The Instructions Not Included campaign will help promote a shift in attitudes so that seeking support is seen as a sign of strength. By unlocking the power of parents and families to help themselves and one another, we will reach out to more families, overcome more barriers to support, and help to prevent the escalation of parenting problems.
Parenting alone can be a very demanding and stressful issue in life with double the work and without double the help. Becoming a lone parent is something most parents do not plan on but unfortunately circumstances can change in family life and the inevitable can happen.
On top of dealing with all the day to day family life chores and duties, you may also be coming to terms with a recent family breakdown and it is often the case that your feelings and emotional wellbeing ends up at the bottom of your list of priorities. We often hear from parents who feel guilty if they do allow themselves some time out. This is natural, however, the time out is a necessary part of surviving and coping with parenting alone. It may just be a nice relaxing bath once the children have gone to bed or perhaps the odd evening out with friends. Whatever your time out is, it is essential for a more happier family life.
At times, it can be hard managing the practical things in life, such as, balancing work and home, different school runs, cooking and chores, etc. Trying to split yourself in two is a common thought and possibly a wish amongst many parents in this situation. You can only do what you can do and pushing yourself too hard can result in an emotional burn out.
Some lone parents have family and friend support which is invaluable and very much needed to make life that little more easier. However, we do hear from many parents who are bringing up children alone, without any family or friend support network. If this is the case, there are organisations that may be able to help you further and give you much needed support. Please get in touch with us for advice and information on support organisations.
Please read our top tips on getting support and parenting alone:
- Take help from relatives and friends willing to lend a hand for time out, babysitting, school runs, etc.
- Allow older children/teens to help out around the house with chores on a regular basis
- Try to organise and plan as much as you can in advance for things like school bags, uniforms, etc.
- It may help to empower yourself by learning new skills that could assist you in your day to day life
- Financial worries on top of everything else can put a strain on anyone’s emotional well-being - if you’d like help thinking about managing your money and/or debt advice, log onto the Citizens Advice website
- If you’re struggling to fund costs associated with your own education or training, please call the Family Welfare Association (FWA) on 020 7254 6251 or vist their website at www.fwa.org.uk (main) or www.fwa.org.uk/grants.html (Education Grants).
- If you want support in getting back to work or would like free and independent confidential advice and factsheets on a wide range of issues, from tax credits, to contact arrangements please get in touch with Gingerbread. They provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents.
Please see our video on parenting alone for further tips.