When Is it Time to Move on from a Job?

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If you love the work you do, it doesn’t necessarily always feel like work. But if your career has you feeling burned out, overwhelmed, or perhaps even unsettled, you may be experiencing the telltale signs that it’s time to move on. When you believe that you have nothing left to gain in your position – or nothing left to offer – it can feel like you are stuck, going through the motions just to receive a paycheck.

Of course, it’s not uncommon to experience feelings of malcontent or frustration in the workplace. Everyone has difficult days, and sometimes a challenge can be just what you need to kick your problem-solving skills into high gear to tackle an obstacle from a new perspective. But if your gut is telling you that something just isn’t right anymore, you may need to slow down and listen. Leaving a job can feel similar to the breakdown of a marriage or other relationship – when it’s over, you just know.

Listen to Yourself

If you were once excelling in the workplace and your performance has recently started to suffer, consider taking a step back to assess the situation. Have you merely become complacent in what you do, or have you truly outgrown your job? How do you know how to distinguish between the two?

For starters, listen to yourself. Were you once passionate about your job, eager to start your day and get to work? If you’ve since lost that passion, you may have also lost your motivation. If you dread going into the office and doing your day-to-day tasks, it can be difficult to change your mindset. When you’re experiencing feelings of burnout, it’s crucial to listen to your inner voice that’s telling you something isn’t right. Similarly, if your work no longer challenges you, you may find your mind wandering, wondering if your current position still fits your needs. In order to clearly assess the situation for what it is, be open to thinking it through and hearing yourself out.

Workplace Problems

There are many reasons you may be feeling uneasy about your current position or workplace. Do you work for a difficult boss who is eager to micromanage or undermine you? Or maybe your work environment fosters an unhealthy competition with your colleagues, where instead of focusing on collaboration, you believe they are out to sabotage you? If you don’t enjoy the work environment or office culture, you may feel like you don’t fit in. While there are steps you can take to remedy this, feeling like an outsider can become a problem when it affects your work and your performance. If you are unable to work collaboratively with those around you, you may be right – the environment just isn’t right for you, and you would be better suited someplace that values your contributions and insights.

If you enjoy your work, but you feel that you’ve hit a peak, you’ll need to determine if there is any possible room for growth. When there isn’t room for growth, start thinking about next steps and how a change in job – or company – better aligns with your career goals. If the only possible area of growth is a lateral career move – or perhaps in a direction that you don’t envision for yourself – you may also want to consider a change.

There are many reasons directly related to the workplace that can signify a reason to leave. When a company’s organizational structure begins to shift in ways that impact the employees in negative ways, you may begin to wonder if the change is in your best interest. If those around you are making a mass exodus for greener pastures, you too might be tempted to join the cause.

During difficult times in the workplace, it can feel natural to want to discuss the tension with your colleagues. Be wary of this – while it can be helpful to hear if your team members are feeling similarly, it can also be a double-edged sword. You don’t want your feelings to end up misconstrued or trailing back to your superiors.

In this scenario, it may be best to get an outside perspective from someone you trust and respect.

Your Health Is Suffering

You do your best work when you are feeling your best, but if you’ve been noticing the wear and tear of work-related stress, your body could be trying to tell you that something is not right. When we’re stressed, our bodies release hormones that send our nervous system into a state of emergency, causing our hearts to beat faster, our muscles to tighten, and our blood pressure to rise. While these changes are a natural response and can actually improve our strength and focus, they can also be detrimental to health if recurring over a long period of time.

Stress can also exacerbate existing conditions, which can include the following health problems:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive issues
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Skin conditions

If your work life is impacting your health – whether it is physical, mental, or emotional – it may be time to move on and fit something that better suits your needs.

The job hunt isn’t always an easy path to go down, but if you find yourself spread too thin, frustrated by your surroundings, or just plain unhappy in your work, you owe it to yourself to begin the search. When you no longer feel satisfaction or a sense of achievement in your career, you could be on the verge of burnout, and it’s important to take action before it derails you. It’s critical to be proactive, listen to your inner voice, and take care of yourself. Keep in mind that work is what propels us forward to achieve our goals. If you aren’t moving in the direction of your dreams, then where are you headed?

How did you know you were ready to move on from a job? What advice do you have for others who may be feeling the same? Share your feedback in the comments section below!   

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What Does Divorce Do to Your Career?


People don’t get married with the intention of getting divorced, though according to recent statistics, about one-third of current marriages will end in one. While this is up from the popular myth that posits nearly half of all married couples divorce, it does not change the reality that divorce is a major life event, with frequently emotionally devastating results.

While it may be common knowledge that divorce can affect relationships with friends and family, the professional toll that divorce wreaks often goes unsaid. If divorce impacts all aspects of life, why should one’s professional life be any different?

