That’s right! If they are mature enough to stay at home, leave them. If not, let them fellowship with someone else.
As a single parent, one of the most important things you can do is to practice self-care. In a previous post, we discussed why it is essential to pay yourself first. Now it’s time to put yourself first. Self-care means many things to different people. It could involve reading a book, treating oneself to a movie, eating dessert at a local diner, dancing with friends, or just relaxing on a beach. Whatever is it to you, it is imperative that you make time for yourself.
Taking “me time” often is put aside as parents get caught in the cycle of feeling guilty for working too hard and not spending time with their kids. The result? Fatigue sets in from trying to make it up to the kids by spending cash and filling the weekend with activities to stay occupied. It’s a no-win situation!
Who benefits from a stressed-out, cranky, and overworked parent? No one. This is why its important to practice self-care. Treating yourself to something relaxing and enjoyable allows your body to recharge, replenish, and makes for much more enjoyable family life. The kids will thank you for taking care of yourself while also seeing the value of doing for themselves.
What about help? If you don’t have family or friends that will take the kids a few hours each month, get creative! Join a mom’s group or check out http://www.Meetup.com for playdates you can join. Offer a homemade dinner to someone you trust in exchange for a night of sanity without the kids. Check your local religious community, your child’s school friends, or businesses that offer a night out to parents for a small fee. Whatever you do, get something done! If it takes a village to raise a child, do not be afraid to call on someone to give you time for yourself.
What about cost? Notice that the suggestions above do not include activities that include exorbitant expenditures. Since the goal of this blog is to encourage financial responsibility, your monthly excursion should not be a bill, rather, something that will leave you happy both inside and out. One strategy to cover the cost – if your preference is a massage or salon appointment – is to use sinking funds. Set up a “Me Time” account immediately to have money already set aside for your enjoyment. Learn more about sinking funds here.
What about time? Make time, not excuses. You have a finite amount of it on planet earth. While the bulk of your time is required to be spent caring for your family, you deserve time being kind to yourself. Would you make excuses to avoid dating the person of your dreams? Most likely not. Then don’t make excuses for spending time with the single most important person in your life, yourself!
So how you will you make time for yourself this year? I like reading, sipping coffee, and taking walks along the beach. Share what your goals are for the year and maybe you’ll inspire a fellow single parent saver.
Happy Saving! Live Well!