Because of her passion, Jodi Seidler has been profiled on hundreds of Web sites and dozens of publications, including: Single Parents Magazine, Child Magazine, USA Today, The LA Times and The Milwaukee Journal; She’s carried the Making Lemonade message to her own radio show, as well as national radio and TV talk shows, such as: “Inside Edition”, “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus”, “Berman and Berman: For Women Only”, UPN, Channel 13 News, “The Other Half”, “From Inspiration to Realization”, CBS Evening News, KCAL News, and The New York Times. Jodi Seidler knows how to help the newly single get beyond divorce and date as a single parent.
Ask a room full of single moms if they’ve ever felt the same way as you do right now and all the hands in the room will shoot up. I have a few ideas for you. Keep an “angry” journal. Get those emotions out of your body and on to paper. This way you can see what is really at the root of your anger — maybe fear or exhaustion. By writing it down and getting it out of your body it also makes room for some joy and love for your children to come in.
Benefits to being a single parent…
I think there are a lot of benefits to being a single parent. I mean I’ve been one for a long time but I would say that you become so strong because you are both mother and father in a lot of ways, without losing your femininity. But you gain this strength that you can pretty much do anything. And as long as you have the support so that you feel you like you are not alone – I can’t emphasize that enough – there is just this strong “I am woman, hear me roar” kind of thing that happens. And the best thing is you can find a lot of joy in being a single parent as well. It’s not just the old “woe is me”, like in the olden days when there weren’t as many single parent households.
Need Help? You’re Not Alone
In today’s world, fathers are getting their share of custody after divorce, and those numbers are growing. I understand it can be scary or daunting for dads, juggling work, parenting and perhaps even a social life. For all the single dads out there — there’s no doubt you are doing a great job! The most important thing you have to do is love your child, after that it’s just gravy.
There are places you can go for support and Web sites to visit that are for single dads. If you have a church or synagogue, community center, or local park, they all might have or can start a single parent support group. Approximately, 62 percent of all parents are single, so your universe is wider than you think. I suggest you begin by typing in “single fathers” in a search engine, and go visit one of those sites.
For anyone who is considering marrying someone who already has children, movies like “Stepmom” can be terrifying. Also, knowing that the children may have visions of a “Cinderella” situation looming in their heads may not make you feel very welcome. There are a few guidelines, however, that can help. As someone who has gone through three step-parents myself, I have been through just about every issue possible with regard to merging families. The keys to having a smooth integration into the family vary depending on the age of the child. Younger children are more willing to accept a step-parent because they haven’t gotten to their “independent” phase yet. For pre-teens and teenagers, however, it is easy to view the step-parent as just one more authority figure in the way of their freedom.
Here are some tips to help.
Find your way through the single parenting maze with ME!
I am available to consult with YOU – helping with the rough transition into the land of single-parent-hood.
Email me and let’s get this party started (and I don’t mean a pity party). I am here to empower you!
Dating depends on the age and temperament of your child. Now the good thing news about sharing custody. The times that your child is with the other parent, you can date all you want. You can have someone sleep over. You can do whatever you want because you are single then. The times your child is with you, that’s the time you bond with your child, you’re a team then. You don’t really include anyone else. If you are maybe going to have a dinner date over with someone you really want to meet your child, you do it as a friend. Like a play date like your children do. You don”t do it as a lover. Its not good for the child to see their mother intimately with someone else.
Whats a good tip for dating another single parent?
I love dating another single parent. I think its really important. I think the best thing about dating another single parent is they know that your child is the most important thing, and if they don’t then you don’t want to date them. And that they know what the issues are. They know that the child comes first, they know that things come up and they understand the rules of dating as a single parent.
◄◄ REW ► PLAY ▌▌PAUSE █▌STOP ►► FF
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We’ve all seen them…at the mall, on street corners and in movie theater lobbies. They exist in droves, in herds…never alone. We watch them flirt, laugh and hold hands; sometimes their ability to have fun frightens us.
But….did we ever think we’d be back in the dating game in tandem with our sons or daughters?
Teenagers are notorious for “knowing it all”, but upon observation and careful study I have learned a lot about dating from my teenage son. I always thought I would WOW him with words of wisdom and advice learned from my own files of experience. Little did I know that teenagers these days have the market on the social phenomenon of dating, on and offline.
As a single mother and nurturer by birth, I had often found myself wanting to change, heal or earn the love of the men I had begun a relationship with, a “lose-lose” paradigm. So, to gather more information, I watched and listened…sometimes in clandestine fashion, to my son and his friends. I noted that these modern day Romeos have a lot of insights and wisdom going on.
Being Basic: The importance of staying playful and open with a sense of innocence is the first thing I learned from my teenager. I notice that I have been taking myself WAY too seriously and needed to lighten up big time, especially in the land of dating.
Being Romantic: Romeo these days is instant messaging, text messaging, Facebooking and skyping his Juliet, to keep the “crush” alive.