If you have recently gone through a divorce or are wading through one currently, is crucial that you don’t let the negativity trickle into your work life.

Time Management

Divorce can have unfortunate consequences when it comes to time management. In addition to time-consuming meetings with lawyers and mandated court appearances, there are other constraints to consider. If you shared living quarters your spouse, for the sake of your own wellbeing, you will you need to find somewhere else to stay, whether crashing with friends and family, or finding a completely new residence. Regardless of where you end up, you must carve out the necessary time to make these arrangements.

If you need to tour a new home or apartment, you may be unable to relegate that to weekend time, so it is important to talk with your boss about this beforehand. Depending on your relationship with your boss, you do not need to be explicit about your circumstances, but make sure to explain how you plan to make up any missed work if you are not taking a temporary leave of absence or using paid time off. In either scenario, use your down time wisely so that you can return to work prepared to handle your job with a clear and focused mind.

Workplace Professionalism

Divorce is similar to bereavement in that it is a significant loss, and it will affect you in your day-to-day life, often in unexpected ways. It is critical that you are open to processing your thoughts and feelings, whether that means seeing a therapist, confiding in loved ones, or taking some time much-needed time for yourself. In this time of turmoil, you may find yourself seeking comfort from those close to you, which can include your coworkers. Regardless of your personal relationship with your coworkers, keep it professional at work and don’t divulge any confidential information. While your colleagues are likely to be sympathetic to your circumstances, the workplace is not the ideal place to let your emotions get the best of you. Do not take advantage of your colleagues’ condolences by making them uncomfortable with details of your marriage or your former spouse. Though you may request flexibility from your coworkers during this tumultuous time, consider keeping your private life just that – private.  

Health and Wellbeing

Though the emotional toll of divorce is quite taxing, it can take a physical toll as well. It is not uncommon for depression and anxiety levels to increase, which can cause a painful mixture of lethargy, hopelessness, and constant worrying. Men can also be at risk for developing heart disease following a divorce, as well as significant fluctuations in weight. Though the last thing you may feel like doing is exercising and eating well, taking care of your health is crucial during this difficult time.

Similarly, if you find your sleep suffering, consider visiting a doctor or therapist specializing in sleep disorders to set you back on track. With a lack of sleep, many men find themselves feeling out of sorts in the morning, appearing disheveled or poorly groomed in the workplace. If you’re trying to keep your divorce under wraps, the last thing you’ll want is your co-workers to grow suspicious about your appearance and behavior. Take time for yourself, and don’t neglect your health or wellbeing.

Going through a divorce can have many negative side effects, but the demise of your career shouldn’t become one of them. Maintain stability by keeping your work life constant and professional. Though divorce is unquestionably painful, you can get through it by taking care yourself and seeking the comfort of close friends and family.

Did your divorce affect your career? What did you learn from it? Share your advice in the comments section below!

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Navigating the Online World of Job Hunting for the First Time

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Being a single father certainly isn’t an easy job, especially when you’re on the  job hunt. The balancing act of providing for your children and getting in quality time with them is a delicate one, and when you add something as time consuming as a search for a new job into the mix, you may find yourself feeling overextended. Fortunately, you can optimize the time you spend job searching by understanding the ways the job hunt has changed.  

If it’s been a long time since you’ve looked for a job, there are a few things that you will need to know before you start looking. These days, a vast majority of companies seek new hires by recruiting online. While there are both pros and cons to this method, it is an unmistakable reality and should be taken into consideration before you’re ready to roll your sleeves up and get to work.

Going Digital

Because the recruitment and hiring process for a single job can be quite lengthy, even spanning over months at a time, employers have found ways to expedite their search by going digital.  This benefits employers several ways, chiefly in that allows them to cast a wider, yet more targeted net. They are also more likely to reach stronger candidates, as today’s job seekers can take advantage of searching online by creating job alerts and signing up for company newsletters that may feature job postings.  

Employers also benefit from an online recruitment through the use of applicant tracking systems. Applicant tracking systems are an online database, storing applicant information for employers to screen. Hiring managers can also use applicant tracking systems to update candidates on their status in the hiring process, notifying them if they are selected for an interview. Applicant tracking systems are a helpful tool for both employers and candidates, though they often require a fastidious amount of detail from job seekers.

Online Applications

For many employers, a resume and/or cover letter just simply isn’t enough. Today’s job applications are deeply thorough, often requesting a candidate’s full employment history, including an explanation for any gaps over the years, in addition to both personal and professional references with phone numbers, email addresses, physical address, as well as their previous and current job titles.  

