Whether you have been a single parent for years or have recently found yourself in that role, you know that the needs are many and you could use some help!
Single parents often find that there is never enough time to complete the tasks of raising children, providing for their physical needs as well as their emotional needs. You hit the ground running early in the morning, and don’t stop until you fall in bed exhausted after a long day on the job, dropping off and picking up the children, cooking dinner, helping with homework, doing laundry, picking up around the house, making phone calls, doing the grocery shopping and car maintenance, and Oh, so much more!
Being a single parent presents unique challenges that most people have not thought of. When one child is sick and needs to go to the doctor, who watches the other children? When a child is sick during the night, how can the single parent function at work after being awake all night? How will that affect job performance and job stability? How will the single parent pay for their children’s needs and keep a roof over their heads when one salary doesn’t cover the budget? How do single parents help their children through the emotional struggles of their parents’ divorce or losing one parent?
All of these issues add up to the single parent being overloaded, stressed and exhausted. There is growing consciousness and concern for single parents and some churches have implemented programs to help these parents. Some of these programs involve mentorship, babysitting services, car maintenance provided by the men of the church, recreation activities for the children, help with grocery shopping, a food pantry, clothing closets, and many other resources.
The single parent should strive to do as much as possible to find moments of relaxation and other stress reducing activities, such as exercise, outdoor activities, short naps, and learning relaxation techniques. Finding a supportive church can be helpful in finding the resources needed. Talking with a skilled counselor can help gain perspective and learn new coping strategies.
At Northwest Counseling, Inc., we have a team of counselors who are experienced in helping single parents achieve balance and peace.
Deborah (Debbie) Pinkston, Ph.D.