Well let me tell you from someone who has been there and done that. I struggled and I am sure that most people who are faced with this situation do. I worked 1 full time job, 1 part time job and babysat at night to make ends meet. If I had it all to do over again, would I do it the same, no way. I learned to work smarter not harder in the years to follow. Below I have shared a few things I learned over the years.

Let other people help you if they offer

I used to think I had to do everything on my own. My mom was a Godsend to me, I relied on her more than I should have but she was the only one I would let help me. If you have friends and family that offer to watch your kids while you complete a short training course that will lead to a better paying job, take it. If they offer to watch the kids while you pick up another shift, take it. I can’t stress enough, they are there to help you. Most of the time they know what you are going through and that is why they offered.

Learn a trade as early on as possible that you can build on

If you can take a class or semester to help you get a better job, most jobs will help pay for your college and work with you to get a degree. If you work as a CNA through a nursing home, some will help you to get your LVN as long as you commit to work for them for a year or two. Then if you want to move on, you have options. Start somewhere, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  A lot of jobs can lead to a better one down the road. If you can take a computer class at the local college 2 nights a week and that will get you to work in an office, take it. Do something and don’t think it won’t make a difference. If you are taking a class here and there and don’t think it matters, ask that next HR person if it does. I promise you, if you show initiative and are learning things to better yourself, they are more likely to hire you than someone who doesn’t.

Don’t waste time wondering if your doing a good job raising your kids

Love on them and spend time with them as often as possible. It is a huge guilt for single parents wondering if they are spending too much time working and not being with their kids. Let me tell you, my kids knew that I worked hard and did the best I could, the only thing I regret is not taking them to the park enough. You are tired at the end of the day and there are many excuses you can make but they need that. My kids are stronger and better for knowing that I loved them and did everything I could to support them. It was the small things like enjoying them that made all the difference. They don’t hate me for working hard to provide for them, they respect me and the choices I made.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for government assistance

A lot of people abuse the welfare system and don’t need it, they just rely on it as a basis for supporting their families. That is not what the system was meant to do. If you are trying to better yourself and need help to get there, use it. I learned a lot of things through DSHS and the Texas Workforce. I took job readiness classes at the Texas Workforce and they paid for me to go to CNA classes, they also paid to have my transmission replaced in my car so I could get back and forth to classes. DSHS offers  a lot of resources for parents who ask for them. They are not normally going to offer them but if you ask for help in getting a certificate or training they can point you in the right direction. I never realized that most Jr. Colleges are very affordable and I was actually able to go for free because I was low income and qualified for enough money to pay for my college. It never hurts to check it out and you may be able to go as well, and it is never too late.

It is okay to take a break from your kids

I know we are very stressed and feel guilty because we aren’t spending enough time with our kids. Do you not think you would be a better parent if you actually took a break and recouped every once in a while. We all need time away to breathe and catch a little R&R. Our kids are included in that and need the time away from you just as much. A weekend at grandmas is just what the doctor ordered. Go sightseeing or just lay out by the pool soaking up some sun. It doesn’t have to cost anything to get away. If you aren’t ever able to hang out at the pool and not be on constant alert or just take a drive down a dirt road because there isn’t a bathroom close, then it is time to take some time for yourself. Give yourself a break and relax. Remember what it is like to smile and laugh and just enjoy without wondering where the kids are. We all need to take a time out so don’t feel guilty.

I hope you enjoyed my 5 things I learned as a single parent. Please feel free to tell me what you learned as a single parent. It can be serious, funny, or just informational. Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!



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