A single mother is stressed more than she would like to be, because she worries how things will work out. But she never doubts for a minute that she will find a way. She has to because she is the backbone of the family. I asked people what advice they have for single mothers.
PEGGY says ;
- Trust yourself.
Gather advice if you want it from people you trust, those whose advice is worthy and solid.
Parenting is fraught with concerns and worries, but most are not as fraught as we might give them significance. Try not to worry unduly.
- Find your people.
Whether those people are family, extended family, friends, or others. You need support, respite, and circles of people for different reasons. They may be social support, educational, spiritual. Develop a network so you and your child have help and you are not alone.
- Devote time to yourself.
Do not lose yourself in parenting. Be sure to nurture your own needs – your physical and emotional health is important. Take the time to do whatever is necessary for your health, welfare, education, and so on. It’s easy to forget yourself in parenting.
GINA says ;
Never speak ill of your children’s father, ever, to anyone, even if he deserves it. It reflects on your child, and if your child becomes aware of it, it will make them unhappy. Unless your ex is an actual danger to your child, make contact easy and stress free, encourage texting or Facebook sharing.
Even though it is likely that the closest relationships you will have, for a while, will be with your children… Do not rely on them for emotional support, or over-share adult life problems with them. Build a little internal firewall between the adult problems and stresses of life and your interaction with your children. Let them be children.
Don’t maintain a dating relationship in which the person you are dating takes more energy from your family than they contribute to it. For better or for worse, your first priority is your family now, and anyone you are with will have to respect this if they want to be considered as part of it.
Keep up with your chores, ask for or hire help if you need it. If you get seriously behind, it will be 15 years before you catch up, and a disorderly home is a stress for everyone in it. You don’t need more stress. You might be surprised to find that cleaning the house regularly with the help of another mom, and trading off, is a lot more productive and fun than doing it yourself. Meeting other moms at the laundromat converts chore time to a more social occasion, and you will be needing friends in the same boat. Same rule as for dates: Do not continue friendships which demand more of your time than they contribute. You will not have a lot to spare.
Routine will save your sanity.
MALIN says ;
- Get your affairs in order if the worst came to be, I mean life insurance policies for you and for your children, aswell as a will where you clearly state who should be the one the child came to live with if you die. I have life insurances on all my kids, the payment would be such that I could organize a good funeral and be on sick leave from work for a year and still keep the living children comfortable in their lives. Sucks majorly to write the will and policies and I cried profusely but at least I know my kids are settled if I am not alive, or if the worst of the worst came to be, we could somehow piece ourselves together.
- Take no BS from anyone. People have a tendency to misjudge single parents or expect that we really can do it all. I have been very clear in saying NO to all PTA functions, hobby functions etc, I just don’t have the time and energy, and that does not make me a bad parent.
- The ex-factor, I have shared custody with my children’s father, so many might argue I do not know what being a single parent is. I beg to differ since I still have 100% responsibility of my home and the children and we function solely on my income, yes I have the possibility to let my kids go to their dads and therefore have some alone time. But I have fought with my ex about child support, visitations etc, sometimes I want to send him to the moon on a one-way ticket. So with the ex-factor I’d suggest to keep emotions away and focus on what is best for the children and that they have a right to see their father/mother aswell as grandparents and other relatives and they also have the right to make their own opinions about them. Keep your thoughts to yourself.
- So the house is a bit cluttered and messy, big deal. Make one day a week a cleaning day, and teach your kids how to clean, even 2-year-old can help with dusting and clearing up their toys and older kids can evolve to vacuuming, taking out trash, emptying the dishwasher and even do laundry.
- Don’t buy your children’s happiness, deal with your guilt. This has been particularly hard for me since I wanted my children to have a family with a mom and a dad, something I myself did not have. So I might have tried my best that they have not lacked in the materia part, but keeping to ones budget is in the long run more beneficial to the kids than having all kinds of materia.
- Be honest with your children about money, life and even you. If they know where you are, they will feel secure.
- Be honest about your mistakes, they will value you for it
- Accept that you are not superhuman and will be tired. It is ok to snooze on the couch while the kids are watching cartoons.
- Cut corners sometimes. Not everything has to be perfect.
- Ask for help when you feel you need it.
- Teach your children how to cook. My oldest is now 12 years old and can make food, and she even likes making food, and it saves me a lot of time and effort.
- Tell your kids you all are a team, nobody is more or less valuable in that team and you will have to pull together so that everyone’s needs are met.
- Take care of yourself too, sometimes you need some me time in order to function. Hire a babysitter, let the kids off to their grandparents or family friends and go to the hairdressers, meet friends, go out on a date or whatever, you truly deserve it.
- Admit to yourself when something is too hard and deal with it when the situation arises.
Sooner or later you and your children will find a rhythm that works for you. I might expect a lot from my kids when it comes to independent chores and doing homework etc, but the thing is, my children know how to take responsibility, they know life can sometimes be hard and the lines of communication is always open between us. My girls and I are a team, I might be the ringleader but we work together so that we all can have a great life together.
SONU says ;
1. Take care of yourself.
While a trip to a luxury spa would certainly be nice, self-care in the early days of parenting is more about paying attention to your basic needs. These are all too easy to neglect, especially if you don’t have a partner to spell you.
2. Plan ahead for urgent situations
It’s midnight, your toddler has a fever, and you’re out of ibuprofen. Or you have a virus yourself, and you’re too busy throwing up to care for your baby. Without another adult in the house, what do you do?
3. Accept help
For some, this is easier said than done. “Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve to feel overwhelmed, since I chose to become a single mother,” says Soiseth. “But I try to remember that this doesn’t change the fact that I need help.”
4. Move past “couple envy”
“I used to feel envious of friends who had kind, involved husbands, men who actually wanted to be with them, who wanted to pitch in,” says a mom.
5. Seek Out Role Models
Single parents and their kids can flourish, and there are plenty of examples to prove it. Make a list of single parents—or children raised by a single parent—who inspire you, and refer to it when you’re having a rough day.
6. Find A Work Schedule That Suits Your Family
As a freelance writer, I’m lucky to work from home, but it wasn’t always this way.
7. Multitask Strategically
Try to accomplish housework and playtime simultaneously, so you are not up for hours after bedtime getting chores done.
8. Congratulate Yourself
I know this sounds silly, but if you live alone with your child, no one is going to pat you on the back when your kid is finally potty-trained or when you serve up a hot, healthy dinner after working all day.
DIANE says ;
There’s some good advice given! Take the good, brush off the negative. My particular things that I’d add are do not introduce any dates to your child until you are certain you found the person you want to commit to. Be aware of how he treats your kids at all times, not just up front for show. Make it clear from the beginning of dating that you are a package.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A SINGLE MOTHER?
With love, Nelly.