Hey everyone, today I’m happy to share another guest post from Emily at mightymoms.net on some tips for all the Single Dads out there working to provide and do the best for their kids. Thank you Emily!
Raising children can be one of the most rewarding experiences an individual can have. But being a single dad, you can expect to face certain challenges that require you to push the limits for providing your kids the best life they deserve. We at MightyMoms.net and This is Fatherhood, understand how difficult this journey can be and have written this article to help single dads overcome challenges and experience the joys of parenthood.
Plan for Finances
As reported by USDA, the cost of raising a child till the age of 17 amounts to more than $200,000. This is a significant amount that requires strong financial planning. An effective way to tackle this figure is to break it down into annual or monthly expenses that, depending on your child’s age can include – clothing, school fees, books, toys, child care, and more. If you’re struggling to create a budget, meeting a financial advisor can help you learn good money management skills that can help you manage monthly expenses and build savings for the future.
But, if you need extra cash, consider starting a side hustle. With the rise in remote working, you can choose to freelance as a writer, graphic designer, virtual assistant, website programmer, and more. On a weekly basis, you can expect to earn a couple of hundred dollars, which adds up to a significant amount in the long term. Additionally, a great way to save on expenses is to register your side hustle as a Limited Liability Company, allowing you to use business expenses as tax write-offs and pay lower taxes.
Don’t Be Scared of Being Strict
Separation or loss of your significant other will no doubt pose challenges for your kid(s) as well. However, it is important to remember that you’ll need to serve as an authority figure to teach your child good habits. Often single dads refrain from being strict with their children as they do not want to create a strain in the relationship and prefer to treat them as a friend. While you can act as a friend in certain situations, your primary responsibility is to be a good parent, which involves correcting children when they’re wrong, imposing disciplinary action, and teaching them the importance of compromise when required. In the long run, this will help them develop into responsible adults, which is the best reward any parent can get.
Maintain Work-Life Balance
Juggling between your job, household chores, and parenting is bound to cause stress. But, there are ways to manage these responsibilities healthily, allowing you to achieve your professional goals while spending valuable time with your kid(s).
Have a discussion regarding your situation with your boss, and request to include flexibility in your role which can include a late start to the day or working remotely a few days a week.
Seek help from those around you, whether it be at work or home. If you know you have an important meeting coming up next week, coordinate with a family member or friends in advance to have your kids dropped home from school. Similarly, if you frequently travel for work, make arrangements for a babysitter in advance, helping you avoid the last-minute scramble.
Take the PTOs! Keep track of the paid leaves you have for the year and plan to take them regularly. Plan a day trip with your kids which can include going to the adventure park, the museum, having an outdoor excursion, and more.
Everyone needs a bit of alone time every once in a while. As reported by Verywell Mind, it helps us engage in activities that make us happy and get a breather from the daily hustle of life. On weekends when the grandparents are free, let your kids spend time with them, while you sit back and get some much-needed rest.
Being a single dad will have its ups and downs, but remember to not be too hard on yourself and focus on being the best parent you can be while maintaining a balance with other things that you value in life.