The Single Dad's Guide To Navigating the Challenges of Parenting

 
Filios Sazeides - The Single Dad's Guide to Parenting - Mini Nanny Agency

Written by: Daniel Sherwin

Parenting is one of the most amazing experiences in life, and yet it’s also incredibly challenging. As a single dad, those challenges are multiplied, but the rewards often are too. The trick is to find balance in everything from work to childcare and having a life of your own. That’s certainly easier said than done, but it is possible when you face these challenges head-on.


Challenge: Work/Life Balance

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When you’re parenting solo, you may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You have to work and provide for your kids, be there when your kids need you, and then still find time for yourself. The key to making it all work is flexibility. With telecommuting easier than ever, more employers are offering options where you can work from home. If working from home isn’t an option, ask employers if they can be flexible with your hours so you can work around your children’s schedules.

Flexibility also means being willing to ask for and accept help. Team up with other parents, especially other single parents, to help each other out. Chances are they can use the help just as much as you can. Create a carpool for school/activity drop-offs and pick-ups or swap childcare on a regular basis so parents can have scheduled times for childcare, freeing up a little time for themselves. Leaning on help from others and connecting with other single parents is beneficial to your mental health by keeping you from feeling isolated.

 

Challenge: You’re Stretched Too Thin
 

Juliane-Liebermann - The Single Dad's Guide - Mini Nanny Agency

Work/life balance is about more than just making sure you support your family. It’s about making sure your own needs are met, too. The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, and anxiety all play a big role in the state our mental health. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing.

It’s clear that many single dads struggle to prioritize self-care. A 2016 study found that single dads were twice as likely to report poor physical and mental health compared to dads with partners.Sometimes doing something simple and easy to care for yourself is all you need for a mental health boost.

 

Victor Freitas-The Single Dad's Guide-Mini Nanny Agency

Physical fitness is the ultimate in self-care because you’re taking care of your body, lowering stress, and boosting your mood all at the same time. To squeeze in some fitness, look for a gym that provides childcare or get active together with your kids. The Good Men Project recommends setting goals for yourself. Whether for fitness, simple daily self-care, or larger life goals, setting goals and working toward them keeps you focused on improving your own life.

 

Challenge: Do-It-All Parenting
 

Naassom Azevedo - The Single Dad's Guide - Mini Nanny Agency

In two-parent families, each person often takes on different roles in parenting responsibilities. As a single parent, you have to do it all, including being sensitive to kids’ emotional needs while still maintaining discipline. While this may not always be the case, many men are not raised to be nurturing caregivers, so you may not know how to handle this role.

One single dad at the National Fatherhood Initiative recommends letting go of your expectations for parenthood. If the sensitive side of parenthood doesn’t come naturally to you, accept that and be willing to learn from your children as much as they do from you. The thing to keep in mind is that as you learn to be nurturing, sensitive, and strong all in one, you are showing your daughters and sons that men can do all of these things.

Carly Rae Hobbins - The Single Dad's Guide - Mini Nanny Agency

Being a balanced role model for your kids is just one example of how being a single dad can actually make you a better parent. It still isn’t easy, but going through these highs and lows together will make your relationship with your kids stronger, too. Just remember to care for yourself because you can’t be the parent you need to be if you’re running on empty.

 

Why your older children shouldn't be nannies for your younger children

 
Teens should be nannies for your younger children

It's great to have your older kids and teenagers help you around the house to teach them responsibility. But there is a difference between having your 12-year-old keep an eye on the toddler while you are busy cooking, and another to have them care for toddlers for hours in the day unattended. 

Age and maturity matters when it comes to proper childcare. In Queensland, there are legal minimum age requirements for leaving your children unattended in the home. If you leave a child under the age of 12 for an "unreasonable time" you will have committed a misdemeanour Regardless of this, the level of maturity of the child left unattended is another story.

Mini Nanny Agency Kids

Does your teenager understand the responsibility of caring for children? Are they mature enough to take control of a situation should an accident occur while they are babysitting?

Teaching your children responsibility is one thing, but giving your children too much responsibility can lead to a whole other problem. Solely relying on your teen to nanny your younger children might be putting too much pressure on them, let kids be kids while they can.

It's not the obligation of your older children to take care of their younger siblings at every beckon call. Having your children look after their younger siblings should be an act of love. You don't want to breed resentment in your children for forcing them to take on more responsibility. 

Teenagers should be compensated for their time and not pressured into babysitting their younger siblings. Teens have school work, extra-curricular engagements, social lives and sometimes part-time work on their plate. 

Mini Nanny Agency - Greg Raines

Finding a qualified and reliable nanny in Brisbane through reliable nanny recruitment agencies like Mini is the best childcare option. Nannies are professionals. You can rest assured that your children are in capable hands and will be receiving the quality one-on-one attention that is simply not available in crowded day-homes or with busy teens. 

There are many benefits of hiring a nanny service for your family. Having a professional, qualified nanny will give you that peace of mind and relief some pressure off of you and your older children. 

Your nanny will really get to know your family routines, understand your children's developmental needs, and will be the extra hands you need around the house when you're not there. 

Nannies have more flexibility than hiring your teenager to babysit. With a nanny, you make the schedule and benefit from their flexibility. If one of your little one is not feeling well, you can call your nanny to help you keep a watchful eye on them in the comfort of your home while you work. 

Mini Nanny Agency - Kelly Sikkema

Traveling for work? Find a Brisbane nanny now to help you fill in the child-caring gaps with household management, school pick-ups, and drop-offs, and meal prep and know that your kids are in great care with consistent communication.

Mini Nanny Agency will recruit the perfect Nanny for your household with skills teens don't have. Nannies make a career out of caring for children.  Plenty of nannies have degrees and experience in children's' education who are happy to help tutor in various subjects. You'll find nannies are willing to undergo further certifications and courses to keep up with children's development and special needs care.

Mini Nanny Agency Alvin Balemesa

Each nanny candidate brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience to your household from working with other families that your teenager won't have, and it's our pleasure to help you find the perfect nanny for your family. 

Do you have questions on where and how to search for hiring a nanny service? Read up on some our helpful tips on recruiting a nanny or call the Mini Nanny Agency today to recruit your family a casual, contract, part-time, and full-time nanny and house manager role. 

 
 

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