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Raising a child without a dad around is a tough job for any woman. A single mom has to deal with being the breadwinner, role model, provider and emotional comforter all at once. Any single mother out there will tell you how difficult this task is – although some end up scaling through, giving their child everything he or she needs, the void remains and it is a void that can be difficult to fill even when the luxuries of life are present.
There are a couple of things you can do to ensure your child grows into a confident young man when his father is not around.
When the biological father is not around, the next best thing will be to find a father figure the boy can look up to. This is quite important for kids. Having both sexes around a child as he or she grows is important for well he will grow. A boy needs lots of role models but ultimately,
his number one model will still his mom. Your attitude and mood can also affect your child as he grows up, so you have to watch how you behave around your child. you will have to suck up your emotions and frustrations and learn to put up a positive front at all times. The last thing you want is to make your child start wishing his daddy was around. To maintain a balanced front, take time out on a regular basis to visit the spa or for yoga meditation so you can keep that positive outlook.
Don’t spoil your son because you feel the need to compensate due to the absence of his dad. Every child needs structure and limits to know what to do and not do. Teach your kid the rules of the house and let them know the expectations you have. Discipline and other consequences for bad behavior should be consistent for teaching them how to behave and respect others.Children can be raised poorly too if they have both parents around. It’s not about the presence or absence of either one of the parents but more about how the child is treated in the home – this will determine whether the child will succeed or fail in future.
Spend time to be with your son. Take him out, invite his friends. Do stuff together. Most kids are not picky about what you do with them as long as you take time out to be with them Remember you don’t need to have a father to enjoy a go-kart race with your friends. Prioritize your son’s time and make sure you sit and talk with him often. He will probably be glad to see you pitch with him often more than you know. He might be faster than you but that’s expected from boys. Spend time and have fun with your son. The little moments mean a lot to kids and they will be fun for your as well.
As you spend more time cleaning your son’s room, helping him with his assignments or picking up his toys from the living room, it is normal to forget to tell him how much he means to you and how much you love him.
You could feel exhausted from time to time and that’s ok but you should always try to show unconditional love to your child even when he makes mistakes. Young boys need praise a lot. it’s a confidence booster and it goes a lot deeper than you can imagine. If you’re raising him on your own, try to see things from his own perspective and support him always so he feels a sense of security around you.
Challenges Faced for Single Mothers
With all of these points, there are still challenges that single parents face from time to time.
Raising a child is quite difficult and without a father around to support, it becomes even more difficult. Being a single mom adds its own pressure and fatigue to your lifestyle as the stakes are higher. If you’re too tired to be supportive emotionally and physically for your child, certain emotions may arise which will lead to behavioral changes.
Another challenge that you might face will be on income. As most single-parent families generally tend to have lower incomes and a reduced access to health care. Juggling work and childcare could be difficult and financially straining.
What you can do to reduce the stress in your family is to show love to your child and give him support. Set aside time each day to play, read or sing with your child. Create a routine and never break away from it. if you work at a full-time job and need regular child care, you can hire a babysitter who will continue to provide for your child while you’re away at work trying to make ends meet. If you have older kids, don’t rely on them to watch their junior as this is a recipe for disaster. Hire a professional caregiver and set the limits. Let them know the house rules and expectations that you desire from them. You also have to speak to your child about showing respect to the caregiver and discipline. You can also reduce your child’s screen time when they grow up and show certain traits of accepting more responsibility.
Setting out to find a reliable babysitter is often difficult but when you do find a good one, you will feel a burden lifted off you.
Today, we will look at some tips that you can use to find a reliable babysitter for your kids.
One fast way of finding a reliable babysitter is by asking from friends and families. Recommendations go a long way in solving problems like this. The reason is that you want someone that has been used in the past and that delivered. You can also enquire from colleagues and yoga pals which sitters they have used or which one they would recommend. a sitter being recommended doesn’t mean the sitter will be the right candidate for your family as families differ in structure and needs but you do want to get qualified leads into the door that have been vetted by other people. A good example, you might feel nervous about having a 20-year old care for your baby while another family might be totally cool with it. So, ask questions about the sitter to know what they are all about before you even call them and don’t feel pressured to hire anyone just because they were recommended.
Organizations you trust
There are some reliable organizations all across the city where you live and even on the internet that you can use. Moms on the Bumps is one organization with message boards for where you can get advice. Some people hire their babysitters from their place of worship because these people would have been vetted and trained plus your child already knows them well and will be comfortable with them if they do get hired.
