Life is always full of surprises, and one of the ways to deal with these bombshell surprises is by either throwing your hands up in the air and giving up, or you can do what real men do and that’s adapt to things and situations as they come at you.
I prefer the latter of course…
Assuming you’re like me as well – considering you’re even on my page suggests to me you are – then read on because I’m going to provide some tips and strategies that will help you if you’re wondering how to adjust your life as a single dad.
- Make your child the center of your life
- Learn the skills required to be a great parent
- Consider altering or changing your job
- Re-evaluate some friendships
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help
- Reduce or eliminate your partying ways
- Make your place kid-friendly
Adjusting your life as a single dad is much more than only the mental game; in order to be a successful single dad, you must take into context the physicality of things as well.
Indeed, the mental game of raising a child is important – as I outline in my post. However, let’s take a more holistic approach and encompass them both together.
Remember, adjusting your life has to have a balanced approach, so let’s take some time to look into these critical points down below.
Make Your Child The Center Of Your Life:
Having the child at the center of your life is bound to have a trickle-down effect – which will be demonstrated below.
Once you make the conscious decision to shift your priorities from that of a self-centered individual to an altruistic, single dad you will no doubt see great things happen in the relationship.
Indeed, a shift in the mindset is by far the most difficult component of adjustment, so if you’re having great difficulty in this area don’t be discouraged. Practically every single dad looking for a transformative mindset suffers initially.
Just remember to always try and stay focused and remain driven in reaching your goal in your quest to be the best dad around.
Learn The Skills Required To Be A Great Parent:
In order to be a successful single dad, it’s advised that you shift your mindset from being a once single guy into a single dad.
One of the disadvantages that single dads lack is that we, generally speaking, do not have that maternal instinct that extends beyond just the basic physiological needs required to raise a child.
Thankfully, we have tools courtesy of our modern age such as Google and YouTube where we can practically learn about any topic, or figure out any question.
We also have access to forums, countless message boards, and unlimited virtual groups so we are never without help or guidance when we need it the most.
Consider Altering Or Changing Your Job:
This only really applies to those folks who have jobs where they need to put in a crazy amount of hours, work overnights or any other workplace situation that impedes your ability to care for a small child.
You may find yourself in the same workplace situation, however, with a strong social safety net your friends and family may be able to fill in the gap with respect to child care.
If you’re not that fortunate, and you find your child suffering due to your schedule, I strongly urge you to change or alter your work for the sake of the child.
I was in a similar situation when my first daughter was 7 years old, and I knew from her constant tear and anxiety that it would be better if I made the time to be with her at night when she needed me the most.
Most likely, you may suffer a pay cut but in the end, cutting back on some expenses such as eating out or hitting the bars with friends should help cushion the transition.
Re-Evaluate Some Friendships:
Some of us have friends we have known for what seems forever. Sometimes they stick around after high school, and sometimes it’s college or university. Whatever the length of the friendship is, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of keeping some friends despite the little voice inside your head warning you not to.
If you ever needed a reason to ditch that particular person who constantly swears around your kid or shows up drunk half the time, now’s the time to reconsider for the sake of your child.
Attachments can be a tricky thing after all the last thing we want to do is dump a long-time friend for being the person we enjoyed spending time with all these years.
However, your child comes first so that’s why I suggest you at least give them a warning explaining that you don’t want your son or daughter exposed to certain actions and behaviors.
If they value the friendship as much as you do then they will adhere to your wishes and life can go on; if not they weren’t really that great of a friend, to begin with.
Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help:
The last thing most of u want to do is become a burden to those around us. After all, our loved ones are important to us and the thought of taking advantage of them leaves an uneasy feeling inside us.
That said, most of us would be pleasantly surprised to learn that we are not really taking advantage of our friends and family at all.
Rather, if we ask those around us, many of them would be happy to help out in areas of childcare, mentoring and other important things required to raise a healthy and successful child.
Besides, why trust people we don’t really know when there is a potential community of folks we already know?
Reduce Or Eliminate Your Partying Ways:
Most of us enjoy a good time and spending time with good friends out about the town into all hours of the night can have an exhilarating effect on us all.
That’s ok, but when you have children setting the ultimate example should be high on your list of priorities.
Rather than heading out to the bar until all hours of the night, find things to do at home like taking up a new hobby online such as distance learning, or computer games.
If you are an avid gamer, find new games and hobbies that you and your son or daughter could enjoy together; the important thing is that you go out of your way to spend time with one another making daily memories that will go along way in the bonding process.
Make Your Place Kid-Friendly:
This should pretty much go without saying, but judging the accidental deaths that happen to children every year in the US, people need to be reminded of the importance of child safety as a whole.
Putting padding on sharp corners throughout your house, a fence separating the swimming pool, plastic coverings on every light socket, removing small objects to prevent choking – all these precautions will go a long way in keeping your child safe while maximizing a stress-free home environment is essential to great parenting.
I remember when my 1st daughter was 2 years old. I walked into the living room to discover her with a penny in her mouth rolling it around with her tongue.
Terrified, I rushed to her defense and scooped the penny from her mouth with my index finger.
And although she was safe, I still remember to this day the anxiety felt as my heart skipped a beat or two.
Learning how to adjust your life as a single dad may sound like a daunting task, after all there are many considerations to factor in if your goal is to be the best dad in the universe.
Thankfully, with the right mind-set and information at hand, it needn’t be overwhelming.
Safety-proofing your house, partying less and developing new hobbies that include your child may take some creativity, but if you stop and enjoy the process it can be a very enjoyable thing.
Watching your child develop, and witnessing their happiness and love for you each and every day trumps anything you used to partake in hands down; the fact that you’re taking the time to read this post should be a testament to your desire to do great things as a single dad.
Don’t stress yourself out, you got this!
If you enjoyed my post please take a moment to leave me a comment below. And if you’re already a single dad with something to contribute I would love to hear from you as well.