Some employers will also ask for salary requirements, to be listed in the job application or stated outright in a cover letter. While this may be helpful to employers for screening purposes, it can backfire against applicants. Ask too much, you may be overlooked. Ask too little, and you may have sealed your fate by resigning yourself to low pay.  Furthermore, employers may even ask for candidate’s social security numbers outright, to facilitate background checks before a selection has been determined. Regardless of your level of comfort and notions of privacy, many employers will not even consider applications with any missing information that has been requested.

Social Networking Sites and Job Boards

Beyond online job postings, many companies today post about their open positions on their social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and predominantly, LinkedIn. While it may have been perfectly acceptable in the 1990s to inquire in person if companies were hiring, it is much more uncommon now, as companies today seek tech savvy professionals that engage with their companies online, expressing an interest in their social media channels by “following” or “liking” them.

Many companies also outsource their job postings, working with industry-specific job boards to recruit candidates from a specific field. Candidates may also have luck on job board aggregator sites, like or, which are often easy to navigate and allow users to search for jobs by a combination of keyword, salary, and location. You can also post your resume to these sites in hopes that a company may reach out to you first, but it is always better to be proactive as a job seeker.

Ultimately, the modern job seeker is thorough, sharp, and leaves no stone unturned. If there is a particular company that you desire to work for, always check their website first to see if they directly post their job listings. Whether you’re looking to change careers completely or advance in your specific field, do your research, know your competition, and have confidence that the right match will be made in time.  

What advice do you have for fellow single fathers on the job hunt? Share your feedback in the comments section below!

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Why You Should Consider Dating a Single Dad

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Today, your chances of dating a man with children at some point in your life is quite high — according to a Pew Research Center study, there are about 2.6 million of them out there. While dating a man with kids comes with its own set of unique challenges, that doesn’t mean you can’t find love in the arms of a single dad.

In fact, many people who have tested the waters suggest that if you’ve removed single dads from your search for romance, you’re doing it wrong. After all, you’re unlikely to stumble across a more caring or selfless guy than one who’s spent years raising children on his own. There are many great reasons to consider dating a single dad over your traditional childless guy.

Single Dads Are Mature (Children Force us to Grow Up)

No matter your age, whether you’re in your 20’s or your 50’s, you’ve likely run into a few “man-children” in the dating world. You know the type: the single guy who goes out every weekend to the bars, who barely has a savings account, and whose fridge contains just a gallon of milk, a jar of pickles, and seven beers.

Not all single guys fit this bill, but you will encounter those who haven’t quite matured yet, and are still focused entirely on having fun. Single dads simply don’t have this luxury. As any parent will tell you, kids instantly put the world into perspective. When you meet a man who’s also a father, rest assured that any self-centered or reckless habits he had started dropping the moment he saw his first born’s face. A single dad has a specific set of priorities, and this means:

  • He won’t shirk responsibility. While other men might begrudge requests to pick up extra groceries, a single dad steps up to the plate — he truly knows the meaning of responsibility. He has little lives depending on him, and there’s nothing that teaches a person to to be responsible more than that.
  • He won’t shy away from serious conversations. Single dads don’t run a mile when important topics come up (“Do you ever want more kids?” or “Are we ready to move in together?”). They talk, listen, and make tough decisions every day. They know how important it is to discuss the difficult stuff.
  • He doesn’t invent drama. When there’s a child to take care of, people simply don’t have the physical or emotional energy to come up with pointless hang-ups. Nothing is a big deal unless it really is important — single dads have usually gained the wisdom to differentiate between the two.

Single Dads Can Look After Themselves (and You)

A single dad is handy, self-sufficient, and equipped to handle any problem that might arise. As a lone parent, he’s had to learn to be quick on his feet, and adapt to various situations. These are the guys that are ready to listen, fix things, and offer a helping hand whenever you need it.

Listening skills come in handy in romantic relationships — and single dads have them to spare. As the only parent available, he’s likely developed practically superhuman skills for listening, understanding, and supporting; when you talk, he’s going to hear you.

At the same time, he’s not afraid of embarrassment and he won’t get freaked out easily. If a single dad has little girls (or even boys, in some cases), you can bet he’s spent time getting his nails or makeup done. Raising kids teaches people about the strength it takes to let your sensitive side show. A single father is prepared to be goofy and humble at times, to put others first, and to take all of life’s “icky” moments in stride.

Single Dads and Single Moms Are On the Same Page

If you’re a single mom, then single dads should probably be at the front of your dating search; these are the only people who truly understand the effort required to raise children. Single fathers have been through a lot of the things you’ve been through, and they’re likely experiencing the very same heartaches and anxieties you struggle with every day. In other words, they’re the perfect person to talk to about your parenting concerns, stresses, and more.

You may be able to connect and laugh over stories of spilled milk, embarrassing restaurant outings, or tantrums in the mall. You’re better prepared to support and comfort each other in times of self-doubt, or in the challenge to juggle all of life’s tasks. Best of all, although dating a single dad requires the understanding that his kids will come first, he’ll also understand that your kids come first for you. Single moms in the dating scene know that not everyone is compassionate when you have to cancel a dinner date because your child is sick; or you’re late to the movie theater because the babysitter didn’t show up on time. A single dad gets it — more likely than not, he’s been there himself a few times.  

Parenthood changes everyone, and dating another parent puts you in a great position to find someone that you can connect with on a deeper, profound level.

Single Dads Are Looking for Serious Relationships

Single fathers aren’t trying to play the field, or add notches to their bedpost. They’re seeking mature, serious partners who are interested in a long term commitment. When you date a single dad, the reality is, you’re also dating his children; and introducing a new person to the kids is a huge and important step. The last thing any parent wants is to let their child meet a new romantic interest, only to have that person disappear next week. In other words, single dads are in it for the long haul.

A father is only going to bring you into his life — and his kids lives — if he really likes you, and sees a potential future with you. That does mean he may take the relationship at a slower pace than you’re used to, as he wants to get to know you closely before he’s ready to introduce you to the kids. Waiting a little longer before meeting the family or having a real sleepover is worth it, because you’re taking the time to get to know each other and determine if you’re truly compatible.

When you date a single dad, you’re making an investment into a life with this person. It’s about having fun, sure, but ultimately, you’re both looking to make love work — and in the dating world, that’s really as good as it gets.

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The Difficulties of Dating as a Single Dad

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While many single fathers seek the connection, support, and personal fulfillment of a romantic relationship, being a dad makes dating a bit more complicated than it was before your life with kids. There are unique challenges to balancing single fatherhood and a successful love life, but it can be done; many single dads find loving relationships that makes their lives (and their kids’ lives) fuller and happier.

If you’re re-entering the dating pool, and you’re worried about balancing romance with kids, you’re not alone — with about 2.6 million men living the life of single fatherhood, there are many before you who’ve faced, and dealt with, the same anxieties.

Read up on these common struggles single dads face, along with some tips for preparing yourself to handle each potential roadblock smoothly.

Not Feeling Ready

Whether you’re divorced, widowed, or perhaps never had a significant relationship with your children’s mother, the question faces all single dads: Am I ready to date again? Becoming a father changed your life in a huge way, and adjusting to single fatherhood takes a lot of your physical and emotional energy; in the beginning, you need to devote all of your time and effort to yourself and your kids.

If you feel it’s too soon to start dating, that’s okay. It’s important to get your own life with your children settled before you re-enter the dating scene. There’s no set time after a breakup or death that you have to start looking. Just be careful of letting fear keep you from finding new love — any time we do something new, it’s scary.

If you really do want to date again, but you’re feeling anxious or down on yourself, remind yourself of all the positive qualities you can bring to a relationship. Think about the ways in which you’re responsible, reliable, and supportive towards your children; and how you’ll be able to offer that to a romantic partner, as well.

Finding Enough Time

It’s hard to find time to date amid paying attention to your work, dealing with an ex, and caring for your children. Get creative with ways to maximize your time. Consider taking your children out somewhere that’s not necessarily a kid-only attraction, but still welcomes kids — like a museum, farmer’s market, or public park. You never know who you might run into, or strike up a conversation with, as your kids run through the grass or help you pick out fresh-baked bread.

More and more people are finding great connections through online dating. Creating an online profile allows you to browse and respond to messages on your own time — whether you’re waiting in the parking lot for your kids to get out of school, or have ten minutes to yourself in between meetings. While it’s important to foster in-person relationships, dating online can save you a lot of time in the initial phases of meeting and getting to know people. That way, when you do take some precious time out of your busy schedule to go on a “real” date, you know you’ve already connected with the person on some levels.

Your Children’s Reactions

It’s important to be honest, and talk to your kids about your dating life; when you do, be sure to consider their age and maturity level, as this affects what you should share with them. Older children will have an easier time understanding dating, while younger kids might be a bit confused by the idea at first. Try simply explaining to young children that as much as you love them, you also want to have an adult friend that you can do grown-up activities with. If your children start asking for more information, keep your answers short and brief, but always honest.

Some children will be reluctant to accept one parent dating, as that often signifies that there’s no chance of reconciliation between their parents. In this case, reassure your kids that adults’ relationships don’t always work, but that doesn’t mean the kids are at fault or unloved. If you have a co-parenting plan with an ex, remind your children that they’ll still get to see their other parent(s).

Keep expectations realistic — your next date might not be someone you want to be with for the rest of your life. As a relationship gets more serious, you can start talking in more detail about your new love, to help your children become comfortable with the idea of this person. If there’s a real chance of a serious step (such as moving in together, or marriage), try explaining to your children that this person is a “bonus” to your family, not a replacement for anyone. The important thing is that you won’t have any less love for your kids just because you have a new relationship; you’re simply adding a little extra love to your family unit.

