Managing a work-life balance can be a real challenge when you have children. You feel an overwhelming obligation to put food on the table and to make sure that all of their needs are met; while at the same time, feeling guilt that you are spending too much time away from them during such an amazing time in their lives. This is especially true if you are a single father caring for your children.
If you are a single father, we appreciate you and want you to be successful with the following five tips.
- Notice your kids and communicate, communicate, communicate. As kids grow older, it can become a lot harder to read their feelings or get them to share their thoughts with you. Don’t assume by their silence that everything is ok with them. If your young children don’t feel like you can be a supportive ear for them to talk to, it will only get worse as they become teenagers. Talk with them frequently, and listen.
- Speak clearly with your employer about your needs. As a single parent, your children need structure and stability. If you are working odd and inconsistent hours, or work all hours of the weekend, this can make it difficult to provide this stability as a single parent. If you need to change schedules to accommodate your children, see if your employer is willing to be flexible with you.
- On that note, it is critical to have designated caregivers. You need help once in a while to care for your children when you’re in a bind. These should be people that your children know and whom you absolutely trust.
- You deserve a healthy support system. Your children need care, but so do you. It is critical to take care of your mental health as a single parent. Identify good friends who you can talk to, or find other single parents who can relate to you when you struggle. Further, there is strength in seeking a support group or counseling to exercise appropriate self-care.
- Be open to healthy co-parenting with the children’s mother. Courts operate under the presumption that it is in the children’s best interest to have a continued relationship with both parents. If you have custody of your children, it is important to be open to ample visitation with their mother, provided that she is not an unfit parent. Regardless of how you personally feel about your ex, children thrive when they have a healthy, ongoing relationship with both parents.
Contact New Direction Family Law
If you are seeking custody of your children or the modification of an existing custody order, you should speak with an attorney. New Direction Family Law provides legal representation for people working through child custody issues. Our attorneys are smart, hard working, and knowledgeable and will zealously advocate for your legal rights. We serve clients throughout Wake, Johnston, Durham and surrounding counties. Contact our office at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or visit us online through our website.
Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law