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Let's face it, being a single mom is a DIFFICULT job. Whether you're single, separated, divorced, or widowed the challenges of taking care of your children alone is a huge job. For myself, I was raised by a single mother and was surrounded predominately by single moms. I saw firsthand the tireless days and nights these moms work to support their family. When I made the decision to have children, one thing I tried to avoid was becoming a single mother. Unfortunately that wasn't the case...I found myself like millions of other moms...single with children!
Read on for some tips on surviving single motherhood.
One obvious challenge with becoming a single mother is money. You don't have a partner to split workloads and costs, it's all dependent on you!
Income is severely important so NEVER let anything come in between it. If you have a support system, use them for babysitting so you can achieve that promotion, get that degree, or start that business. Do whatever you have to do to avoid the pitfall of becoming poor.
If you find yourself in a poor state take a look at what you're doing for income. Do you need a raise? Or a new job/profession? The answer to this question will guide your next steps on how you can make more money to financially support yourself. Quit telling yourself you don't have TIME! Invest your time into your development so that you can ALWAYS be financially stable.
Be realistic about what you can afford. The easiest way to live within your means is by NOT comparing your situation to others. Don't feel pressured to live a certain lifestyle if you can't afford it. Doing so is only going to stress you out! Build your own life within your means on your own terms.
Recap: Budget, Save, and Increase Income!
It's quite lonely being a single mom. Granted, you have your children but sometimes you crave the intimacy of a partner. During those times it's important to indulge in self-care/self-love. Watch your favorite television shows, take a hot bath, or engage in any hobby that makes you feel relaxed. Aim to keep a weekly self-care routine! Do something nice for yourself that rejuvenates you. Limit social media if it becomes triggering. Invite friends over or out for socialization.
If you're ready, consider dating again. Although, "it is vital to be cautious about dating and consider whether potential partners will get along with your children. In addition, be wary of introducing these partners to your children, and only do so if you feel your new relationship is fairly solid."- Jennifer Houston (10 Useful Tips for Single Moms)
One thing I enjoy doing is taking my children on playdates or group activities. It allows me the chance to hang out with other single moms in a kid friendly environment. That way you can trade advice, build a support system, and potentially can even help with babysitting from time to time.
Stick To A Routine & Have Fun!!!
It's hard to remember to have fun when you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. It doesn't have to be that way! Set aside any pride or insecurities and allow people to HELP you. I'm sure you have at least 1 or 2 people in your life that love you deeply and will always be there to support. In my case, I always tried to do EVERYTHING on my own and I was very miserable. I also found myself suffering from health issues due to neglecting myself. Allow support from TRUSTED friends, neighbors, and family to help with the burdens.
If you have older children, encourage them to pick up the slack with household chores. Teach your younger children how to clean after themselves and give them chores too!
Sticking to a daily routine helps you to remember all of your responsibilities as a single mom, but it also provides a reassuring sense of consistency for your children. This predictability can be especially important for children who are in the early stages of getting used to living with just one parent.- Jennifer Houston (10 Useful Tips for Single Moms)
Remember to have FUN with your children. Because it's just you, it can be easy to fall into the trap of only communicating with your kids to discipline and on issues surrounding keeping the house in order. Although important, it's also important to let loose and have fun with your children. Keep open communication with your children, encourage your children to share all of their emotions around having a single parent (even if those emotions are sometimes negative or confusing).