Your New Love and Your Kids

When you’re dating, be upfront and honest about the fact that you have children. You’ll probably want to talk about your kids on a date, since they’re important to your life, but remember that you’re a whole person. In addition to being a parent, you have other traits that a new love can appreciate — and while your partner should be open to meeting your children, you do not need to make the introduction right away.

It’s perfectly fine, and often wise, to wait a few weeks or months before your romantic partner meets your children. While you should never hide the fact that you’re dating from your kids, they don’t have to meet every single person you go to dinner with.

From your kids’ perspectives, seeing too many adults come into and leave their lives can sour them on relationships as they get older. There’s no set timeline for introductions, but if the relationship seems to be getting serious, talk to your partner about planning an introduction. Consider a short and informal event for everyone to meet each other — an afternoon cookout is a lot less stressful (and less overwhelming) than a weeklong camping trip. Remember that although you’ve spent a lot of time getting to know this new person, your kids haven’t yet; give both the kids and your partner time to ease into each other.

Your Love’s Kids (or Lack Thereof)

Just because your love interest isn’t a parent doesn’t mean she can’t be a wonderful influence on your children. There are any number of reasons why people don’t have kids of their own, but if your partner is responsible and likes kids, they can be a good candidate. Be sure to talk to your date about their future plans — if they want their own kids, but you don’t want more, that can be a difficult conflict to resolve. Set expectations as clearly and respectfully as you can, because in the end, you both need to be happy for the relationship to work.

On the other hand, dating another single parent means you have a person who readily understands your struggles, your lifestyle, and your priorities. When you date another parent, you already have something (big) in common right from the start. Keep in mind that dating someone with children means you have another round of introductions to make, and more relationships to work with and be considerate of. Talking with your love about parenting styles and values will make all of these transitions easier.

Dating as a single parent isn’t easy — it’s hard enough balancing a career, children, and time for yourself without adding romance to the mix. Respect, honesty, and discussion are all essential tools to make the process better for everybody involved. Dating brings some extra hurdles, but nothing you (and your kids) can’t overcome.

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Avoiding Illness While Traveling: How to Stay Healthy


One of the best parts of going on vacation with your kids is picking out fun souvenirs to bring home with you. But, there’s one souvenir no one wants to come home with – the flu. Sniffles, stomach bugs, and other icky viruses can really put a damper on your family trip. Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do for yourself and your youngsters, to reduce your risk of getting sick before and during your travels.

Next time you hit the road, follow these steps to protect your health, so you can focus on cultivating fantastic family memories (instead of foreign germs!).

Step 1: Get Educated Before You Leave

Avoiding illness becomes more of a challenge when you don’t know the risks posed by the place you’re visiting. Before booking your trip, take the time to research your destination. Look into whether the hygiene conditions of food and water are lower than you’re used to, and whether there are insects or wildlife that might carry disease.

At the same time, book doctor appointments – for you, and your children. It’s recommended that you see your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip. Even if you don’t need a checkup, your physician can share advice on defending against infection overseas, and offer necessary vaccines and immunizations if applicable.

Step 2: Start a Habit of Hand Washing

Getting your kids to wash their hands regularly can be difficult – anyone with a three-year-old can attest to this! – however, try to emphasize this habit before (and during) your vacation. Hand-based hygiene becomes increasingly important during times of travel. If you’re traveling on an airplane, or visiting destinations packed with tourists, you’re exposing yourselves to a range of potential illnesses from the people around you.

Frequent hand-washing, or the use of anti-bacterial hand gel, can be particularly effective in fighting the spread of infection – reducing your chances of everything from a common cold to travel diarrhea (talk about a trip-ruiner!). Try making a game out of it, or implement a fun hand-washing song, to get your kids excited about washing their hands during your family adventure.

Step 3: Avoid Local Water – But Stay Hydrated

Water is a particularly tricky concern when traveling. You need to make sure that you and your kids stay properly hydrated – while avoiding risky water sources. Even if you’re not headed to a hot climate, you are likely to be more active during a trip, so you’ll need plenty of water to protect your system against germs and illness.

Contaminated drinking water is one of the leading sources of health problems for travelers – and it can cause anything from gastrointestinal stress (vomiting and diarrhea), to serious bacterial disease. In some cases, you and your kids may get sick simply because the pathogens in foreign water are different from what your immune system’s used to. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to avoid tap water, and seek out bottled water instead. If bottled water isn’t an option, and you must use local water at some point, boil the water before drinking to kill off germs.

Step 4: Keep Up with Good Nutrition

Following a healthy, balanced diet at home often revolves around cooking your own meals – but when you’re on the road, proper nutrition can be challenging. You probably won’t have access to a kitchen, so it’s easy to turn to eating out for all of your meals. Just because you’re heading to a new restaurant, or stopping at a foreign convenience store, doesn’t mean you should ditch all hope of nutrition. Try to get plenty of fruit and vegetables into your children’s diet, and your own – and avoid any foods that seem suspicious.

Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow when traveling in a foreign place: if the food you’re considering isn’t baked, boiled, or peeled – don’t eat it. For instance, a refreshing salad may sound great in a tropical climate, but unwashed lettuce (or items washed in contaminated water) can make you sick. When choosing a place to eat, search for somewhere that’s packed with people. The more people, the more likely the food will be fresh – thanks to high customer turnover.

Step 5: Get Plenty of Rest

Remember that traveling can be stressful – even during a fun vacation – so make time for plenty of rest in between adventures. Schedule periods of relaxation (or rest breaks) into the day, so you’re not on the move constantly. These rest breaks also provide good opportunities to fuel up with some water and snacks, to keep yourself hydrated and healthy.

Do what you can to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep every day – just like you should at home. When you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be functioning at your best, and neither will your immune system. Though maintaining a perfect sleep schedule isn’t always possible, making an effort to stick close to your regular routine will help keep you, and your, children healthier.

Help Your Immune System While Traveling

When you travel, you become particularly susceptible to illness because you’re exposing your body to a range of new stresses, bugs, environments, and various germs. Combine a turbulent car, plane, or train journey with the naturally low immune system of children, and you open a wide range of new opportunities for disease and sickness. Your immune system works hard to keep your body healthy, but it can only do so much, especially in situations it isn’t accustomed to. Help your body out by giving yourself enough rest, water, and nutritious snacks; and take extra precautions to stay germ-free. The above tips, combined with destination-specific research and doctor recommendations, can help you to build up a defense against the common causes of illness during travel – so you and your whole family will stay healthy and happy during your vacation.

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Road Trip Games to Keep Your Kids Entertained

road trip games

If you’re a single dad, the thought of keeping your kids entertained during a long car journey, while maintaining enough focus so that you can stay safe on the road, might be terrifying. However, whether it’s a family vacation, or a trip to visit the grandparents, the chances are that you’re going to need to take a road trip at some point – even if you’d rather avoid it.

While you’re going through your checklist of must-have items, from luggage, and snacks, to beverages, and emergency car kits, don’t forget one of the most crucial considerations there is for travelling with kids: entertainment. Locking yourself in a car with bored children for several hours can be its very own form of torture, so you need to prepare if you want to avoid the headache-inducing chants of “Are we there yet?”

Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of some of the most effective, and popular car games to keep your kids distracted while you keep your eyes on the road.

1. 20 Questions

A great way to avoid the “Are we there yet?” question, is to give your kids an excuse to ask something else. “20 questions” is a classic travel game that has stood the test of time for families across the world, and it’s simple enough that just about anyone can play it. If you want to add a special twist to the game, you could make a rule that the mineral, animal, or vegetable that your children are guessing about has to be related to your chosen destination. For instance, a trip to France could have you guessing frogs, or croissants. This is a great way to educate your children about the place you’re visiting, and get them excited for the trip.

2. “I’m Going on a Picnic”

Memory games are a great way to get your kids to work their brains when you’re on a long journey. However, if you have to focus on the road, make sure you let your kids know that they’re going to have to play together for a while when you feel you might not be able to join in. “I’m going on a picnic” is an alphabet based game that works like this: one child says “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing”, followed by an item beginning with A, like asparagus, or apples. From there, the other children follow on with an item beginning with B, C, D, and so on, while remembering to include the items the previous players mentioned too. The last player who can recite all the items on the list wins.

3. I Spy

This road trip game is a classic for a reason. Not only does it help to keep your children entertained while they look for interesting items in their surroundings, but it also improves their observational skills, which is ideal for younger kids. The idea is to find an object that everyone can see, then say “I Spy with my little eye, something that starts with…” then provide the first letter of that object’s name. You can also choose to offer a hint about what the object is, such as whether it’s a living creature, or a landmark. Everyone in the car takes turns guessing the object until someone gets it right.

4. The License Plate Game

License plates can form the foundation of dozens of road trip games, so how you choose to play with them will generally depend on the age of your children. For example, with older children, you can ask each person in the car to name a guess of how many different state license plates you’ll see on your journey, then get them to keep a tally as you drive. At the end of the trip, the person with the closest guess wins a prize. Alternatively, for younger children, you can use the alphabet game to point out license plates containing the letter A, all the way to Z, then at the end, start looking for doubles of letters, or numbers.

5. Scavenger Hunt

Finally, a scavenger hunt is a great way to keep your kids entertained while you focus on the road. While preparing for your journey, make a list of everything you think you might see along the way, including random objects, types of vehicle, road signs, and animals. Make a copy for each of your kids, and get them to call out when they see it. The first person to find everything on the list wins. You can even turn the list into a bingo card if you think that more opportunities to win will help your children stay engaged for longer.

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How to Balance Job Hunting and Parenting

single parenting

Managing a stable work-life balance is difficult for any parent, but as a single parent, it can sometimes feel impossible. Single parenting is an ongoing challenge, as it essentially means you work two full time jobs – one in the office, and one at home. Between working your current job, taking care of your family, and attempting to have a social life, it may feel like there’s not enough of you to go around. The juggling act only gets more complex if you add a job hunt.

Job hunting is a daunting task in itself – if you are currently working, carving out the extra time in your schedule can feel exhausting. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to totally burn you out. With these steps, you can streamline the process of job hunting into something that is both manageable and productive; and still have time to change diapers and read bedtime stories.

Take Care of Yourself

As a parent, you’re at your best when you’re not only taking care of your children, but also yourself. All parents know that it’s a challenge to fit in a bit of “me time,” but it’s important to make this one of your priorities. As part of your job hunt, factor in time to meet your basic human needs – like sleeping and eating well. Recent studies show that when parents don’t get enough sleep at night, it not only affects their own health, but may affect their child’s health, as well. Though it’s tempting to enjoy the quiet still of night time after the children have gone to bed, keep in mind that you need your sleep, too. It’s recommended that adults aged 26-64 sleep an average of 7-9 hours, clocking in at no less than 6 hours. In order to tackle your next day, you’ll want to wake up feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Sleep isn’t all you need to be at your best – your body also needs substantial fuel, and that means making smart choices when it comes to food. Though it may be tempting to order a pizza and call it a night, focus instead on saving money and calories by stocking up at the grocery store. Consider cooking with your kids, for some special bonding time. Meal prepping for the week ahead on Saturdays or Sundays is a popular time-saving trend for many parents. By focusing on your health and wellness, you can ensure that you’re functioning at your full potential, and set a strong example for your kids to follow.

Routine is Key

Creating a routine that works for you is integral to the process of finding a job. When you create a routine that you can stick to and manage – and easily modify when needed – you create healthy habits for yourself. Waking up in the morning and brushing your teeth rarely feels like a chore, given how deeply it’s ingrained into your morning schedule. Think about job hunting in the same way. Set aside a specific amount of time – whether it’s each day, every other day, or every few days – that’s dedicated to your goal. Instead of reading the news every morning while you drink your coffee, perhaps you can spend that time seeking out new career opportunities. When you have time during the day or after work, you can follow through with your application.

If you have your kids with you after work, look for opportunities to job hunt while they’re occupied. If your children have nightly homework, try viewing job hunting as your own version of homework, and work on them at the same time. Perhaps your child’s one-hour soccer practice after school provides the perfect time for you to send applications. Or, after the kids have gone to sleep, take an hour for yourself to job search. Do what you need to get comfortable – whether that’s listening to relaxing music or a funny podcast, or even just moving to a different room. You’ll want to be relaxed, but focused – this is precious time you’ve carved out for yourself, so make it count.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help  

Leaning on friends and family while job hunting – especially as a single parent – is understandable; in fact, it’s encouraged. Consider reaching out to someone you’re close with, to help look after the kids for a few hours, so you can get caught up or polish your resume. Think about hiring a sitter, or setting up a play-date for the kids, so you can take the time you need to focus. Perhaps look for a part-time house cleaner, or ask a family member to help take a few daily chores off your plate. Remember that job hunting is a temporary state; sure, it can take a while to land the right position, but you won’t be in this search mode forever. The job search requires extra focus and effort from your end, so it makes sense to seek temporary help in managing your responsibilities. There’s no shame in asking for help, or admitting when you’re stretched a bit too thin. Getting by with a little help from your friends is not a weakness – it’s a strength.  

Much of job hunting comes down to exercising strong time management skills, and maintaining a healthy balance between your self-care, your family’s care, and your career goals. By following these steps, you’re well on your way to setting yourself up for job hunt success. What advice do you have for single parents on the job hunt? Share your tips in the comments below!

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Dealing With Stress at Work during a Divorce

divorce stress

Going through the divorce process can put stress on multiple areas in a man’s life – but you wouldn’t always assume your work life would be affected, too. After all, keeping the personal and the professional separate is what we’ve always been told to do. But if the divorce is one that looks to drag out for a long time, then it’s understandable that stress can bleed over into one’s work life as well. Unfortunately, being mentally preoccupied and emotionally exhausted can have a detrimental effect on your professional tasks. Here are a few ways you can deal with divorce stress while working at the same time.

