The Coronavirus Lockdown has been without a doubt, challenging times for all parents, however even more so for single parents who have nobody to share household and childcare responsibilities with. Being alone with a child, or multiple children 24/7, without a break can take a toll on a parent’s mental health. In this blog, we will look at some ways parents can work around the challenges. Remember, It does not always need to be overwhelming. You can and will enjoy having special, quality time with your kids.
Ease up on rules
If you were really particular about screens before, you may find that they can actually be a life saver. You do not have to grant your child unlimited access, but can limit it as needed, such as when they earn it or when you need a little break to escape for a quick shower, or attend an important work meeting.
Shake up the routine
Have a nap with your child if you are feeling exhausted or not in the best mood. Watch cartoons and your favourite childhood movies. You do not always need to plan something for the day or go out. You can have days where you simply rest at home.
You may have your quick and easy go-to recipes but try a few new recipes a week. It will give you a sense of achievement as well as introducing your family to new flavours as you expand your culinary expertise. Keep the weekly shop interesting as well by adding new foods and vegetables that your family normally does not eat.
Bedtimes = Self-Time
Keep the bedtimes for your children regular. Even if you are exhausted, try and stay up for an hour or two to have some time for yourself to unwind by having a bath, reading a book, or watching your favourite shows. You also need some time to mentally plan the next few days meals, outings, etc and to ensure you are on top of other household tasks such as the food shopping and paying the bills.
Keep a Journal
Reflect on your current experiences during the Pandemic. Record your fears and struggles, but also express your gratitude for the health and safety of your family. Write about how much you have grown during these last few months and reflect on the good times you have had with your children.
Take it easy
Try not to pressure yourself too much with things that have to be done. If the kids are not in the mood to do home-schooling for the day, let them make that choice but can they make it up the next day instead? Find some fun things to do instead. Exercising with the children whilst watching a video will not only motivate them to keep going, but you will also enjoy exercising and keeping fit with the family.
Keep your mind Active
When you are the sole adult in the household, the lack of adult conversation can wear on you mentally. Listen to inspirational podcasts or audio books. You can download some free books from the Library app. Reading books out loud is a great way to de-stress, especially if it is a chapter book. This will keep the children engaged and can have the same effect as if you were talking to another person. You can also play some challenging word games or puzzles on your phone for when you need a quick break.
Try some free courses to improve your self-knowledge or upskill for your career in the future. A great resource is The Skills Toolkit https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/find-a-course/the-skills-toolkit