Sunset Families! We will be closing today Tuesday 2/20/18 at 5:00pm to make sure our staff can make it home safely tonight. If you have an urgent need, please call our office and our answering service will connect you with a triage RN or our on-call physician. Stay safe and warm!
Archives for February 2018
With its awesome parks, children’s museum, zoo, and family-friendly farmers market, Portland is a great city to be a single dad. But no matter where you live, single fatherhood has its struggles. As a recent widower, divorcé, or just a recent dad, you might be feeling lost in your new dual role. While it takes time for anyone to get the hang of single parenthood, this guide will help you through some of the tough questions.
Adjusting Career Expectations
If you were the primary breadwinner in your marriage, you probably had big goals for your career. Maybe you worked long hours chasing promotions or regularly traveled out of town to network at industry events. But now that you’re parenting solo, your weekends and evenings look a lot different. And as much fun as it is to spend Saturdays playing catch instead of catching up on email, it’s hard to give up the vision you had for your career.
You don’t have to give up on career advancement just because you’re a single dad, but you do have to approach it differently. Find an employer that lets you work flexible hours and who measures your accomplishments by what you get done, not how many hours you spend at the office. If you can’t find a company that provides the flexibility you need, consider self-employment.
Single dads are more like to date again than single moms, according to a report from the Pew Research Center. But when you’re trying to reenter the dating scene, it certainly doesn’t feel easy. You somehow have to find the time, money, and energy for dating on top of your parenting responsibilities. And when you do manage, there’s the guilt for spending a Friday night out instead of with your kids. Then there’s the question of when to introduce a love interest to your children, and if your partner has kids, introduce the kids to each other.
There’s no benefit to rushing into dating before you’re ready. However, it’s important to think of your answers to these questions, among others, before you start. And in the meantime, make friends with the other single dads at the park or join a single parents Meetup group. It’s good to have social interaction and support from people who understand your experience.
Managing Stress and Frustration
You never get time off — you’re either at work or at home taking care of your kids. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy, but you don’t have time to lose your cool. You have to be a well-adjusted parent to raise well-adjusted kids, after all. And while many fathers act stoic, bottling up their stress instead of dealing with it, everyone knows that a bottle can only take so much pressure before it explodes.
Rather than avoiding difficult emotions, learn how to manage them. Behavioral Wellness and Recovery recommends arming yourself with strategies to quickly defuse stress. In their words, “It’s important to learn small ways to face that stress head-on and reduce it no matter where you are, because having effective coping mechanisms handy will allow you to get through even the most challenging times. You can use your new skills to immediately start feeling better, and to prevent the emergence of chronic mental health problems.”
Being a single dad is the hardest job you’ll ever have. But it’s also the most rewarding, meaningful, and strength-building thing you’ll ever do. To do it well, it’s important to balance your personal needs on top of your children’s. Make room in your life for the things you need — a rewarding career, a supportive social network, a strong mind — and your children will reap the rewards of a happy, healthy parent.
Guest blog written by Daniel Sherwin.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Sunset Pediatrics.
The groundhog saw his shadow and said we are in store for 6 more weeks of winter!
Here are some winter safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
What to Wear
- The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
- Always remember warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.
- If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be thin and tucked under the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest, so the infant’s face is less likely to become covered by bedding materials.
- Hypothermia develops when a child’s temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. It often happens when a child is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing or when clothes get wet.
- As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.
- If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him/her in blankets or warm clothes.
- Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. Frostbite tends to happen on extremities like fingers, toes, ears and nose. The child may complain that his/her skin burns or has become numb.
- If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of the body in warm (NOT HOT) water. 104 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.
- Warm washcloths may be applied to the nose, ears and lips.
- Do not rub the frozen areas.
- After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing and blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink.
- If the numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.