Single Parenting Tips for Newly Single Moms & Dads

Survive your first year as a newly single parent

At times, single parenting will feel like the hardest thing you've ever done. You'll be forced to make decisions you never wanted to contemplate and rely on the strength you didn't even know you had. These practical tips for newly single parents will help you persevere through the challenges you face and gain a renewed sense of hope and personal strength for the days ahead.

Single Parenting Tips for Newly Single Moms & Dads

  • 01 of 11

    Develop a Support Network

    Small boy talking to his mother
    Thanasis Zovoilis/Moment/Getty Images

    This is absolutely crucial. You need to know who you can depend on right now. Most likely, this network includes your immediate family and friends, but think about other people in your life who might also help you. Making an actual list of who these people are can help remind you that you're not alone. In addition, consider joining a formal support group for single parents in your area.

  • 02 of 11

    Schedule Time to Be Alone

    Woman with smartwatch
    Guido Mieth / Getty Images

    Carving out "me time" is an incredibly powerful single parenting tip. It will bring you healing, hope, and perspective. Right now, it’s important that you create pockets of time in your life when you can just be. A time when you’re not accountable for completing a task or responding to questions. Time to sit, to think, to ponder. This is one of the most critical bits of advice for newly single parents, and it's one that you simply must make time for.

  • 03 of 11

    Think Outside the Box

    Pensive woman drinking coffee looking out window kitchen
    Hero Images / Getty Images

    If finding time to yourself sounds impossible, consider some creative solutions, like swapping babysitting time with a neighbor or waking up a half-hour before the rest of your household. The time that you give yourself is precious, and it will be fruitful in helping you to establish reserves of inner strength.

  • 04 of 11

    Be Present with Your Kids

    Father and daughter walking in the park together
    Sally Anscombe / Getty Images

    When you're with your children, make an effort to be emotionally present with them. It would be easy to retreat into your heart right now, but this is a time when your children truly need you more than ever. Simple activities like playing a board game or taking a walk together can go a long way toward communicating the message that life will go on and they will, indeed, be okay.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Get the Facts About Your Situation

    Woman paying bills online at home
    Portra Images / Getty Images

    You might be tempted to make quick decisions right now about where to live and how to handle your finances. However, ignorance in this area can be extremely dangerous, and so can making rash, uninformed decisions. For now, take the time to find out where you stand financially. Gather the necessary papers in order so that when you are emotionally ready to make changes, you'll be prepared and able to make informed decisions.

  • 06 of 11


    Female entrepreneur working at desk in creative office space
    Hero Images / Getty Images

    Expressing your feelings is important to your overall health. Consider writing in a journal or scheduling a regular "date" with a friend to vent, cry, and grieve. This one isn't just a single parenting tip; it's a life tip. Whether you've experienced the loss of a spouse, the end of a marriage, or an adjustment to the dream you once held for your life, it is important to grieve and process the loss before moving on.

  • 07 of 11

    Pay Attention to your Physical Health

    Close up of hand picking tomato from basket.
    Betsie Van der Meer / Getty Images

    This may be a time when you are feeling especially worn down and drained. Combat that by making the effort to eat healthy foods and choose to energize ways to fuel your body. Instead of relying on extra caffeine, try taking a walk at lunchtime. Additionally, getting adequate rest is crucial to your healing and ability to cope. Forgo the temptation to sit in front of the TV. Instead, read a book and retire early.

  • 08 of 11

    Identify What Gives You Strength

    Young woman athlete running
    BROOK PIFER / Getty Images

    In the past, how have you handled challenging times in your life? What most energizes you and reminds you that you possess the strength needed to meet the current challenge? Focus on what has worked for you in the past. (Before long, you'll be giving single parenting tips and advice to others!)

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Let Go of What Isn't Working

    Business woman looking over the city at sunrise.
    Ezra Bailey / Getty Images

    Likewise, let go of what has not worked for you. As you move through this first year, reflect on the habits and choices that have not served you well, and decide to change them. In addition, if there are things from the past that you cannot change, let go of unhealthy guilt and remorse.

  • 10 of 11

    Focus on the Positive

    Father playing with his daughter outdoor
    Thanasis Zovoilis / Getty Images

    This is a time of new growth in your life. Take the time to think about the things that are going well for you. Having a positive attitude—even in the midst of extreme circumstances—can empower you to move ahead and provide your children with a tangible example of the coping strategies you want them to adopt.

  • 11 of 11

    Ask for Help

    Mother and daughter looking at cookbook in kitchen
    Hero Images / Getty Images

    Of all of the single parenting tips listed here, this one is probably the most difficult to apply. However, you must know that there really are people around you who would love to help! Keep in mind, too, that asking for help and letting others into your life is a gift to yourself and to the person assisting you. Sharing in one another’s lives during difficult times affirms our human connection and brings a sense of purpose to everyday living.