Welcome back – we’ve been talking about some of the challenges newly single parents when that first summer rolls around since the divorce. As parents, you’ve already got a lot to think about, and now there are three months of no school to deal with!. In the previous article we looked at some cheaper vacation alternatives for Michigan parents whose divorces had left them with smaller summer budgets. Next up we’ll look at some solutions to child care concerns over the summer months.
Childcare can present challenges for divorced parents
If you used to be a stay-at-home parent and now you’re working since the divorce, childcare might be something you’re having to plan around for the first time since ending your marriage. Obviously, if your kids are older this will be less of an issue, but for little ones it can be a major headache to figure out who will look after your children while they’re out of school. After all, daycare is expensive! So what can you do?
- Figure out trade days with friends:
This might not work for parents who work full time, but if you have a part time position, consider talking to a friend with children about trading babysitting. If they can watch your kids while you’re at work for a few days a week, you can return the favor on other days and give them a chance to work or get caught up on errands alone. It does mean looking after someone else’s children on some of your days off, but for folks with a tight budget, it can be a great way to get free daycare during the summer!
- Create a lineup of friends and relatives:
Asking one person to step into the gap for you can be too hard for any one person, but you may have better luck if you spread the responsibilities. Many friends and loved ones might be willing to take your kids for one day a week, and if you can find enough people to do just one day, it will make the process easier for everyone. Start with your parents, siblings and former in-laws (they’re still grandparents!) and then work from there, moving on to friends with kids, and even friends who don’t have kids but love your children and want to support you.
- Look into day camps and whatever your school district has to offer:
Many school districts offer summer camps for kids. Some require payment, but many are free. For many recently divorced parents YMCA camps are just too expensive, but school district camps can go a long way towards providing you with free or affordable child care. If the camps start or end at different times than your work schedule, you may still need to rely on loved ones to step into that time gap for you, but a few hours is much more manageable than a whole day.
Tight budgets don’t have to mean no fun!
Single parenting can be very challenging, but having a smaller summer budget doesn’t have to mean no fun. Local libraries (like our Capital Area District Library here in Lansing) work hard to create engaging summer programs that you and your kids can enjoy at no cost. Check out local festivals, visit the park, see what’s happening at a community center near you, and visit landmarks in your area. If you plan ahead and are willing to adjust your expectations, you can have an amazing summer without spending much in the way of cash!
Divorce is tough, but you don’t have to let it get you down!
Finances are only one aspect of how a divorce will affect your future. But with good planning and a well thought out strategy, your future can be amazing. So make sure you get the right help at the start. Divorce attorneys with lots of experience and skill can help you plan and prepare the right way, and ensure that your future interests are protected. Call The Kronek Firm today at 866 766 5245 and get help from the people who know how to do this right!