Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both important days set aside for saying “thank you” to each parent for their roles as a mom or dad. But what about those who are constantly pulling “double duty”?
National Single Parents’ Day is believed to coincide with the start of the organization, Parents without Partners, which began March 21, 1957, fifty years ago today. On March 21, 1984, it was proclaimed a national day of observance by President Ronald Reagan, stating, “I call on the people of the United States to recognize the contributions single parents are making, sometimes under great hardships, to the lives of their children, and I ask that they volunteer their help, privately or through community organizations, to single parents who seek it to meet their aspirations for their children.”
To recognize this day, we have come up with a few suggestions for all the single parents we know, to celebrate this special day.
1. Write a personal letter to each one of your children to tell them how and why they are each uniquely special.
2. Get together with other single parents and their children to celebrate each other— share stories, laughter and be sure to remind each other of just how much you all deserve this day.
3. Start a journal. This is a great way to recognize the accomplishments you have made and the good things that have happened. Sure, acknowledge areas you may want to improve upon, but don’t short yourself when it comes to acknowledging the positives of all you are doing as a single parent.
4. Carve out time to eat dinner together. Now more than ever, everyone has so much going on between work, school, extracurricular activities, and cell phones. But, we know you can do it. Even if it means making a quick and easy meal, do whatever it takes to avoid stress and simply enjoy being together. Ask about the best part of your kids’ day. Share something you did that shows your children you can laugh at yourself and don’t always take life so seriously. Be present in this moment.
5. Make time for yourself. While tending to the needs of your children is a top priority, if you don’t make any time to take care of your own needs, you won’t be the best parent you can be. This may mean going for a walk, talking with a friend, or reading a magazine while sipping on a cup of coffee. If you want to be a good parent, this requires giving yourself a break every now and then, to be sure you can be there for your children in the way they need you to be.
6. Spend one-on-one time tonight before your children go to sleep. Share 2-3 things that you feel make them extra special and what you value most about being their parent. In return, ask them to share something they like about you—it may surprise you just what they have to say.
If you are a single parent, we applaud you! Perhaps you know a single parent who deserves to be recognized for his/her efforts. Be sure to acknowledge the accomplishments and love that goes into being a parent who does it all.
If you are in need of guidance when it comes to making modifications to your current custody arrangement, parenting plan, or child support agreement, call 423.757.5000 or click here to schedule a consultation.