Our homes have become more than just a traditional home for us during the pandemic. It's now our workplace and our kids school too. That's why the topic of balance at home is so important. Our lives look so different than they did a year. Even without the challenges of COVID-19, a single parent home can be chaotic. We are juggling all kinds of things. So, how do we create a stable, balanced home life for our kids?
Here are 5 suggestions:
Develop a support network. Raising kids is difficult even with two parents. Without a network, we can easily become overwhelmed. Having a support system strengthens, reinforces, and encourages us as parents bearing the weight alone. Having people in our lives who fill us up is crucial so we can create a balanced home life for our kids to launch from.
Create a routine. This can be a game changer as a single parent! When we build a framework for our schedule and daily needs, we add consistency that can help us move forward with less chaos. Set a specific bedtime, get your kids alarm clocks so they can learn to wake up on time, decide on simple meal ideas that you go back to often. It's hard to put these things in place but once you do, they become the best friend of a frazzled single parent! And, kids need routine. Routine gives kids security
Take time for yourself. When we invest in ourselves, we are investing in our home life too. This may sound counterintuitive but taking care of yourself pays dividends at home. When you are centered and present, you provide an anchor of stability for your kids. A single parent who finds daily moments of peace for their own hearts is in a much better place to establish balance at home for their kids.
Stay positive. This isn't always easy, but we can choose our attitude. Yes, we will have days full of tears but after the tears are over, we have a choice. We can walk out of that trusting God and walking in the truth that He is with us. We can choose joy. Smile - often, be kind, hug your kids! Notice the good things your kids are doing. If you find yourself complaining, turn it around and find thing to be grateful for. This is where the rubber meets the road. Ask God to show you how to maintain a positive attitude even when life is complicated, because our hope is in Him.
Set aside time for your kids. We need quality time with our kids, and not just family time but individual time. Be deliberate about setting aside time to focus on each one. One on one time highlights their importance and makes our kids feel seen and loved. If your schedule is overwhelmed, it doesn't have to be a ton of time. Quality time trumps quantity. Our intentionality matters more than the amount.
As you seek to put practices like these in place, remember to give yourself grace. We are all works in progress. Balance in any area is challenging, so give up the ideal of being able to do this perfectly. Perfect balance is impossible, but your efforts will pay off. Stay encouraged, single parents! You may not be able to measure the effectiveness of what you're doing to stabilize your home in the immediate, maybe not even in the next five years, but your kids are watching and they are carrying it with them.
Single parents, as you seek balance in this new year, you are not alone. As you walk the journey of solo parenting, we want to offer encouragement and hope any way we can. Join our Solo Parent Society community by participating in one of our online groups meeting Monday through Saturday every week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@soloparentsociety). Subscribe to our weekly podcast via AccessMore or wherever you get your podcasts and download our Solo Parent app FREE in the app store. We love to connect single parents to resources that offer hope and help. If you want to donate so we can reach more single-parent families, go to www.soloparentsociety.com. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Solo Parent Society podcast is hosted by author and founder Robert Beeson to help single parents raise healthy kids, and grow themselves through conversations with other parents who have walked, or are still walking the 'Solo Parent' path. Plus experts on the things that Solo Parents face the most. The mission of Solo Parent Society is to provide the resources, community, and support that enables a single-parent to discover whole-heart wellness so that their family can thrive.
Let's Talk About Sex
Talking about sex can be uncomfortable but it's necessary. The world around us, through TV, movies, and social media, inundates us and our kids with images, ideas, and perspectives on sex. We almost can't get away from it. That's why it's so important we talk about sex from a godly perspective so we can examine, filter, and correct the viewpoints we are surrounded by. God created sex as a gift. If we don't talk about His plan and intention for sex, the only voices out there will be worldly ones that do not reflect God's plan or design.
So, how do we navigate dating and sex with a healthy, faith-based approach especially in a world that has changed so much?
This can be especially challenging as we go from having active sex lives, while married or in relationship, to being single and finding our way through what seem to be changing values and expectations. Robert, Kimberley, Marissa, and Elizabeth gathered to discuss this, sometimes awkward topic, candidly and authentically about the following perspectives.
How has the dating world changed since you first started dating?
Sexual desire is natural and God-given
Dating and intimacy are about more than just sex
God created us for connection and intimacy, His way
What are some practical things we can do to prepare for dating?
So, if we can reframe our mindset around dating, what are some ways we can look at sex differently?
For the complete show notes go to https://soloparentsociety.com/blog/2021/02/17/let-s-talk-about-sex
Many of us were raised to serve and give to others, and this is biblical, but this can become unhealthy when we give so much to others, we lose ourselves in the process. This tendency to give too much, to take on too much responsibility, to own more than we should in relationships, often comes from insecurities rooted in our upbringing and hurts we've suffered in the past. Perhaps our experiences taught us that others would reject us or get angry if we said no so we learned to pacify or overcompensate by being too accommodating. After doing this for long enough, we can fail to recognize we are caught in a destructive cycle. Unless we put up guardrails or boundaries, we are sure to implode emotionally, bringing our well-being and our relationships down with us.
Robert and Kimberley talked with single mom, Elizabeth, about how loving well includes boundaries. Sometimes we spend too much time worrying about other people's feelings and saying yes to too many things because we're afraid to disappoint them or have them get angry with us if we say no. While this may appear to be very giving and even seem like love, it really reflects a problem with not loving ourselves or respecting our own needs.
Saying no and having good boundaries can be challenging for those who are Christians because we are taught to put others before ourselves. When we love ourselves well, first and foremost, we are able then to give our best yes to the right things. If we say yes to everything, our yes comes to mean almost nothing. Instead of coming from a place of genuine care and love, saying yes can become a subtle form of control. Too often our yes, our overcompensation, and our over accommodation, becomes a way to please people and seek man's approval and not God's, and often at our own expense. We are not called to please everyone around us. We are called to please God.
*Boundaries help us give our best yes
*Boundaries require new ways of interacting
*Boundaries are God's idea
*Boundaries with our kids
*Boundaries with others
*Boundaries help us guard our hearts
*Boundaries are a form of love
For the complete show notes go to - https://soloparentsociety.com/blog/2021/02/08/love-as-a-boundary
When we look at the world around us so much has changed in the last year. With the pandemic and politics, there has been so much anger, grief, and fear. People are hurting and that hurt stirs up discord and division. It's amplified when so much is out of our control.
We all face the temptation to react to the hate around us in ugly ways, but our mandate and calling is to love people like God loves us. On this week's podcast, former single parents, Robert Beeson, and Kimberley Mitchell, talk together with single mom, Marissa, about how we can maintain love and teach it to our kids in a culture of hate.
When one person introduces hate to a conversation or situation, it's contagious. But love is contagious too. The difference is that hate seems to affect us in the amygdala - where our fight or flight response lives. It catches us off guard and can grab hold of us if we're not careful.
Hate is often a reaction. Quick, thoughtless, visceral. Love on the other hand is an intentional response, a choice, a conscious decision of the will. Love is more powerful than hate but it can be harder to access and display. It takes deliberate effort to love and to avoid the culture of hate. We must choose to love in measured ways that go beyond what might be a knee jerk reaction. We must choose our response carefully.
How do we love in a culture of hate?
*Pray for people.
*Remember that hate is more costly than love because it destroys relationships.
*Choose your battles. Some things aren't worth fighting about.
*Listen more than you speak.
For the complete show notes with links go to - https://soloparentsociety.com/blog/2021/02/01/love-in-a-culture-of-hate