Childcare as a separated parent is sometimes more complicated – especially if you are also a single parent. Running around for work, chores and children’s activities sometimes leave you too stretched. Keep your cool! You are not the only one in this boat! A few tips to help you stay afloat:
1. Make friends with other parents at your children’s activities. Other parents are a great resource for local information and resources – find out what has worked for them and what has not. As well, if you feel comfortable and safe with their parenting, carpooling and child minding arrangements can be made. Remember to be reciprocal.
2. Plan your family’s season with transportation and time management in mind. Whether you are a single parent and child home or a blended family bus load, planning your activities pays huge dividends. Map Map the activities from school, work and home.
3. Eating on while on the run is okay – but bring healthy meals with you instead of making stops at fast food joints. This will save time, money and nutrition.
4. Maintain your autonomy, unless you and your children’s other parent have a really special relationship – relying on them for childcare – whether in a pinch or preplanned – may impact place you in a situation of being beholden to return a favour or place everyone in a situation of unnecessary conflict. Hiring a sitter is an normal experience for parents. The Fair Parenting Project has a relationship with SitterCity.com to help separated parents find sitters. Use the code SPRING30 to receive 30% off their services.
5. Have a parenting plan that works. Make sure that you have optimized your parenting schedule and the protocols for children’s transfers between homes. Consider the Fair Parenting Plan. Transfers at school, daycare or summer camp usually work best.