To Discuss or Not to Discuss

The first thing to determine is whether or not you wish to tell your colleagues or your boss about your divorce. The idea behind this is not to use it as an excuse to wave off any strange behavior or lack of focus, but rather to seek understanding and flexibility as you go through the process. Many managers and coworkers can be supportive and sympathetic, and some workplaces even offer free counseling services.

Depending on your comfort level and need for privacy, you might not want to mention it to anyone in your workplace, and that’s acceptable as well.  You can’t assume that anything you say to anyone at work will remain a secret – keep in mind that anything you say to a coworker will likely be shared with others. If it’s looking like the courts may be involved with your divorce, you may want to consider keeping information to yourself, lest it be used against you in legal filings.

Keep Things Stable

Another good practice is to maintain stability in your working life. With so much upheaval happening when you’re off the clock, you’re going to want to have a place of normalcy and routine that you can come to, in order to take your mind off the divorce. Also, the feeling of productivity and accomplishment can help if you’re feeling down on yourself in the wake of the separation.

You might not initially consider how your divorce might affect your attention span at work, but it can cause a lack of focus, which can potentially have a long-term impact. Instead, know when to step away and give yourself a moment of composure in order to refocus on the task at hand. Having a regular routine to follow in the workplace — or simply setting an agenda every day and sticking to it — can help as well.

Give Yourself Time

It’s not healthy to simply bottle up all your emotions surrounding your divorce and move on as if nothing is happening; rather, you need to allow yourself to go through the entire spectrum of feelings you might be having about the end of your marriage.

So, although it’s smart to focus on your job, you don’t need to put yourself in a place of denial as soon as you step into the workplace. Instead, allow yourself to take a mental break whenever you need one. As mentioned earlier, see if your workplace offers free counseling, or if you have the option to work from home or take a “health day.” Know that what you’re going through isn’t unusual, and that you shouldn’t feel ashamed to be upset about your divorce, even if you’re at work. If the stress becomes unbearable to the point where it’s interfering with your job, that’s when you ought to step back and look for your support options. Battling divorce stress might be a struggle, but it can be beaten, and you don’t have to go it alone if you don’t want to.

Have you ever dealt with personal stress interfering with your work? What were some of your coping methods? Let us know in the comments.

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Post-Divorce: How Long to Wait Until You Date

Navigating the waters following a divorce can be challenging. Not only are you more emotionally vulnerable, but those who were close to the relationship are also likely feeling the effects of what happened.


There comes a point when you may ask yourself the question: am I ready to date again?There is no right answer to this question, and the time period following a divorce will be different for everyone. Still, there is a certain period that should be respected in the days and months following the end of a relationship. This is for a number of reasons, not the least of which is ensuring you, your former spouse, and your family members have the time and space to accept the aftermath of the divorce.

The Two Year Rule

Experts and divorcees agree that two years seems to be the magic number when it comes to the amount of time needed post break-up. Going through a divorce is an emotionally traumatic experience, and one that can cause people to re-examine key elements of their life. Mix that self-reflection with what experts say is often a period of depression, anxiousness, and an inability to focus, and you have a time that is best left for personal self-development and discovery.

Taking time is valuable, and starting a relationship when youre not ready could postpone the grieving and emotional soul searching you should have done in the days following a divorce. Be clear with any matchmaking friends that you want to take some time to think. Accept that it may take a while before you feel like yourself again, and recognize that is okay.

No Ill Will towards Your Ex

Its inevitable to think about your former spouse in the period following your divorce. Whether these are thoughts of anger, regret, longing, or sadness, theyre all emotions that make you remember and perceive that person in one way or another. If youre still fuming at your ex, youre probably not ready to move on. If youre still missing your ex, youre probably not ready to move on. It is important to work through the complex emotions you associate with your former spouse. If you begin to date too soon, you may carry old resentments or habits into your new relationship. That wont do you or your new partner any favors.

Feeling neutral about your former spouse does not mean you have to accept them back into your life. It does, however, mean you should be at a state where you could see them in public and feel relatively unaffected by the encounter. You should also be able to interact with a prospective partner without thinking constantly of your former partner.

Figure Out What You Want

Marriages end for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that you and your spouse werent providing one another with what the other person wanted and needed. Before you move on and start dating, figure out what exactly it is youre looking for. Perhaps you want someone patient and insightful who will support you as you start a new career. Or maybe you want a person who is adventurous and shares your love of the outdoors. These characteristics and qualities can have some similarities with your former partner, but make an effort to identify what made you unhappy with your last relationship and adjust your expectations and desires accordingly.

Ultimately, you will be the only one who can tell if youre ready to date again. Recognize your post-divorce period for what it is: an opportunity to take time for yourself to reflect on that former relationship and what you want for the next one.

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