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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 helpmate, 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.

Photo Credit:  fanandfru.com

The post Let’s Be Honest. Being A Single Mom Sucks Sometimes! appeared first on SingleMothers.us.

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 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 documentation 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.

The post Tips When Planning Out the Best Single Mom Winter Getaways appeared first on SingleMothers.us.

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This year marks the fifth time I am facing a cancer scare within a two-year window of time.

When I heard the news from my doctor, grateful and exhausted are the two words that bubbled up from within me.   I recognized all my biopsies and surgeries from the past have come back benign but I am a bit tired of having to do this again.  My doctor believes I am fine but it is better to ensure my “health career,” he said, stays in tact.

This news helped me realize I have received a bigger gift now.

When you want to live really well when you are raising your children alone, it is time to make change. A shift. A new beginning for the better for the long haul.

For me, these are the kinds of changes I read about but have not had the courage to do.

Until now.

When the Burden Outweighs the Blessings

Children are not a burden, but the responsibilities of caring for them sometimes feel overwhelming no matter if you are a single parent or not. They are little people who need guidance, love and direction each and every day.

However, if your quality of life is rather obsolete, and your health is getting tossed to and fro, what can you do?

I cannot even utter, here is the game plan, because life is not a game plan. It’s life. It was given to be enjoyed abundantly. So with great intentionality, we are embarking on a new journey to remove the clutter and let the good stuff in.

I put together a list for us and this is what I came up with:

  • Sell everything you do not need.
  • Live simply.
  • Trust God to infinity and beyond.
  • Surrender.
  • Rest.
  • Stop worrying.
  • Stop apologizing.
  • Stop procrastinating.
  • Start believing.
  • Play a whole lot more.
  • Find your anchors.
  • And yes, to borrow the phrase from the hit song from the movie FROZEN, Let it go.

In the time spent here on earth, we are really only accountable for ourselves and raising our children. This is one guideline for what I believe to a life better lived. And I know I am not alone.

Find Your Anchors

At my son’s baseball game over the past weekend, I spoke with another single mom who is going through a divorce. She and her children moved to be home with her family. We both talked about feeling the sickness of stress and how it took its toll on our bodies, our hearts, our minds and our souls.

She told me she felt as though her DNA was dying, and emphatically denied she was not a dramatic person; she needed to come home and feel well again. I have felt the same the past few years, I told her.

“Peace,” she told me. “I have peace, finally. And I wish this on everyone.”

Peace.

Baseball has been a big anchor for us.  When my son plays, the world just seems right again.

Baseball has been a huge anchor for us during seasons of change and stress. Lean on Others

Just because you are a single parent does not mean you have to do everything yourself. Any guilt that comes to the surface does not originate from a place of reasoning – trust me. Join a support group for single parents. Call on trusted loved ones or even ask friends or neighbors for help. I have, and they have been incredibly supportive to me.

Love on Your Kids

What you give to others you will strengthen within yourself. Loving on your children and being paid attention to in the moment is I think what our children really want. When life is out of balance, this will feel like a burden. When your life is in check, this will feel like a gift.

Be Honest With Your Kids

It is okay to tell your children if you are having a bad day. I remember a few years ago Liam saw me crying after I received some bad news. Sometimes Mommies cry, is what I told him, and left it at that. He gave me a hug.

To reduce your stress and truly live well, how might you shift toward thriving rather than just surviving?  What would you do?

The post How to Live Well as a Single Mom – It’s Not About the Money appeared first on SingleMothers.us.

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Parenting is hard already; let alone if being a single mom. In this situation, it’s easy to think that nothing’s going right and you are in this battle alone. But do not lose hope – there are lots of women going through the same phase as yours right now.

We have talked to bunches of single moms out there. Just so you know, they have survived the chaos. How they did so is compiled on our list below.

Focus on the positive side.

While there are downsides, there is also a bright side to being single parent. One is you don’t have to argue with another parent about decision making. Therefore, you can be more focused on your relationship with your child. Another thing is that you’ll become a stronger person that your child will idolize as they grow older. You might not notice but they appreciate that you look out for their interests and you’re focused on them 24/7.

Take things one step at a time.

If you haven’t delivered yet, focus on your upcoming delivery, caring for the baby, looking for a new job, and a reliable daycare. Fears might overcome your thoughts, but don’t forget about your friends and family

Ask for help when you need to.

Think about the positive people in your life – your best friend, a relative, or your mom. Anyone who can influence your child in a good way. You might be an awesome mom, but you can’t be all things to your child. It’s virtually impossible to do all things by yourself. While they have lost one parent, talking to other people might be a great help. So make sure to take your child to them once in a while – you’ll see it’s worth a try.

Cry yourself out.

Sometimes, crying is all you need to lighten the load on your shoulders. So don’t be shy and cry it all out. There’s no reason to hold in your feelings and stress inside. Once you feel better, put yourself together and say, “I am ready to be a supermom”. Then, move on.

Schedule your “me time”.

All the hassles of being a single mom does not mean you shouldn’t give yourself some time alone. A time when you don’t have to worry over someone or look after them. Great ideas you can try are whole body massage once a week, manicure/pedicure at the salon, or even simple morning jog at the park. These activities will efficiently rejuvenate you emotionally and physically. Skip the guilt when hiring or asking someone to look after the kids – it’s alright to do the things you love once in a while. However, if you can’t really get out, have your kids play together so you can enjoy your favorite cup of coffee while reading a magazine or doing other things that fascinate you – this sure will make you a better mom.

Steer clear of the negativity.

You are all by yourself and there are tons of things to do. However, you should not let the pressure get into you – there is no perfect parent in the world. Even single moms make mistakes. So, spend more time with your child than on house chores or work. Kids are happier when you bond with them more often so forget dish washing or laundry once in a while – if it means more happy time with baby. No one’s going to judge you for leaving the sink or house dirty, anyway.

Getting a new job.

Some single moms get support from the baby’s father. However, if you are experiencing the other way around, don’t fret because there are ways that you can support your child with your own sweat. Use your skills whenever you feel that you’re ready to work again. If you don’t feel skilled enough, consider taking a crash course like computer training or baking. If you can’t leave home because you don’t have a babysitter, the online platform is your friend. Nowadays, there are thousands of online gigs that let you earn by doing computer-related tasks. Based from personal experiences, many moms have had great success in supporting their kids while working at home.

Raise your chin up.

Birth minus the wedlock and divorce are major cause of worry for women with unsuccessful relationships. Prepare yourself for questions and uncomfortable scenarios. Like we’ve mentioned above, it doesn’t help to dwell on the negative side so surround yourself with people that generously lift your spirit and boost your confidence. You can also keep your head high from judgmental people by seeking support from the neighborhood or groups for single moms like you. Socialize with others over a music class or even at the library. Searching the internet for moms going through the same dilemma might be a good outlet as well.

The post Surviving Single Motherhood: Surefire Tips for Struggling Moms appeared first on SingleMothers.us.

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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.

  1. Role Models

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.

  1. Set Limits

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.

  1. Family Time

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.

  1. Show Love

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.

The post Things To Consider When Raising A Kid Without A Dad Around appeared first on SingleMothers.us.

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