I just have to start by saying, I love being a single mom! The truth is that it was only slightly easier when my ex was in the picture. I hate to say that, but it’s true. At the end of the day, I always carried the main responsibilities for my kids. When I transitioned to being single, I already had some of my strategies in place, but there was so much more I needed to organize and create in order to navigate this new phase of life.
The saying “it takes a village” has always been my mantra. When I was married, I had several single mom friends that hung out at the house. We helped each other out with homework, play dates, and tea time. Now that I’m on my own, I’m really not. I still have a wide array of friends that come to my aid.
As a single mom, there are several things I learned to make this all so much easier:
ASK for help.
This is tough for some, mainly me. I have learned to just do it. I figure I have two choices, either ask for help or become cranky and tired, which always leads to “mean mommy.” It’s funny, I have noticed that the more I ask, the closer I have become to certain families and friends. We all take care of each other and it makes this journey so much easier.
CREATE a peaceful household.
Step one in creating peace in any household is to create peace within ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves and give ourselves time. I take my finances very seriously, but I also acknowledge that things I don’t enjoy wear me out and have no shame in paying someone else to do those tasks. You know what I mean–house cleaning… yuck, and grocery shopping… major drag. I gained 7 hours a week by OUTSOURCING. Yes, I had to chisel away the shoe budget, but it was totally worth the time I gained. We all have those things that take time and energy, and we can’t stand them. Here’s where you make a plan, either elicit the kids to add in a few more chores each week, or get help. I am so much happier when someone else cleans my house, and it doesn’t have to be every week.
FIND your tribe of moms with kids your kids enjoy being with.
This is imperative. From here you can share, trade, or abandon your kids at any time with ease. You have found your people! These don’t necessarily need to be single moms, they can be couples as well. The last time I had a few challenges with my son, my friend’s husband came to the rescue for a great man-to-man chat. Life is so much easier when you can have adult conversation, and you know your kids are enjoying it as well. We all do dinners, playtime, and tea time. Not to mention, when I am in a pinch I know exactly who to call.
SPEAK your truth.
I can’t reiterate this enough. As moms, we need to speak our truth. I am sorry, but it’s rare to find a picture-perfect child, who does their chores like a pro and homework like a scholar. Being a mom is challenging, no more sugar-coating it. When you can actually speak your truth and learn that others are going through the exact same thing, there’s a sense of relief. You know you are not alone, and this alleviates so much of the stress we place in our own minds. For those who know me, tea time is my therapy and the therapy of so many of my friends. Here is where we all help each other grow, vent, and solve all that motherhood brings to the table.
At the end of the day, and the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to build yourself a tribe and a village. When we can encourage, help, and support each other, we can have more time to relish the amazing gift of watching our children grow up to be amazing adults.
I, for one, don’t want to miss a thing!
Wishing you Love, Laughter, and Happiness,