Establishing balance as a single parent.
Today’s guest post comes to us from Sophie Addison. She writes about life as a single mother. Her unique perspective on seeking balance and a healthy lifestyle as a single parent (especially a single mother) is a great contribution to our little website. Thank you for your wonderful article, Sophie. We truly appreciate the contribution from your perspective as a single mother.
Being a single mother or single parent, in general, isn’t easy. You have to juggle between your job, kids, their school, or even daycare for the youngest ones. Since entire household depends only on you, it might get overwhelming sometimes. Luckily, with your determination to provide your children the best possible childhood and implementation of a few healthy habits, you can become more productive and still have time to appreciate every moment spent with your children.
1. Be proactive
Single parenthood comes with a lot of obstacles and pressure on both you and your children. In order to handle this pressure and stress, adequately counseling or any other type of help is a good idea. First, there is nothing wrong in asking for one’s help, and second, having a “neutral” person you and your children can talk to will be a great reliever. Plus, acknowledging your own emotions, fears, hopes, and opinions will help you handle the present situation in a healthy manner. From experience, as a single mother, the most common mistake single parents make is assuming they are the victims. Yes, life wasn’t easy for you but the key is to take every situation as something that makes you stronger.
2. Set priorities
Wellbeing of the kids and yourself should be your main priority. The importance of setting priorities is the ability to define the goal and work towards it. You will become more productive and accomplish more tasks when you have a clear vision of what you want as a single mother. Bear in mind that every person on the planet has the ability to become more successful, productive and to manage family and work at the same time. The most important thing is to avoid stressing out over things that do not belong on your list of priorities. When you dwell on everything, you lose focus. Learn to let go unimportant things in order to concentrate on what’s really significant to you. Life changes when we decide not to let “little things” get to us.
3. Take care of yourself
Everybody needs some “me” time. When you’re parent you put your kids first, which is a great thing, but you also neglect your own basic needs. Moreover, when you’re a single mother, things get even more dramatic. However, bear in mind that your kids need you and they need you to be healthy. In order to become healthy, you have to take care of yourself. It’s always a good idea to treat yourself with a nice, relaxing massage when your children are at school or simply to purchase something you find nice as a sort of reward for hard work as a single mother. Learning how to pamper yourself will make you happier and more energized and your children will appreciate their happy and energetic mother who makes them happy as well.
Being a single mother doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Connecting with other single parents in your community can improve your life significantly. A strong community can provide emotional support and communicating with people who deal with the same situation as you do will make you feel better as it provides a sense of belonging. When you know you’re not alone, it becomes easier for you to handle everyday situations efficiently mostly because you have support from other members of the community. But, don’t stop there. Build a diverse community. Also, connect with your friends, family and other people you might have neglected. Some of them can babysit for you and be a huge help. When you’re not isolated your social life becomes richer. In order to be productive, it is important to socialize and connect as a single mother, plus you want to teach your children it is okay to have a broad circle of friends instead of isolating from society.
5. Get organized
Organization is the key. The better you get organized, the more productive you will be. Therefore you should know certain ways to survive as a single mother which can help you to be more organized in an effective manner. Start with creating systems for grocery shopping and meals. Introduce some healthy habits. Organize your kids’ bedtime, school and chore routines. Prepare everything your children will need for school and what you will need to wear to work the night before instead of hurrying to catch up on everything in the morning. Getting organized requires determination and discipline, but it makes your life as a single mother easier and you can become more productive.
6. Understand and be understood
Communicate with your kids. Make sure you understand how they feel, whether they are worried, sad, angry, etc. Demonstrate to them that they can trust you in order to create a great bond that is based on trust. Moreover, keeping secrets and sugarcoating doesn’t always work. Be honest with your children and confide in them as much as you’d want them to confide in you. Understand and be understood.
If you’re going through a difficult divorce, it would be helpful for you and your children not to point fingers and blame anyone as that would make children feel torn.
When you show your kids you understand them and when you feel you’re understood, it’s going to be easier for you. Instead of drama and emotional trials, you will be more relaxed and focused on your priorities.
7. Look forward not backwards
Looking backwards doesn’t help and it drains all the energy out of you. Instead, concentrate on your priorties and look forward to having a great future with your children as a single mother. Looking forward gives you the freedom to plan and organize in order to achieve more. Thinking about what was and what could have been can make you lose your focus. Being more productive and achieving more in life is about thinking about the future instead of dwelling in the past. Plus, your children will appreciate it.
Being a single parent requires a great deal or organization and thorough planning. You can be a single mother and still improve your productivity by connecting with people, taking care of yourself, and establishing a great relationship with your children.