Are you facing life as a single mother? Being a single mom is a momentous challenge. You’ll feel like you need to be the breadwinner, the bruised knee kisser, the homework expert, the social calendar organizer, and so much more.
Single parenting is tough – but with some good strategies for coping as a single mother in place, you can keep it together and be a fantastic single mother to your kids, too.
If you’re a single mother, it’s easy to get burnt out and overwhelmed. You might be struggling financially after divorce or still coping with your spouse’s death.
If the challenges of being a single mother are getting on top of you, don’t despair. Try some of these single-parent coping strategies to help you get through the tough times.
How to cope with being a single mother? Get organized.
Being disorganized is the enemy of serenity! If you’re constantly scrambling to find the right piece of paper or every morning is a battle to locate gym shoes and lunch boxes, it’s time to get more organized.
There is a wealth of resources online about organization and productivity systems. No two households are the same, so what suits someone else won’t necessarily suit you. The trick is to find a system that works for you and your child.
At the very minimum, invest in a day planner or use a phone app, and keep it up to date.
Create a filing system for all those bits of paper so you can lay your hand on important paperwork whenever you need to. Make friends with to-do lists. The more organized you are, the easier coping as a single parent will become.
Be the queen of budgeting
Household finances are a key source of stress, especially for single moms. Transitioning from a two-income household to being the sole breadwinner is tough, and you might well find yourself feeling overwhelmed.
Budgeting for single moms is necessary to ensure that they can maintain their financial independence and look after their child’s needs.
Know how financial issues can affect parenting and set a realistic budget; this will help combat many single mom problems and keep you sane.
Get clear on your monthly outgoings and make sure you set aside money for them. Put your bills on autopay, so you don’t risk going past due.
You’ll also want to go over your finances with a fine-tooth comb and figure out where you can cut back.
It’s better to cut back on a few luxuries and live comfortably, then to try and maintain your old lifestyle and have to struggle to account for every cent.
Make time for you
As a single mom, there are a lot of demands on your time. Before long, you’ll be feeling frazzled and overstretched, which will negatively impact your mood, concentration, work performance, and more.
Reduce your stress by making regular time for you. It can be hard for single mothers to do this – it might feel selfish – but you truly can’t pour from an empty cup.
If you want to be the best single mother you can, you need to recharge sometimes.
Set aside a little time each week to do something just for you. Go for a walk, get your nails done, watch a movie, or grab coffee with a friend. You’ll cope so much better as a result.
Build your support network
Being a single mother doesn’t have to mean going it alone. The right support network will make a world of difference.
No matter how busy you are, don’t let your network go – keep in touch with the friends and family who you trust and know are there for you.
If you’re struggling with covering babysitting duties or getting your finances straight, reach out and ask for help. Turn to people who have the skills or expertise you need and let them help you.
Find your confidence boosters
A little confidence boost can make all the difference in the world. Have you got a favorite top or shade of nail polish that always makes you feel better? Dig it out and wear it more often!
Being a single mother can be draining. If you can find ways to boost your confidence, you’ll be able to tackle each day with more energy and feel better. Congratulate yourself for every achievement, no matter how small.
Look for things that help you center when you’re beset by doubt. Whether that’s taking a bubble bath, belting out your favorite song or phoning your best friend, know the tricks that work for you, and use them regularly.
Also watch: A tribute to all singles moms
Don’t compare yourself to other moms
It’s all too easy to compare yourself to other single moms, but that way lies the trouble.
Remember, when it comes to the schoolyard or what you see on Facebook, everyone likes to put their best foot forward.
Everybody emphasizes the good parts and does their best to look like they’re coping with single motherhood.
But behind the scenes, everyone has good days and bad days just like you.
Every single mom has moments of doubt, or moments where she can’t find the keys or her kid just spilled red sauce on her pale-colored couch. You’re not doing any worse than anyone else.
Being a single mom is challenging, but you can do it. Build up a repertoire of coping skills that work for you and make it easier to navigate single mom-hood, and remember to turn to them every day.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.