Tips To Ring in Success as a Single Mother
As someone living in the 21st century, you’ve probably faced cultural, political and social changes as a part of your process of growth and evolution.
As someone who’s a woman, you will have experienced the wave of change firsthand, with themes around employment, marriage and child-bearing changing drastically.
In this fluid socio-economic and political climate, if you’re a single mother, you’re also probably in touch with the struggles that come with this status.
Irrespective of you having stable finances you might face these problems. Raising a child or a couple of them, is far from an easy job.
Perhaps it is then no surprise that studies even in the early 2000s have revealed that single parents, specifically single mothers, experience greater psychological stress as well as depression(1).
How then, in 2019, must a single mother tread through the many challenges, keep her sanity as well as her child’s and also find a way to thrive?
Here are five tips that could make you more successful than ever as a single mother.
1. Remember you have choices
Single motherhood can come as a shock to many, to some as a surprise and to some as an event that’s completely contrary to their belief system.
Any of these can be potentially traumatic because it might feel like you didn’t deserve it, that your “fate” has gone squarely against you etc.
Even if what you feel is partially right, you’ve got to remember that you are the main person to drive power into your process of growth along with your child’s, in the here and the now.
From discipline to academics, to play time to health, there’s a choice to be made in every area of life. It might just be a blessing that you can finally craft a life that you always wanted, without having to take the opinion of someone else all the time.
2. Commit to a support system
You’ll have to work extra hours, you’ll have sick days, you’ll feel like you need a break so badly that you could keep driving and never come back. It’s all part of being human and it’s all even more part of the single mother life.
Invest in a support network that you can rely on in times of need.
Develop cordial bonds with neighbors so that a mutual support system can emerge. See if you can take living space close to friends you trust.
As someone adjusting to the warrior existence of a single mother, you might find yourself refusing help. Don’t because this can become a pattern.
Use your discretion and see how you can use the help you receive.
Make a physical list of the friends and acquaintances that have come to your aid – this will remind you that there are people looking out for you and may even give your child more comfort in your absence.
3. Make ‘me’ time and ‘together’ time
Time is precious. Having said that, as a single mom, you might find even more resonance with that statement.
There’s work, doing the laundry, sending your child to school, making sure the fridge is stocked, traveling for business trips, visiting the doctor; the list is endless.
Finding discipline around time can be one of the most freeing experiences in single motherhood. One way to do it, is to take some time out for yourself everyday, for what is called “self-care”.
Exercise, have a leisurely shower, meditate, just be with yourself in silence – do what you need to, to rejuvenate on a daily basis. This will provide you fuel to move forward to the next day. Likewise, also look at making “together” time with your child(ren).
This is part of the relationship hygiene process that can make everyone’s life a bit easier. Check in about the day. what felt good and what didn’t, what plans you can make for the next weekend.
In some ways, this can also set examples for your child to emulate as they grow up.