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Divorce brings on many changes, and they can be huge ones if you have children.  If you find yourself a newly-single parent, you might feel frustrated, overwhelmed, resentful, and even angry.  Even if you were the one to initiate the divorce, it’s normal to be discouraged at the idea of raising your children by yourself.  The bright side is that it doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think. Get Organized.  This is one thing that only takes a little bit of time but will save you loads of energy and anxiety.  It’s difficult to keep track of school work, appointments, meetings, and who is having what for lunch each day.  Have your children set out their clothes the night before to avoid the early morning rush of finding the right socks.  Decide ahead of time if lunches need to be made, and go ahead and make them.  Sign permission slips and return them to school immediately. Have the Kids Help.  If your children are school age, then they are old enough to help out with a few chores around the house.  Make sure their tasks are age-appropriate, and don’t expect perfection from them.  Even if they aren’t old enough to vacuum or do dishes, they can still pick up after themselves or help you put away folded laundry.  Keep it fun by having a family chore time where everyone works together. Develop a Support Network.  Even if you’re raising your children without another full-time parent in the picture, it doesn’t mean that you are completely alone.  Make a list of people who would be able to assist you.  This may include friends, family members, neighbours, and even your ex.  It helps to know who would be available to take the kids to school if you’re sick, who might be willing to babysit so you can get some errands done, and who would be interested in taking the kids to the movies just so you can take a nap. Take Care of Yourself.  It may seem impossible, but you need to find time to spend on your own well-being.  You won’t be able to take care of your children if you are overtired, overworked, or unhealthy.  Take a little time for yourself, even if it means getting up before the kids do or swapping babysitting time with a friend to make it happen.  Journal your feelings about being a single parent or find someone to talk to. Do your best to get plenty of exercise, eat right, and take your vitamins.  Your kids will see the difference in you. You Can’t Do It All.  We all want to feel like the super parent, with a clean house, happy children, paid bills, and a little time to relax at the end of the day.  But the truth is that going it alone might mean you can’t do it all.  The key is not to stress over it.  As long as your children are cared for, don’t worry if you’re too tired to throw in an extra load of laundry or clean up the dinner dishes.  You can find time to catch up later. Truly Be with Your Kids.  When you’re spending time with your children, truly be in the moment with them.  Kids notice if their parents are tuning them out in favour of social media or text messages, and they might be hurt if they feel that they come in second to your cell phone.  Turn off your notifications and enjoy your time with them, and then catch up on your apps after bedtime. You may find that being a single parent is one of the most challenging things you have ever done, but you may also find it to be one of the most rewarding.  There is no better feeling than knowing that you have done a good job of providing for your children.  Just be patient with yourself, take the time to get organized, and know that you don’t have to truly be alone.

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