The Art Of Successful Single Parenting: Making Your Time Count
Contributed by Sonyan White August 2, 2017
One of the most common concerns for newly divorced mothers is how to create a new life that entails professional success, personal happiness, and still allows enough time to be the best possible parent to their children.
Is it really humanly possible to be a single mom success story in today’s competitive world?
The answer is yes. But it requires us to take a more mindful approach to how we spend our time with our children rather than how much time.
Make “Meaningful” Your New Measure Of Parent Time
The first piece of good news is that working moms no longer have to bear the guilt or subscribe to the school of thought that they’re inevitably lesser parents than stay-at-home moms. Much research conducted over the last few years has completely contradicted the conventional assumption that the amount of time mothers spend with their children has a direct relation to the child’s well being and future outcome.
In fact, one study shows that the amount of time either parent spends with their kids between the ages of 3 and 11 has virtually no relationship to how children turn out, and a very minimal effect on adolescents as well.
Several more studies have further demonstrated that it’s really the quality of time that counts and mothers who are more productive and fulfilled in their own lives are better role models than martyrs who put their own needs aside.
Being divorced often means you have no choice but to re-establish your independence as both a person and a parent. Rather than being stressed about the amount of time you spend away from your children, be proud of your accomplishments and focus on being present and creating meaningful moments when you are with them.
A Present Parent Starts With The Right Mindset
Surviving your divorce and thriving in your new life requires a clear and present mindset that allows you to get through the daily challenges and stay connected to yourself, to others and your purpose. This mindset is also especially important for creating a positive connection with your children.
In fact, research has shown that parents who are regularly stressed, anxious, irritable, and distracted in their children’s presence have a more negative effect than parents who spend less time with their children. Let that be your motivation to get through this divorce and ensure you are healthy, happy, and whole again!
Meditation, in any form, is proven to be the most effective and fast acting tool for ridding yourself of the day’s stress, connecting to the present, and coping with the challenges of being a parent. Whether it’s a yoga class after work, a guided meditation in your office or in the car, a walk around the neighborhood or even five minutes of deep breathing exercises, regular meditation practices will not only give you that much needed sense of calm – your kids will feel much more at peace in your presence as well.
Four Best Ways To Make Your Parenting Time Count
Eat together. The reality of today’s world has most families flying out the door in the morning and not seeing each other again until the day is done. That is precisely why preserving family dinners in your new routine is the best way to ensure you’re connecting with your kids on a daily basis. That hour you all sit together at the table with the TV off and phones away, is invaluable time for everyone to reconnect and share stories, gripes and laughs about the day.
Dates. Spending one on one time with each of your children can just as important as family time. Whether its once a month or once a week, set aside a special time to give each child your undivided attention. A date could be anything from picking them at school and taking them to lunch, tossing the football around the yard or even teaching them a new hobby.
PLAY with them. It doesn’t matter how old your child is, the best way to connect with them is by playing their favorite games. Whether it’s “Peekaboo” with your baby, “Simon Says” with your toddler, soccer with the boys, dress-up with the girls or a dance fest with everyone in the living room, play time is imperative for both you and your kids.
Be available no matter where you are. The bottom line is that your children need to know that you are there for them. When they want your attention give it to them and save your texting and social calls for later. Be that parent who will step out of an important meeting to take their calls at work. Give them constant reassurance that they can tell you what’s on their mind and that you and your ex both love them no matter what.
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