The Top 10 Single Parent Do's and Don'ts for 2017

Esme and I were just thinking about how we would like to forget most of 2016, but more importantly we are excited for the New Year to come! This is the time of year for resolutions and goal planning. There is no time like the here and now to start being nice to yourself and loving the person you have become.

Here are a few suggestions we have put together for single parents to help start your New Year with a fresh and positive spin!!

1.      Get organized by buying a planner (and actually using it) or there’s no time like now to start using that calendar app on your phone (JLR lives by her calendar app)! This will help you as a single parent get in the habit of checking your calendars and stop forgetting important appointments or even bills to pay.

2.      Start researching wills and power of attorneys. This makes a lot of us uncomfortable to talk about, but it is smart to have this in place because you never know what might happen and you want to make sure your children are taken care of in your absence.

3.      Start a budget/savings plan and put into place for the year. Make sure you budget for that new car you need or those miscellaneous items like teacher gifts and friend’s birthday presents. The more detailed the better.

4.      Set up a plan to work-out (or walk-out as Esme likes to call it). Even if you only walk 15 minutes a day it will change your outlook and increase those endorphin's. Bring your kids along with you; it is nice to have some time away from distractions with them.

5.      Plan at least 5-10 minutes of quiet “you” time at the start or end of the day. While the children are asleep, meditate on the things you’re grateful for and the positive affirmations you are instilling in yourself and family.

What are the best things that happened to you this last year? Try making a “Gratitude” jar this year and every good thing that happens, write it on a small paper and put in it in a jar. When you have low times over the year you can get them out and read to see how many great things have happened.

Lastly, here are some gentle and helpful reminders of what NOT to do as you start the New Year off. Some apply to New Year’s Eve while others can be used all year round. Cheers!

6.      Do NOT start the year off with a new online dating profile because you are lonely. Lonely is not a good enough reason to date someone. Date yourself for a change and learn to love it!

7.      Do NOT text your ex no matter how much you miss them. You know who we're talking about, the one that broke your heart and lied to you. Let’s face it, there was a reason it ended in the first place whether you know the reason or not.

8.      Do NOT start the year off in the bed of a random woman/man. Instead get your butt home…alone! You will thank yourself later for it (and thank us too). ;)

9.      Do NOT continue to talk about last year and play the” woe is me” card. We all know 2016 was hard and terrible, but let’s focus on the here and now and how to make it fantastic!

10.      Do NOT harbor unforgiveness and anger any longer. No matter whom it is towards or what it is about, it only leads to hurting yourself. Reach out for help or counseling if you need to (the only time that number 4 can be broken).

We all make many mistakes over and over again until we learn not to do them. Just as we teach our children to not do the things that will hurt them we must also keep those reasons in mind for ourselves. Just don’t forget about grace; the grace we need to give ourselves to see those changes.

Many blessings to each and every one of you as you start off 2017!

Esme and JLR