Do you hate being a single mom?
Are there days that you absolutely don’t know how you can do it anymore? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of being a mom, but being a single mom wasn’t quite what you had dreamed of. Don’t feel ashamed or guilt if you have these moments.
Are there more days than you want to admit that you don’t want to do this anymore. You don’t know if you can do this anymore. It probably breaks your heart to say that- or to even think that, but you’re not alone. It can be so much more difficult than anyone could understand if they haven’t been there. Being alone every day. Doing it by yourself every single day. It’s exhausting and overwhelming.
Being a mom is hard…being a single mom is even more so. It’s so easy to burnout and then get to the point where you can’t find the time you need to refresh and bounce back.
The parent who stayed
There are so many situations that create a single mom. I know that it can go both ways, but all too often the mother is left to support her children on her own. Far too often, they are the ones that society blames everything on. All too often, the parent who leaves is forgotten and the one who stayed to step up and take responsibility is blamed repeatedly.
Being the parent who stayed can sometimes feel impossible. You probably never thought that there was another option and couldn’t believe that the other parent turned their back so easily and walked away. You just keep going because you feel like there’s no other choice.
Being the one who stayed comes with so many mixed emotions. Of course you love your kids. You would do anything for them, but some days you might also wish that you could have been the one to leave. The one without any responsibility- free to live their carefree life and be their own person.
You take the responsibility and keep going, all the while not sure how long you can keep your head above water. Unsure about how you can really keep it up.
Of course there are good days. There are wonderful days, but once it gets to the point that the bad days outnumber the good, you need to stop and decide what changes you need to make. You need to find ways to care for yourself.
Self-care tips for single moms
If you can relate (whether you’re single or not) make sure that you stop and take care of yourself. Figure out which ideas will realistically work for you:
- Set-up a support system: friends, family, community, church, etc.
- Take a break. Meditate, find a moment to relax (even if it’s 5 minutes in the bath tub)
- Go to counseling
- Create a group with other moms in similar situations
- Join a group on Facebook where you can be yourself and talk about the challenges of single-parenting
- Exercise regularly. If you can’t get away from the kids, have them join you.
- Take care of yourself
- Find hobbies or things to do that you really enjoy. It’s important not to lose yourself while parenting.
- Get enough sleep. I know how difficult it can be, but make sure that sleep is a priority to you.
- Stop and breathe. When you find yourself paralyzed by overwhelm, stop and focus on your breathing and calm yourself down so that you can think clearly.
- Ask for help. If you get to the point where you can’t handle it any longer, find someone who can help with anything for you. Don’t feel bad about asking.
- Stay as organized as you can so that you don’t end up being more overwhelmed than you already are.
- Set rules that you and your kids follow and enforce them so that everyone understands the family expectations.
- If you can’t get away from the kids, invite friends over.
I understand how difficult things can be, but make sure you take care of yourself so that you’re able to care for your kids. They need you more than you’ll ever know. Please share your self-care tips in the comments below!