Websites and Agencies
If you still can’t find someone that you are comfortable with, you can check out sitter websites and agencies such as care.com or sittercity.com to find picks that will suit your needs. These websites and agencies also provide the experiences of each sitter and the type of children they have worked with in the past. These websites run background checks but it’s often basic. If you want to hire a sitter whose background has been properly vetted, you might want to look at a local nanny agency doing the work for you.
Will they be a Good Sitter?
once you’ve found some leads and are ready to interview them to know who will be suitable for your needs, there are a couple of questions that you should ask them which will reveal the things listed below to know if the sitter will be a good or terrible hire.
They come with good references. Your child’s safety should not be negotiated. Your sitter should have references and their references should be people you can reach over the phone and not just on the email. Call them up and ask about the service and claims the babysitter made.
Did they get training before starting or during their career as a babysitter? Anyone with special skills like CPR and first aid is a bonus for you. This ensures your baby is in safe hands especially in times of an emergency.If you do find one that you like without these extra skills, you could suggest they take a class or better still, hire them and pay for the classes or offer higher rates if they can take the classes before starting with you.
When you call them for the interview – when did they show up? You want a babysitter who shows up on time. If they can’t even show up on time at the first meeting, how are you sure they will show up when you have to go on a date? Lateness could mean anything but oftentimes, it is a sign of irresponsibility.
Monitor how they relate to your child. Let them spend more than a minute with your baby before you hire them. You should pay for this as well. Ask them to come around for a short session where they will observe and interact with your baby. This way you can monitor how your baby interacts with them. This also allows the child to get used to the new person the next time they come visiting. She should be able to reach out and engage with your child – this is where your intuition needs to be on fire for you to decide if they are worth hiring for a full-time or they should be dismissed.
If your child is old enough, ask him how he felt about the sitter. Ask about what happened, how they felt when this occurred, what they thought about the new person etc. Of course, asking if they love the new person that will be taking care of them when mommy is not around, will not bring a positive response. But, question them so you can get an insight into how the sitter spent their time with your kids.
Once you are settled with the sitter, you will need to decide on the amount to pay them. The typical rate varies from $10-$15 an hour, with $10 being for a student who is trying to make extra income and $15 for a professional with the right references and skills for the job. These prices are not cast in stone though, as they vary from location, experience, and your budget.
Before the sitter starts, be sure you lay out some ground rules on do’s and donts. These could include anything from bringing in guests to your home or texting on the job. It’s your child and your house plus you’re paying them for their time, so lay out the ground rules for them.
Getting back into the dating game after divorce or the loss of a partner can be extremely challenging especially when children are involved. Sometimes, you might even feel it’s impossible or even embarrassing. But you have needs too and dating shouldn’t be the preserve of women without kids.
We all deserve love or at least the possibility of getting love. Dating as a single mom is like searching for a second chance – you never know if you would get it if you don’t try. Don’t forget why you want to date – happiness. Everyone deserves to be happy – your kids will want you to be happy as well.
That being said, the decision to go back into the dating game should not be taken lightly. There are a couple of adjustments you need to make when dating as a single mother. These things are necessary if you want to have a successful relationship while still retaining the trust and love of your kids.
This short guide will help you prepare for dating as a single mother.
Before considering dating as a single mum, you need to ask yourself if you are emotionally available. It’s important you know if you’re ready mentally and physically before jumping into the dating pool. You should not go into a new relationship as a form of grieving or as rebound. Yes, it might take awhile to get over your marriage or the loss of a spouse but you should only consider dating someone else when you’re ready. No one can determine when you’re ready for you except yourself. It could take months or even years, but no matter how long it takes, you need to decide when you want to try dating again.
Thinking about yourself is critical when you’re about going into a relationship and it is sometimes, normal to forget about the other person. Someone else’s feeling is involved as well and it takes two to tango. You don’t want to get into a relationship with someone by making them excited only for them to find out you don’t have the time to be with them or follow through. Even if you’re busy, not having the time to check up or say hi could be a big let down for even the most patient of men.
Here, you need to ask yourself what you’re looking for. are you searching for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now? Do you want someone who is totally different or you want someone like your ex-husband? Sometimes, single mothers who lost their spouse to a sickness or an accident could go into dating hoping to replicate their old spouse. This is a recipe for disaster as there are no two people who are alike. However, if your marriage failed due to a divorce, you would definitely be looking for someone who is totally different from your ex-husband. Either way, you could look at your failed marriage as either a traumatic loss or a substantial learning experience that you can learn from.
