Being a single parent means that you have no one to fall back on, so baby only has you to rely on. This means that when baby wakes in the night, is unwell, needs a clean nappy or whatever, there is just you there to do it. There are advantages though to being a single parent and it is worth remembering these as well as the best techniques for managing on your own.
Advantages of being single
It is good to remember the advantages of being single rather than dwelling on the negatives. You only have a baby to look after rather than a partner as well. This will mean that the household is cheaper to run and it will be easier to keep the house clean. You will also have less washing and ironing to do. You will be able to care for your baby in the way that you want to without having disagreements with regards to discipline, what to feed them and things like that.
Ask for help
It is worth asking for help from everyone that you can. Play on the fact that you are single if you need to. You can get friends and family to do all sorts of things for you. However, many people will just want to come and visit and cuddle baby and that can actually be really handy. If they are doing that, then you can get on with jobs that need doing such as cleaning or tidying, washing and ironing. If you warn them in advance that you will be doing jobs, they may even offer to help you.
You may have parents of relatives that are willing to help you with all sorts of jobs. They will realise that you are on your own so have no one else to help you and so that could make them more willing to help you. Do make sure that you ask for help though as people may not realise that you need it unless you do. Also be specific about the help that you need so that people understand what you need them to do.
Be methodical and have lists
It can be useful to be methodical with all of the things that you have to do and even have lists of things that you need to do. This is because you will be busy and tired most of the time and therefore may find it hard to think straight. It can be good to have a middle of the night list, so when baby wakes up you know what to do such as check nappy, feed, wind, cuddle etc, although this seems very simple, when you are on your own and half asleep it can be easy to forget. Having lists of jobs to do can also help you remember what needs doing and also motivate you to get on with the jobs as well.
Make sure that you do one job at a time. If you try to tackle everything at once you will get in a muddle and a mess. Finish one job before starting another and you will get a sense of completion as well as not leaving lots of unfinished jobs to do. Make sure that you stay on top of the jobs as they will be a lot easier. If you wash every time you get a load of dirty washing, iron as soon as it is dry, clean the house weekly and keep the surfaces clean and tidy, then it will be a lot easier to tackle the jobs.
Get Dad and his family on board
It can be a good idea to get the baby’s Dad and his family on board with helping you out. Ask them to visit you and see the baby and you can do jobs while they are there. If you trust them, you can let baby stay with them sometimes to give you some time to yourself and an opportunity to get jobs done that you otherwise have not done or catch up on your sleep. The more inviting and open you are the more likely they are to offer you help and be involved with the baby. They may be even more likely to help you financially as well. Obviously this will depend on the family and it may be that you would rather they were not involved as you do not trust them.
Get friends and family involved
You should get family and friends involved with caring for baby though. If the baby does not have a dad around all of the time it will need to look for others as role models.
Although, as its mum, you will be the main one, it is good for there to be others as well. Grandparents, aunts and uncles as well as other family members and friends can be really great where this is concerned. There may be times when you need someone to chat to or when baby grows up they do and having close relationships with friends and family means that there will be someone there for you.
Find some good groups and clubs to go t
o It can be really helpful to go to baby groups. There are often a lot of different groups run in each local area and they are often free or very cheap. This means that you should be able to find at least one, if not a selection, that you like. These are great opportunity for you to socialise with other mums that have babies of a similar age to yours. You may find that you make new friends and that there will be plenty of others there which have similar problems to you and need help.
Just knowing that there are others that are finding parenting tricky and those that might have suggestions to help can be really handy. Even just getting out of the house and talking to adults for a while can be a relief sometimes.