The number of single-parent families continues to increase in USA. Between homework, shopping, work and home, the life of a single parent is a real marathon! Our tips to make your life easier.
According to the latest figures published by INSEE, 1.8 million families are single parents in USA, or more than one in five. In 85% of cases, these are mothers living alone with one or more children. On a daily basis, these single parents face many difficulties, both organizationally and financially. The INSEE, however, communicated an alarming data: nearly 32.5% of these single-parent families live below the poverty line, a proportion twice as high as in the rest of the population. Faced with these inequalities and these extremely precarious situations, anger is rumbling and parents want to make their voices heard. If they now benefit from a number of family allowances, these are sometimes insufficient to compensate for the lack of another salary or maintenance payments not paid by the ex-spouse. So, how do you cope on a daily basis when you are alone raising your children? Single mothers who testified on the Journal des Femmes agree on one point: organization and mutual aid are their key words! Indeed, it is difficult to reconcile everything when one is alone to take care of the education of the children, to exercise a professional activity and to manage the stewardship of the house. Solo moms and dads compete in ingenuity to juggle all the roles they have to play in a day!
1 – Maintain a social life
Moms often forget it is important to maintain a social life. Invite friends or colleagues to dinner, answer “yes” to invitations from girlfriends, indulge yourself from time to time at the hairdresser or the beautician … So many small things necessary for the personal balance of all women. Take (a time) time for yourself ! Easier said than done, of course, when you are alone to manage the household. Time for oneself doesn’t necessarily mean an afternoon at the spa or tennis, it can just be 30 minutes of quiet the morning before the kids get up, to read a book or take a bath. If you are on joint care, take advantage of your week alone to recharge your batteries.
2 – Be kind to yourself!
Despite appearances, the solo parent is not a superhero. He also has his weaknesses, his doubts and his moments of discouragement. Accept that you are not perfect and try not to put additional constraints on yourself by setting excessive goals. If the youngest hasn’t had a homemade mash with organic vegetables, that’s okay! On the contrary, take the guilt off! ” I do not feel guilty if the dishes are not done when I spent two hours playing toy cars, ” Blue testifies on the Journal des Femmes.
3 – Make a schedule and a to-do list
Without falling into the drifts of a military organization, write a schedule that you will stick on the fridge so as not to forget anything: from the appointment of the eldest to the dentist to the meeting of the parents of the younger pupils. Nothing is more scary than not knowing what the week will be like when you already spend your time running! The same goes for children’s clothes: prepare them the day before to avoid the crisis when getting dressed. Finally, get to the point, depending on the priorities.
4 – teach your child to become independent
Putting on your coat or shoes on your own, clearing your plate, making your bed, putting your dirty laundry in the basket, all of these small, harmless things can really make your daily life easier. Remind your children that you are a team and that it is important to help each other … like real champions!
5 – Join a network of solo parents
Parents of the children’s friends, neighborhood associations, a neighbor who can help you out in the event of a hardship, the grandparents who live close to you … Create your own solidarity network ! And never say no to the help we offer! Have you also thought about bartering services between mothers? You pick up the children at the end of school, and in exchange, the mother accompanies your boy to his sports class on Saturday. Finally, specialized sites for single-parent families, such as the parents-solos-companies. or g site or even www.uniparent.com allow you to exchange views between single parents in order to break the isolation. In particular, you will find announcements for the childcare, tips and advice on how to best manage your budget.
6 – ask for help and delegate
In the event of a complicated divorce, a delicate financial situation, or heavy conflicts at home, contact the competent staff. Social services, town hall, psychologists, educational team, doctors or even associations will be able to provide you with valuable advice to help you get out of this difficult situation. Remember that you are not alone. There are many charities are running programs like habitat humanity free cars help for single mothers,
7 – benefit from support for single parents
List the assistance to which you are entitled according to your situation and your income: Low income family allowances , precariousness premium, social housing, back-to-school allowance for single mothers, assistance in recovering alimony, family support allowance , etc. Do not forget either to find out about the advantages that your municipality can bring you (0% loan, large family card for transport and family outings at reduced prices, etc. In addition, the Emploi-service vouchers (CESU) allow you to benefit from home services (cleaning, nanny or baby sitter) which will allow you to breathe a little.
8 – Unearth the good deals
You only have one salary to support your children, so any savings will be welcome. Participate in clothing swaps, resell childcare items or baby clothes that have become too small for your child, and take the time to study promotional offers for shopping. ” I find good deals, free outings, I buy the sub-brands, I consult the reviews and I get clothes loaned from time to time” says Annabelle to the Journal des Femmes.
9. Think about your love life
With a family to manage alone, it’s hard to find the time to think about love! And yet, remember that you are not just a parent and that your personal development also depends on the fact of finding a companion or a companion to rebuild a family and find your balance. There are now specifically dedicated to single parents dating sites like papamamacelibataire.com or rencontre-parents.com You will be able to meet there parents who share similar problems to yours, and especially men and women to whom family life does not scare! Lack of time can obviously be an obstacle to a meeting. But why not try to stall a lunch rather than a dinner? This will save you from having to incur costs for a babysitter!
10. Trust an application designed for you
COOT is an application specially designed for single-parent families to help them manage their daily lives. COOT has a large number of features designed to make life easier for parents. Thanks to a shared agenda, it is possible to know the schedule of each child, to have a personalized follow-up of the expenses incurred by each parent, to have a space of shared contacts, to have access to all administrative documents directly online (super practical to avoid lugging identity documents, family booklet, health book or school report from one house to another). The app, which offers several formulas (free, 48 Dollars or 72 Dollars per year) is regularly equipped with new functions. Available on the App Store and Google Play.