BALANCING work and single parenthood may seem like an impossible task. Get good child care, banish stress and guilt, and tackle one thing at a time to keep up the balancing act.

* Realise that whether you are at work or at home, you are going to feel guilt. Don't get hung up on it. See it and get past it. Working is important to support your family, and spending time with your family is something you can't give up.

* Do each thing well, one at a time. When you are home, give your kids your full attention. When you are at work, put all your energy into your job.

* Decide what your priorities are. If having a fabulously successful career is what will make you happy, then go for it. If focusing on your family is what is important to you, then make that your priority.

* Have a backup plan. Be prepared for your ex to forget to pick up the kids from school, for your boss to ask you to stay late to complete a project, and for other schedule nightmares. Know what you will do if something like that should happen.

* Keep the stress from getting to you. You are trying to be a terrific employee and a terrific parent without a supporting spouse. Remember that you can~ do it all, all the time. Forgive yourseif for not being able to do it all perfectly. Focus on the essentials. If everyone is fed, dressed and clean, and you managed to show up at work, you have succeeded.

* Get dependable child care. You will not be able to concentrate on work or even keep a good job if you frequently have a no-show sitter or have to worry about whether your children are well cared for while you are gone. Ask friends, relatives and neighbours for recommendations.

* Develop a support network. Have friends and family you can talk to and depend on for fun, help and advice.

* Make time for yourself. Do little things to pamper yourself and reward yourself for all your hard work.

* Let some things go. Take a day off to take your kids to the park. Buy takeout once in a while. Let the bathtub be dirty.

* Pay attention to your money. Your paycheck, along with any child support you may receive, must support your family.

 

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