Now you have a better experience of the kind of person that will be suitable for you going forward and the ones that are toxic to you. Also, you shouldn’t just think of things you wished were different with your last marriage, you should also think of new ways you can make things work. Getting answers to questions like this means you have to take responsibility and own up to your mistakes.
All these new knowledge needs to be used to build your next relationship. You need to figure out how you can change these details about yourself and how to enter a new relationship with a clean slate.
Dating will be different
When you’re a single mom, dating will be different for you. You won’t just be looking for a guy that is suitable for you but you will also be looking for a guy that is suitable for your family. This means he needs to be able to handle your kids and your kids need to accept him. His morals need to be similar to yours and he needs to step up as a father figure for your kids as well.
A potential suitor should also be comfortable with knowing that you are bound to another person for life since you share kids with them. If they can’t respect that or have reservations, you should let them go as there is bound to be problems in the future. If he is possessive at the early stage, that’s your red flag.
Everything you do once you start dating will be reflected on your kids. Even casual dating or one-night stands will not feel the same and sometimes, you might feel you’re cheating on your kids especially when you’re making out in your home when they are in school with their toys sitting around the house. What you need to remember at this stage is that apart from being a great mother, you have to be a human being as well.
Remember that dating a guy as a single mother means you’ve managed to get your pieces together. You’re no longer confused – now you know what you want because you’ve been there. You’re searching for someone to fit into the life you’ve built. Your desires are more specific than when you were single without kids. Also, you have the opportunity to start afresh. You will also learn how your kids welcome or cannot welcome a new person into their lives and if they prove to be stubborn, remember that they are only worried about what it might mean for their relationship with you. It doesn’t mean they hate you. It only means they are scared.
Dating as a single mother should not’ be as scary as it is being made out to be as long as you follow the rules and carry your kids along at every step of the way – you’ll be fine.
In the United States, there are million of single mothers now who are facing difficulties for their daily living. They usually work for an extended hours, have financial problems or issues and did not finish school. However, there are numbers of federal and state programs that are planned to produce and meet their materials and financial assistance. By conducting investigations and surveys for the said programs, single mothers tasks will now become lighter and easier to manage.
Single mothers also have their dreams that they want to pursue and they are making it close to reality with grants. There are some that have been able to commit higher education to prepare themselves for exceptional job opportunities. While others are starting with their own business or improve and develop it more to those who already have it. Mothers will always prioritize the security of their children by providing them a roof over their heads, supplying them with quality health care, feeding them with nutritious foods and bringing them to school for education. Grants have become a big help for single mothers, backing them up doing the things and other stuff that they could do for their children, but just financially inadequate.
It is a kind of fund or system for assisting those who are qualified to apply in the organization, foundation, corporation, trust, or any other educational institution. It is a kind of assistance or an amount of money that is being awarded to you according to the specifications of the grant guidelines. Meaning, there is no single cent interest attached to it and you are not tied to any obligations of paying it back. Plus the tax exemption for your bonus.
How to Avail it?
Grants are not easy to avail. It is the most hard application in the government because the availability of it is not as open or many as some loans and scholarship application. So in order to be granted with your application on it, you must do some more research online, submit applications, keep updating and daily follow- up.
Make some background check to make sure you are eligible for applying for grants. If you do not meet one of their qualifications or mandatory requirements, then you are not a qualified applicant. You should abide their rules to deserve the money reward or grants. There are different types of grants offered to single mothers US citizen.
This is applicable and available to assist you with the cost across the country, an assistance from the organizations and government. You may just provide the demand requirements and check the eligibility of your applications. Then you may submit it to their office. There are also different types of housing assistance from the US government as follows:
It is a short- term accommodation for homeless people or those who are in crisis. Applicable to those in a domestic violence situation, fire victims and any other natural disasters where their houses are being destroyed. With this program, you can claim and get the basic necessities of the affected individual, like a place where you can sleep, take showers, do your laundries, get clothing and be fed or get money for your food. All costs will be shouldered by the social services and organizations.
This can be availed with the Section 8 vouchers or can be part of a community where the houses and apartment units are offered at a lower price. Expecting a low cost rental or low monthly mortgage payments for this program.
This program caters especially for those who have low incomes only. The monthly income of the applicant of this program will be checked if they meet the maximum amount of the qualification required before they can avail and live in the house, apartment units or townhouse with this application.
With this program, they help people with their monthly rental of their units where they live. They are going to check if the applicant is eligible when claiming another payment or move. You should prepare your documents because they will surely ask for it. The organization or the government will assist you with money to provide for the rental, or you can also work with the landlord so they will reduce the rent of your unit.
· Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program
It supports grants by the rules to metropolitan cities, states, urban counties and all US territories supporting emergency shelter, homeless prevention, emergency shelter and many other related services. The intention of this program is to help the families and every individual to immediately recover their stability in constant housing after has been suffering from homelessness and the housing crisis.
For single mothers, pursuing higher education seems difficult to survive. Aside from thinking about all the expenses you will need for your college, the duty or responsibility as a mother shall always be done at the same time to assure that children are still well taken care of while you’re in the class.
But the government will also take care and help you with all your needs in school. That sounds to be the good news for you because with this program, the chance is there to fund your education and not only that or for you alone because your children are also worthy of this scholarship program from the government. You may select the different types of college scholarship below to choose the best course for you to apply for.
It supports you with a certain amount of money for the applicant to ensure their school miscellaneous, tuition fees, books and any other related college accounts. The money being used for your school doesn’t have to be paid back, but there are some requirements, rules and regulations that you have to follow and fulfill in order to keep the scholarship assistance with you and continue it until the last day of your school.
Those single mothers who are lined up in nursing career are eligible with this Nursing Scholarship program. They were supported by the government by paying their expenses for tuition, books, and also their living cost. The amount of money given to them doesn’t have to be paid back, but there are some associations want you to work with their designated health care centers and areas during or after your higher education.
This program helps those children whose parents are financially insufficient with their college cost. Parents need to submit the information of the children so their application will be granted. Moreover, there are still requirements and conditions that the children need to comply and fulfill even after they received the support money.
It is a useful financial assistance that can help you in many ways, depending to whatever purpose or reason for taking out a loan. So, it’s simply just humors saying that applying for a loan is a dreadful idea. It really matters to you on how to choose the type of loans you want to secure, how are you going to use it and being committed of paying it back according to its terms and conditions as both parties agreed.
Don’t feel sorry for me, I am not a single mother by chance, but a single mother by choice. An empowering quote for women as proving that women do not need men and that they can able to support and raise their children without any help from men. Yes, it is not an easy choice but because they chose it so they have to stand by it and held responsible for it.
Some women have an intense desire of a single parenting without any complications that a husband could bring. Some of the mothers do not believe that they need a husband or partner to help raise a child.
Death of a Partner
Historically, it is one of the common cause of single mothers. No one is exempted and can’t avoid for this might happen to anyone. Development and good maintenance in maternal care and sanitation have lessened the death for those of reproductive age , making death a less common cause for single mother.
At around the mid- 90’s, there was a significant amount of single mothers raising children with over 7 million single mothers in the United States alone. The chances of having divorce are increasing in the following years. Researched shows that about 69% of children in American living in a household that was a different form than the usual central family.
In the United States, the numbers of unintended pregnancy are increasing among unmarried couples than the married ones. A man may leave the woman as he may want to avoid or get out from a responsibility of bringing up the child.
We all fail, but it is the women who mostly ended up like losing the game. But that is just the first impression that most people see in a relationship without knowing the real fact. If a woman left behind by his partner on her pregnancy until giving birth to the child, doesn’t mean it’s a failure, but instead it’s a gift or reward for you in the end.
In Reality: Being A Single Mother Sometimes Suck!
When you are a single parent, it is only you alone at all times. In reality, sometimes being a single parent really sucks. You have to be always on duty and you can’t have days off nor breaks. It has to be you and only you alone in 24/7 doing all the duties of a mother. But if you can call somebody else like your sister or mother to watch for child if you have something urgent or important to take care of, then you are lucky.
A single mother’s job is really a hard work and it is really even harder without the joint custody’s privilege. We only pray and hope that there will be someone to help us, who can be our right hand, and someone who can really share in the responsibilities of a parent. We badly need help and sometimes we want to shout out for a break. Single mothers face, carry, provide and solve out everything like household chores, all the basic needs, bills, health care, and education.
Anyone can face of the toughest responsibilities of parenthood, that is for sure. It is indeed totally pleasing and beneficial, but we also can’t deny the fact that it is never easy, imagining how hard it can actually get for a single mother alone. Solo parenting is even more challenging, chaotic and most especially it is stressful for single mothers. Nevertheless, you have no other choice once you are in this particular situation, but to be courageous, strong and accept happily the responsibility and just enjoy being a mother.
Whether you are a widow, divorced or a single mother, there are always ways to make your path or journey an enjoyable and a successful one.
Connecting with your child
Aside from taking care all the responsibilities for your child, a single mother also needs to handle a lot of tasks and decisions all by themselves. Being the head of the household is one of the important roles that you have to maintain and develop every day. In terms of your child’s behavior, either good or bad, you are obliged to answer for it once be called. No parents want to get affected by something that needs to be settled, especially when it’s all about your kids how to be in the future. Do as many ways as you can and as early as possible to connect with your child in all aspects. Having a strong family bonding and routine is a great help, you can all stick to it. Setting a curfew time each night and giving them household chores are the best ways to train them that they can also benefit in the future.
Always give time to help your child with their homework because with that way, you can have the chance to know him more and better. You can also build trust with your child, making them feel that you are also their best friend, openness is a strong foundation of your relationship especially when they are getting younger. Spending quality time with them is so much better, a great to time catching up with each other.
2.) Quit feeling guilty
Time will really come for you to feel guilty about what happened, especially seeing them negatively affected by it. The least you can do for yourself is to quit feeling sorry, guilty or embarrassed. Do not spoil them because of your mistakes but instead let them understand the whole thing that you both are not in the easy part but you can still be happy together by having each other’s hand, love and support.
Value and take care of yourself, too!
Even if you are the sole provider, you don’t have to forget to take care of yourself also. Give time for caring yourself by attending different kinds of physical activities that you used to do and enjoy before and most especially have some rest and get some sleep as well. You always need to bear in your mind that since it is only you that your child got, the more you have to take care of your physical health, mental and confidentiality.
4.) Never be afraid of asking help
A single mother is like a super hero, but in reality, she’s neither a super woman. There is really time that you will really feel tired, self- pity and depressed, and if that time happens, don’t be shy or feel embarrassed to ask for a help. Always remember that there are also people around you are more than willing to extend their helping hands when you need it the most. There are also organizations or different groups for single mothers having the same situations as you to talk over your pain, hindrances, problems or burdens you are having in your heart. In that way, somehow it lightens your feelings and can start over again to deal with those or any kinds of problems. Be just inspired and get more courage from the different stories from other single mother’s experiences.
Don’t you ever forget that no matter what happens, you still have your family, relatives and good friends supporting you and will help you get through all this and all that people around you aside from your child can be your strength and a good motivation to face, fight and survive for you battle as a single mother.
5.) Be Always Positive
It is normal and there is nothing wrong with the feeling of getting tired and feeling so low, but don’t ever allow that feelings to steal all the best of you. Make your child as the center core so you may keep going for their sake. Single mother’s always look for the brighter side and keep away from all the negativity because they will just drag you down.
About a month ago, I took my son to see the movie, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, the latest flick about the 1950s cartoon dog who is the smartest being in the world. In this movie, Mr. Peabody adopted an orphaned infant boy and named him Sherman.
Due to several hazardous choices by Sherman when he first begins attending school, Mr. Peabody found himself traveling back in time to mend fences with notable historical figures – King Tut, Leonardo DaVinci and Marie Antoinette, to name a few – in order to keep history, well, history.
While I do not have a time travel machine to take care of the oops! we make in our lives, there is one tool in my toolbox that wherever I go in my life with Liam I try to keep on hand all the time.
I must! And we did a lot of it during the movie.
Laughter is a proven scientific method of reducing stress, too. Preventive care specialists at various universities in the United States have been studying the human body’s response to laughter. Studies show that laughing frequently optimizes many of the functions various body systems … much like exercise. These same studies show that laughing enhances mood, decreases stress hormones and enhances immune activity.
For a single mother who juggles herself, her children and her work, plus all the other demands in her day, it is an amazing free commodity to cling to. It’s also something her children, when the catch it from her, will remember how they feel around their mother and create good memories for them.
Think about it. Comedians talk about the silliness of society and mock it regularly. Audiences laugh. I bet you’re remembering a moment right now about a comedian who made you slap your thigh when you laughed out loud.
The life of a single mother is serious enough. It’s heavy. Why not inject or focus on the comedic moments in your day?
Laugh with your children
My son has gotten used to the fact that sometimes after I sweep or mop floors, I put on Pharrell William’s “Happy” song and video on YouTube and start dancing in the dining room. When I first started doing this, I was uncertain how to interpret his reaction. His facial expressions ranged anywhere from shock to amusement, and then he began to bust his own move. He’s a great dancer, by the way, so we had a ball.
I want the memories of him knowing his mom can laugh and does so to be etched on his heart.
Laugh at yourself
As a recovering perfectionist, I am embracing the fact that not only do I make mistakes but I give myself grace from making them. A sweet friend of mine reminded me a long time ago that kindness goes very far.
Can you be as kind to yourself as you are to others? Can you laugh at your humanness with grace as you your best friend?
Laugh at single motherhood
Good grief – when did life get so … intense?
So, about seven years ago my son and I lived in Charleston, South Carolina for a few years before moving back home to South Florida. While there, Liam decided to stuff a roll of toilet paper down the toilet and flush it. The water seeped out of the toilet bowl, onto the bathroom tile, onto the hallway rug and through the second floor down onto the first floor. My baby grand piano sat perfectly below the trickle of water that came from the ceiling. The water drops hit the piano keys and a little music began to play.
It was at this point that my son came downstairs with only his Spiderman light-up t-shirt on, jumping up and down screaming. Every time he jumped, the t-shirt lit up and the music from the piano from the falling water drops played almost in synch with the t-shirt light show.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Upon reflection, I think I did both.
I realize that this can happen to any parent … yet for single mothers, I believe it is a good thing to remember to find the humor in the situation as much as possible. Cliché notwithstanding, life is short.
Being a single mom is not always peaches and cream, sunny days and birds singing. As easy as some of us may make it look, there are times when we all we want is someone to help us share the load of being a parent, whether it be emotional or financial. We simply just don’t want to do it alone.
When you are a single parent, it is you and only you…at all times. When you are sick and only want to lay in bed or sleep the day away, it’s not going to happen because, there is often times than not, anyone there to allow you to get well while they watch the kids. It can even be as simple as taking a shower when you have a new baby and you are a single mom. All we want sometimes is a moment…it doesn’t even have to be an hour…just a moment.
One day, I had the worse stomach ache and nothing in the house to take for it. I was talking to a friend on the phone, moaning and complaining about my stomach, when they suggested that I go to the store and pick something up. My response was, “I would have to wake up TJ for that and drag him with me.
NOT!!” It was after 9 pm and TJ was sleeping and had school in the morning. My friend responded, “Oh Yeah. I forgot.” Um mm yeah, idiot! I wanted to say out of pain but mostly frustration. I was frustrated because it is times like this that I wish I had a significant other, who could get up and run to the store for me or who could stay at home, while I ran to the store.
Let’s just be honest, sometimes being a single parent SUCKS. For instance, this morning, I felt absolutely awful. I barely went to bed at 3 in the morning, after going back and forth between having chills, then being hot as hell. Topped off by a super runny nose and then I started wheezing. At 6:15, the alarm goes off, and I felt like hell runneth over!
Lord, knows that I didn’t want to get up, throw some clothes on and get TJ up to start getting ready for school. Not only didn’t I want to get up, I surly didn’t want to have to drive him to school. It is days like this, I wish there was someone to say, “Stay in bed, honey. I will take care of everything this morning.”
As a single parent, you are always “ON!” There are no off days. There are no breaks. It is you and only you, 24/7. I don’t have the luxury of weekends and/or holidays off. I am barely where I can enjoy a bubble bath without someone banging on the door (notice I said barely because it still happens sometimes). The only time that I get a break is if my mom or sister takes my son when I have something to do or would like some “adult” time with my friends. Thank God for them, although I don’t call on them very often.
When school is in, I get a break while he is in school. I can have a little quiet time to go to the store alone, take a nap during the day, get a mani or pedi without TJ asking how long is it going to take, etc. However, when school is out for the summer, things can be very hectic.
Being a single mom, is hard work. It is even harder when you don’t have the privilege of joint custody or an ex who will take the kids even when it is not “their time.” What we crave is just someone to be our help mate, our right hand, who is willing to share in the responsibility of being a parent and not just a “part-time parent.” We need help and sometimes we just need a break. I applaud women who are able to yell for “Help” when things become a little cray and maybe sometimes, when it isn’t very crazy but you just want to get away.
For all of you married moms out there that “complain” about how hard you have it, although you have help…take a walk in a single moms shoes for a week. I bet you will appreciate the help that you have and how good you have it.
Parenthood is surely one of the toughest responsibilities that anyone can face. Being a parent is totally rewarding but it is never easy – and you can just imagine how harder it can actually get for a single mother. Solo parenting is even more demanding, hectic and also stressful for most single moms. However, once you are already in this particular situation, you will have no choice but to be brave and accept the responsibility with everything that you got.
It may be hard at first, or well, who says it is ever easy? But then again, there are still a lot of single mother tips and tricks that you can try to make the most out of your current situation. Whether you are a widow, divorced or a single mother by choice, you can still make this journey enjoyable and successful.
1.) Connecting with your kids
Now that you are a single mother, you will also need to handle a lot of decisions and tasks all by yourself. One of the roles that you need to assert immediately would be as the head of the household. When it comes to your children’s behavior, you will be typically called for it, whether good or bad. You do not want to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to settled, especially how your kids will turn out to be in the future. The best way is to start early and to connect with your kids in as much ways as you can. A strong family routine would be a great help, especially if you can all stick to it. A good example would be setting a curfew time each night or to allocate household chores to everyone in the family.
Make time to help your kids with their homework so you will also have the time and opportunity to get to know them better. You will learn more about their strengths and weaknesses and even their personalities as you get to spend more time with them. A family time will also be better, when you can simply bond and have a great time catching up.
2.) Stop feeling guilty
At one point or another, you will find yourself feeling guilty about everything that has happened, especially if you can see that your kids are negatively affected. The least that you can do for yourself is to stop feeling guilty or embarrassed. You also do not need to feel obliged to spoil your kids just because you think you are not enough for them. Make them understand everything and tell them that while it is not really easy for the most parts, you can still have a happy family together even when you are the only parent left.
3.) Don’t forget to take care of yourself
Yes, you are the sole provider now but that does not necessarily mean that you will stop taking care of yourself. This includes different physical activities that you used to enjoy, as well as getting enough rest and sleep. Keep in mind that since you are now on your own, the more that you have to take care of your health and mental state so that you will always be healthy and stable enough to be there for your family. It also helps a lot to plan or arrange some time that you can spend for yourself, such as going to the spa or getting a full body massage. This will not only allow you to recharge but at the same time lets you value yourself and your wellbeing.
4.) Never be afraid to ask for help
Sure, you are a single mother but that does not mean that you are a superwoman. There would still be times when you will feel alone and depressed and even tired, and in times like these, you do not have to be scared or embarrassed to ask for help. Take note that there are still people around you who would be more than willing to lend a helping hand when you needed it the most. It may also help to join a support group for single mothers like you so you can meet new people with the same situation as yours. This way you will have more people to talk to when you need it.
Don’t forget that you still have your friends and other relatives to help you get through this. These people will be your source of strength, aside of course from your kids.
5.) Staying positive
There is nothing wrong with feeling tired or depressed, but then again, don’t let that feeling get the best of you. Remember that you have to keep going for the sake of your kids. As a single mother, you have to always look at the brighter side. Stay away from negative thoughts as those will only bring you down.
Being a single parent is probably one of the hardest responsibilities that you may encounter as an adult. In almost all aspects, there needs to be changes, adjustments and even obstacles. This remains the same whenever you would plan for a travel or vacation for you and your kids. While you ultimately like for your kids to have fun and enjoy the whole trip, you should not forget that you also need to satisfy yourself and be relaxed. Since traveling is now among the most growing industries, different vacation options are available and you can fairly well choose one that would suit your needs and preferences.
For special occasions
Holidays and special occasions are always a good reason for you and your little family to go out of town or even out of the country. Long weekends usually happen and that would be a great opportunity to bond and take some time off away from work, stress and worries. The winter season is one of the most popular times of the year when people would take a vacation and go elsewhere. Just so you know, it is not at all impossible for you to plan the best single mom winter getaways as long as you keep these tips and things in mind.
Choosing a destination
The most important question to ask yourself is – where will you be going? Since winter is just about starting, you might want to consider picking a place that has warmer climate. This way, you know that you and your kids will enjoy doing outdoor activities, knowing that you will not be worried about the weather being too cold or freezing.
If you live in the US and you do not want to travel out of the country, there are still a lot of places that you can opt for when it comes to winter getaways. Honolulu in Hawaii, for example, is an all-time favorite whether it is winter or not. You can easily find resorts and hotels in the area that can cater to specific needs and requirements. Even when you are a single mom with kids, you do not have to worry about finding a place to stay that is comfortable and enjoyable at the same time. Another popular place to visit would be the state of Arizona where you and your children can spend the day shopping or just lounging around various attractions and amenities. However, remember that Phoenix is not at all very famous for nightlife sceneries, which means that it is ideal for best single mom winter getaways that only involve daytime fun and sleeping early at night. Other locations to consider would be Las Vegas, Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Nashville or Memphis Tennessee.
Involving the kids with the planning
If your kids are no longer toddlers, it might be better to ask them first and know if they have any ideas or suggestions in mind. They will surely appreciate it if you can discuss with them some details such as your options, hotel accommodations and even the activities that you are planning for the family. This makes them feel involved and important, so they won’t be left out and feel indifferent about the whole idea.
