A Guide To Self Care as a Single Father
Thank God it’s FRIDAY……Happy Father’s Day!!
Being a single father can be a completely exhausting experience. Coping with the task of parenthood on your own brings a lot of pressure, and most if not all of your time is usually dedicated to your child(ren) leaving little for yourself. However, it’s important for you and your child that you take care of yourself, so that you are able to be the happiest and healthiest father you can be and have the energy and patience to give them the best upbringing you can. Practicing self care can feel strange to begin with, but you have to persist to feel the benefits and see your value as a strong single parent. Here are some great tips to show you how to get started.
Find A Community
Being a single parent can be a very lonely journey. Despite having your little one’s attention, you may feel quite isolated and as if you are walking the path of parenthood without anyone that relates to you or knows what you are going through. Finding a community through something such as a father’s rights advocacy group can help you meet people in the same position as you, and gain advice and support when you need it the most. Take the opportunity to speak to other mother’s and father’s on the playground at school, and try to mix with those who you know you have a common connection (ie your children attending the same school). Getting out there after a long period of caring for your child as a baby and toddler can leave your social skills feeling somewhat inept, but it’s important to work through this and bring yourself back.
Focus On Your Health
Some days as a single father can be completely overwhelming, and you may not even find the time to eat or shower. Planning each day the night before should help with the chaos, but you have to acknowledge the importance of your own health and wellbeing. Each day you should consume 3 meals, packed with fruit or veg, protein and brown carbs, so that you can fuel your body to keep up with your child and provide them with the best level of care that you can give. Regular exercise will give you an extra boost of energy and the strength you need to chase after them every day, so try to fit some kind of sport or activity into your schedule a few days a week. Getting a good nights sleep is so important for both your mental and physical health, so be sure to get at least 7 hours each night - your children should be getting around 10 hours, dependent on their age.
Being a single father doesn’t have to make you feel exhausted and alone. By finding some friends who are in the same boat and taking steps to look after your mind and body, you can start to enjoy the journey and provide your children with the care they need to thrive.
Again Happy Father’s Day, Enjoy!!
By Ryan Hanson
Cover Photo by Jude Beck