Being Real: But what does my son and his friends have that men my age have lost…or never knew? We need to get back to being real, with no game playing to win an advantage.
Being Fearless: Teenagers today don’t see love through rose-colored John Lennon glasses. They are real and fearless in their expressions.
Being In The Moment: Younger daters don’t bring old baggage in on dates; they leave the heavy suitcases at baggage claim, and allow each day to be brand new.
I notice how much happier I am by following my young mentor’s example. I used to joke that my son gets more action than I do… until I stopped joking and started paying attention to what he could teach ME…. his baby booming – single mother.
When your child begins to act out after the divorce, it seems like, in a business sense, that your child is trying to be a CEO of the family! Some of that is okay because they are stretching their communication legs to state who they are (or think they are) and what they want from the family structure. It’s tough when you’re a single parenting after your marriage has dissolved. Coping with divorce and helping children cope with that, as well as helping them learn to become an independent being, can be difficult. The best way to circumvent this behavior from repeating over and over is to set rules within the house and also have a conversation with your ex (if you aren’t really on speaking terms, then I propose you use e-mail). This conversation will be about creating the same rules in both homes.
With consistency and same rules applying, there is less wiggle room for tantrums and mutiny. You can create an agreement that you can tell your child about, and they can sign to make it official. You can say to your child “Oh really, daddy (or mommy) said you have ice cream for dinner whenever you want? Let’s go call him now and find out if that’s true.” Watch how quickly your child says, “Just kidding.” The more you say, “Let’s ask daddy or mommy” the more this behavior will cease.
Now, remember it takes 21 days to break a habit (at least for adults) so be patient and know when this behavior ceases something else will pop up. It’s ALL age appropriate. Talk to other parents with children the same age that are single parents and you’ll see what I mean. Share tips with each other — it’s actually fun.
Your child is testing his/her power by manipulating, and as they grow, so do the tests. So, take your vitamins and show your child who is the adult and the boss, and allow them to take responsibility for their actions by saying, “let’s call daddy…” Chances are you’ll never have to make that call!
As a single parent, we learn the old ways of doing “life” no longer work; we have to modify our BUDGET as it relates to money, time and energy. Where before we shared responsibilities and duties, NOW we become mother, father, cook, taxi driver, bargain shopper and baby sitter. We sometimes don’t get to greet ourselves until our children are asleep, and even then we are too tired to notice who we are when we look in the mirror. So what do we do?
How do we find time for ourselves – our relationship to US. You know the drill. The airlines use it…”Ladies and gentlemen, please place the mask over your mouth first and then on your children”. It’s the same old thing for us now. Until we take care of our needs, we’re no good to anyone else. If mommy and daddy aren’t happy….no one’s happy.
So first we need to find the time for ourselves within our time management budget. Then, we need to know the shortcuts in our time allotment – for the essentials, for shopping for helping with homework, and for schlepping to sports events and piano recitals. I’m a big believer in the Buddy System – so anyone on our single parenting ship (be sure it’s not the Titanic) can be our buddy as far as a “baby sitting club” (taking turns so everyone has a life) and co-op shopping (buying large and splitting the tenders) and just plain emotional support.
This helps us keep going and adds to our time management budget. It’s like having a life jacket in the shark infested post-divorce murky waters. We need the support. And, we deserve it after what we have been through! So pat yourself on the back and know you are not alone. Sometimes being creative is all it takes.
It becomes a formula of imaging the end result and then moving backward into the steps that get us there. It’s in the creative thinking and the addition of supportive groups (or a buddy system) that we find peace and a piece of our single parent sanity. Just knowing we are not alone and that others have walked this journey before us – leaving bread crumbs for us to follow makes us feel safe and secure in the knowing we can survive and prosper as a single parent!
Summer is here, and with it comes a juggling act to make sure your children have a lot to do to attack boredom and keep them out of trouble. School’s out, work is constant, and time is short. If you’re divorced and a single parent, the juggling act gets more intense during those summer months, scheduling camps, sleepovers, trips and time for yourself.
All communities have summer camps and parks that have activities often have their own camps as well. The hardest thing during the summer is juggling your work and life — and parenting. It’s best to strategize your summer — with trips to visit grandma, a family excursion, throw in a little schooling and a camp experience.
Depending upon the age of the child, swim classes, karate classes and theme park outings are great within a camp theme or plan the summer with other divorced parents doing a kid-share routine.
And when you don’t have a lot of extra summer finances (which is everyone by the way, divorced or not), it’s best to be creative. When in doubt, plant a garden with your child, go camping, learn to play an instrument, prepare and go on a picnic, make your own kites and fly them, go to the beach or a lake…spend some quality time together…building memories.
And…as a last resort – there is also summer school!
I’m big on understanding that life is about making memories and anything you can do for your child and yourself to create a lasting memory – let that be your goal. Life goes by too quickly as it is, so get out there and start creating some wonderful and enduring adventures for your child for their emotional scrapbook!