Things to do and places to visit
Once you have already reached your destination, the fun then begins. It is best to find or think of activities that you can do together as a family, regardless of age or gender. As the mother, you surely already know what will interest your kids and how they will be able to enjoy the trip. You can wander around the city or the area where you are staying, perhaps go and check out local stores or gift shops. It is also a good idea to try different restaurants and delicacies. If your kids want to, you can find a local park or a playground where they can roam freely and play. If the kids are interested, might also want to plan museum visits or learn more about the local architecture and geography of the place. Not only will you have some time to bond but at the same time, the kids will surely learn a lot from it.
Other things to remember
If in case you are traveling outside of the country, remember to always be prepared and alert when it comes to safety and security. Be sure to never let your kids be out of your sight especially if it’s a place that they have never visited before. You must also not forget that you will need to secure proper documentations before you can bring your kids abroad. Child protection laws require a single parent to still have the permission from the other parent when going out of the country. For divorced single moms, a notarized letter from your ex should be helpful enough for you to easily pass borders. In case your spouse is already dead, a copy of the death certificate should suffice.
Being a single mother means becoming a husband and a wife at the same time. As a sole provider of your family, there are a lot of struggles you may face. These challenges may involve your emotions, or your capacity to provide for your family’s needs. While these struggles may appear intolerable, there are always ways to cope up with them.
After the divorce, or perhaps after the death of a spouse, mothers usually struggle emotionally. Most likely, this is the first challenge they have to face. You might feel like they are left alone, and there is no one to turn to. You have no choice but to embrace the responsibility of solely taking care of their children, and providing their needs. Having no support, you have to work eight days a week, making you feel exhausted and stressed.
As though this is not enough pressure, you also have to decide for yourself and for your children alone. Even the smallest things – like what kinds of furniture to buy or in what school should you send your kids – can make you very confused and anxious. If the decisions you make went wrong, there is seemingly no one to blame but you.
Becoming a single mother also results to self-doubt. You do not know if you are doing the right thing, as you have no spouse to affirm your actions or to disagree with your decisions, and doing it all alone is not really that easy.
These challenges, however, does not necessarily mean that you can’t ask anyone for help. Your husband may have left you, but your friends or your family can always lend a hand for support. Coping up with emotional problems cannot usually be done alone. As the saying goes, “If you won’t open up, you are never going to heal.” Most of the time, you need someone to talk to or ask advices from. People who understand your situation will be very willing to listen to you and engage in an adult conversation. This reduces the emotional stress brought by single parenting.
The need for financial support
As a single mother, you don’t have to deal only with emotional problems. Being the sole head of the family, you may also struggle financially. You have to shoulder all the expenses: from your everyday needs to your kids’ education. This means that you have to work harder than the usual, which would give you even more stress. You feel pressured to give your children a better future, so you have no other option but to exhaust all means of getting enough finances. There are instances, however, when you feel like you cannot do anything to help your situation but quit.
During these moments, you have to remember that your children are counting on you and giving up would not solve anything. It is important to know that you are never alone with your challenges. Aside from your family and friends, there are also organizations that would help you financially. You can apply for grants and all it takes is your determination. There are grants that would support your children’s education. There are also emergency housing assistants for single mothers if you are having a hard time providing a shelter for you and your children.
Taking care of your children
Raising a child is typically a responsibility shared by two couples. Even in this kind of set-up, taking care of a child is a difficult task. How much more taking care of a child alone?
To start with, you have to set rules for your children. It is a challenge for you to keep these rules followed and make sure that they are not too limiting. As previously mentioned, making the decision lies solely on you, so you would usually feel pressured to make the most effective rules.
Because you also have to do extra work to provide your family’s needs, it would also be hard for you to look after them constantly. Managing your time as a single mother is never that easy. You would feel like you have the most hectic schedule than any mothers in the world, and you might get too engrossed with your work that you forget about your children.
In addition, if your kids got used to living with you and your spouse, it would be difficult for them to adjust. There might be instances when they would “rebel” or feel incomplete. It is a challenge for you to make them feel special and loved.
The best way to address these issues is to talk to your children. Tell them why you are imposing certain rules, describe to them what would possibly happen if these rules are violated, and make them understand the importance of being a responsible child. This would not only result to a more effective household management, but it would also help them grow.
Taking care of yourself
Becoming a single mother might make you feel socially isolated. You work all day, inside and outside your home, you have to look after your kids, you have to think about paying all your bills that sometimes you don’t even have time for yourself.
However, you can always look for venues when you could both have time for yourself and make sure that your kids are entertained or occupied. You can exercise in a gym with kids’ space, for example. You can also hire a trusted baby sitter once a month if you want to go out with your friends. This would be one of the best stress relievers you could get.
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