.
There is a thriving community of single parents who are doing an amazing job every day to provide for their children. Speaking with other single parents, who are experiencing similar things can provide a lot of comfort.
Are you ready to interact with other single parents?
If so, you can have a talk with your midwife or reach out to antenatal groups. If you’re looking for an online community to connect with, then Frolo is a great space to meet other mums and dads who are parenting independently.
Take part in activities that both you and your children enjoy
As parents, we always want our children to be happy and have fun, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do things we love too. It’s all about finding a happy medium, where everyone is guaranteed a smile and giggle.
You could attend baby classes like baby yoga and have some fun with other new parents, or you could do something simple like a fun and relaxing walk to the local park.
Have a think about activities that you can both appreciate!
Make use of the resources that are available to you
Are you up-to-date with some of the resources and support that are available for single parents?
Well, if you’re not already familiar, then a great starting point is to contact Gingerbread.
Gingerbread provides support for single parents so that their families can thrive. If you’re unsure about the benefits that single parents with children under 5 can access, then they have produced this great article. Definitely take a read!
Another important form of support to consider is child maintenance, which is designed to help you pay for your child’s living costs. If you have separated from your child’s other parent, then you can create a financial agreement to help support you in your role of day-to-day care. Discover more about child maintenance here.
Finally, have you heard about the Healthy Start Scheme?
If you’re expecting or have little ones aged 4 or under and receive certain benefits then you can get free vouchers every four weeks to spend on cow’s milk, formula, fruit and vegetables, pulses, and vitamins.
To find out whether this is a service you can take advantage of, you can take a look on the NHS website.
Show yourself some love
Parenting is tough, and it’s important that you give yourself some praise for the amazing job you’re doing. As single parents, we often find ourselves doing 10 things at once, and trying to be everything for our little ones. But the truth is, they love you for you.
As with all parents, there will be days where it can be difficult, however knowing you are doing your best is all that matters. When you need a little TLC let your friends know, and allow yourself to have a little time each day for yourself.
Whether it’s a bubble bath when the children are tucked up, or a sneaky pack of Maltesers here and there – you deserve it!