1. Stay Busy.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Single parenting is NOT an easy job (my hats off to those who do this full time). For me, keeping my children occuppied has been KEY to my sanity, especially when my husband embarks on a three week trip to South Africa/Mexico. So when they ask you to schedule a playdate...it's a good thing. When they want to go to a movie, go to the park, go shopping, play games...it's all a good thing. A busy child is usually a happy child (at least for my children). And a happy child (aka one that is not bored, whiney, bickering, etc) makes for a happier mom.
2. Don't be afraid to let things slide a little.
While my instinct is to keep things nice, neat and orderly, it's not always easy/necessary to keep a perfect house while living as a single parent. I've learned to let go of the guilt if endless dishes pile up in the sink, if the floors get dirty, laundry piles up, etc. It doesn't make my children any happier if I'm spending all my time doing housework.
3. Try to schedule a little "me" time
When I say schedule, I mean just that. You have to PLAN time for yourself...it won't happen on its own valition. Whether, it's escaping to the gym during your lunch hour, enjoying an hour of shopping alone while your children are at a playdate, or having dinner with friends, taking time for yourself is essential. It provides a much needed respite from single parenting responsibilities and gives a much needed energy boost.
4. Don't feel sorry for yourself.
Granted this is an easy trap to fall into (in fact, I've caught myself going down that road tonight after a particularly challenging night
For me, self pity usually starts to creep in after two weeks of full-time single parenting (about where I'm at right now in my husband's business trip). The children are mising their dad, I'm missing my husband and every little thing starts to grate on everyone's nerves. The kids are at each other's throats and I just want "Calgon to take me away."
That's when I have to nip self pity in the bud...it is hard to recover from and makes my time as a single parent seem much longer, more aggrivating and much more difficult to endure. Plus, I have to remember that homecomings are all the sweeter after longer rounds of single parenting...just sayin'.