Single Mothers Rock & So do you!
The definition of family is very different today than what it was a few decades ago. Back then, family consisted of both your parents – a father and mother. Last year, the US Census Bureau revealed that there are 12 million single-parent families in the US, out of which 80% are led by single-mothers. Although it isn’t ideal, it is still possible for single mothers to raise a healthy and happy family.
It definitely won’t come easy, as most single parents have to find the balance between their lives at work and home, and the majority of times, they don’t have their ex-spouses to rely on for providing a semblance to the proceedings. The job becomes overwhelming and requires you to be on your toes all the time. It becomes that much harder when you have younger children.
It’s definitely a steep mountain to climb but it is possible for single mothers to push through the chaos and maintain a happy household for their children. To be able to raise children by yourself successfully, you need to be headstrong and stay positive even in the toughest of times.
Here are a few tips that could help:
Get yourself a few role models
You’re bound to have times when you may doubt your abilities to be able to pull this off. To make sure you don’t get weighed down by all the tasks at hand, find yourself some role models that have been through it all and made it!
It’s nice to have people around you that have experienced everything you are going through. Even if you don’t have people nearby, there are plenty of role models out there to look up to. Some of the world’s most influential people were raised by single mothers; just take a look at President Obama and President Clinton! There are numerous examples to pick from; so many strong-headed women that raised such fine men and women on their own – you can be one too!
Make your life easier by getting organized. The way you’re going to be juggling duties, you really cannot afford to be winging it; you need to have some sort of a plan. Sure, there are always going to be moments when a child falls ill and needs you while you’re at work or when you need to fill in for a colleague, but there are still things that you can plan ahead.
Plan your meals ahead of time and do your groceries accordingly. Doing things last minute will only increase your anxiety. Get yourself a calendar and mark it with all important dates (PSA meetings, softball practices, due dates for bills, etc). Simply getting yourself organized will help you immensely.
Get some alone time
To keep your sanity, you absolutely need some alone time. That doesn’t mean you need to hit the bar with the girls or you need to go on a date (although that’s always a nice stress-buster). It just means that every now and then you should get yourself a babysitter and get some quiet time. You could catch up with your favorite TV show or do some reading. Whatever you choose to do, it should be something that calms you and takes your mind off your worries.
You’re going to want to silence all the negativity that is floating around in your head, and a few minutes of meditation in the morning can help you do that. It may seem silly at first, but after a couple of weeks, you’ll get the hang of it. You’ll learn to control your breathing and focus inwards on getting yourself to a state of inner peace. Stress can lead to hypertension; meditating will make sure your blood pressure stays normal and reduce the risks of illnesses associated with your heart.
It’s easy to obsess over all that is going wrong and get flustered to the point where you have a meltdown. To avoid such situations, get into the habit of focusing on the positives. Try keeping a Gratitude Journal where every night you write down 5 things that you were grateful for. It will help you divert your attention to the positives around you.
Have a support system
Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people that you can rely on will be a big factor in raising a family as a single mom. The people in this support system will step up when you need them. They could help babysit your kids while you do the groceries or pick up your kids from school when you need them to.
Have a group of close friends around that you can count on. Friends tend to be a lot less drama than family. A good group of friends will make sure you keep smiling when things get tough. You’ll find support within your community as well. Look into your community for a child care center, a local club or a support group that helps single parents. The more help you have around you, the better it is.
Being a single mother is tough, but it can be done provided that you manage your time and your emotions well. When it does get a little tough, take a few moments to remember your children – they are your greatest motivation.