If you’ve recently become a single mom due to divorce, you might be wondering “Am I up for the challenge?” The answer is yes! You can do it; take life one step at a time, and keep moving forward. You’ll likely encounter challenges and moments of being overwhelmed along the way, but there is always a solution. With that in mind, here are six tips to help you thrive as a single mom.
Look for your tribe. You know the saying, “birds of a feather flock together”, and well it couldn’t be truer when talking about single moms. When you’re a single mom, it helps to find others who are in the same situation. While your other mom friends with a two-parent household can still be there for you, sometimes they will not fully understand what you are dealing with on a daily basis. Also if your new single mom status is the result of a divorce, the friendships you had with other moms while you part of a married couple may change, especially if they’re still friends with your ex. You can find support and help in groups of people who are living the same life you are.
Make sure you have an emergency fund. When you only have one income to rely on, an emergency fund is more important than ever. Many women new to the single mom role also find themselves in total control of the family finances for the first time ever. This can be overwhelming but can be overcome. Craft a budget and figure out how much you can safely put away in an emergency fund on a monthly basis. Most financial experts recommend between 3-6 months of expenses in a savings account specifically as a safety net, to be used in the event of a financial crisis like house repairs, medical bills, car repairs, etc.
Don’t worry about what other people think. We are all judged every day. Whether it’s at work or when we’re simply walking down the street. If you’ re a single mom due to a divorce you may be afraid of how people will perceive you. It doesn’t matter! As long as you are taking care of yourself and your kids, that’s all that counts. Let everyone think whatever they want.
Prioritize self-care. Most moms take care of everyone else first and put themselves and their needs last…constantly. Don’t do this! You need to take care of yourself now more than ever. When you’re a single mom, you’re pretty much on-duty all of the time. Learn to take a break. Even if it’s just a short walk around the block or a few minutes curled up with your favorite book, it’s quality, not quantity. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. You need it. This type of downtime will help you manage stress and ultimately be a better parent.
Believe in yourself. It’s easy to get down on yourself and think that you can’t make the single mom thing work. Feel confident that you can be an awesome mom and remember no mom is perfect. But if you do your best and are taking care of your kids, that’s all that matters. If you need a confidence boost, have lunch with a best buddy who can lift you up or try listening to an inspirational podcast.
Be present with your kids. As a single mom, you’re with your kids a lot. But, are you present with them? There’s a big difference. Simply being with them is not enough. Being present with your kids means putting the phone away and getting rid of any other distractions so that you can focus on them. Talk with them, do an activity with them, interact with them. That’s what being present with them is all about. The precious time you spend is well worth it.
You can thrive as a single mom and you will. Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint!