Being a single Mom is admittedly hard work. You wake up in the morning and immediately rush to your child’s bedroom. You constantly have worry about dressing him, feeding him and so on.
All this has to be done by you with no help from anyone. No spouse. No neighbors. Just you. 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
To make life a bit easier, you can follow these easy tips and make single mom life less hectic.
Make an Everyday Schedule
Look around and you’ll see that we all create routines to properly divide our time to get tasks done. Chances are you already have one but unfortunately; it might not be consistent. A disarrayed routine will confuse your child and make life more hectic for both of you.
It could also take away a certain level of discipline that is essential in any child’s life. Create an appropriate routine that lets you not only focus on your tasks but also spend important quality time with your child for the sake of his emotional wellbeing.
Create Suitable Rules to Maintain Discipline
You may have heard the ancient proverb that “Rules are boring!” However, the one thing that keeps any home from falling apart is rules. Rules don’t have to be restrictive, instead, if maintained moderately; it can sustain the peace in your home.
Establish some basic rules and expectations that you can communicate with your child. Try communicating positive expectations like encouraging your child to share his/her toys or let him make his bed every morning. Allowing your child to handle age-appropriate responsibilities is key to raising a future, more independent adult.
Don’t Let Guilt Win
Single Moms are basically bogged down with never-ending work. From going to work to keeping the household running, single Moms have a plethora of chores to deal with including an often hyperactive toddler. All this can frankly be exhausting.
It isn’t surprising they don’t get to spend more quality time with their children and this often manifests into guilt. Guilt for not always being there for your child. But always remember that as a parent you are doing the best you can and it’s definitely not your fault.
Don’t let this the guilt you feel cause you to over-compensate and, as a result, spoil your child. Instead always try to make some time in your routine for your child and doing things together.
Take the time to strengthen your parent-child relationship by doing something as simple as just spending time together. It could be taking walks in the park, playing with his toys or reading him a book as long as you are spending time together and having fun.
Build a Support Network
As a single Mom, it may be hard for you to reach out to others. It’s important that you allow yourself to be vulnerable and admit that you need help. Remember that there are always people who care about you and your child so lean on them anyway.
Stay in touch with your family, friends, neighbors etc. and befriend other single Moms. Moreover, you can join support groups for single Moms to get that extra boost of confidence in your ability to parent alone. If other parents are making it work (and they have), so can you.
Show Yourself Some Love Too
Most parents are so busy loving their children and catering to their every need that they forget about themselves. Being a parent is part of the amazing being that is you so don’t forget to pay attention to your needs while also making your child a priority.
Go to the library, watch a movie aline, get a pedicure or get your hair done. Set aside a day each week just for yourself to let off some steam. You’d be surprised how much more grateful and positive you’d feel if you gave yourself the same attention you give your loved ones. If you can’t pay for professional childcare or babysitting, get your single Mom friend to take care of your child for a day. Do the same for her on her day off.
Communicate with Your Children
Unfortunately, research shows that children from single Mom households are at a higher risk of low self-esteem and depression.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Social isolation
- Feeling unloved, sad or lonely
- Being highly critical of one’s physical appearance
- A sense of hopelessness
If you spot these warning signs talk to your child. The splitting of parents can be extremely traumatic to children so be open about the divorce and never criticize the other parent. Remind your children that it was never their fault and that both parents will always love him/her.
Hear what they have to say and truthfully answer any queries they may have. Get counseling if certain problems persist. Additionally, maintaining a cordial relationship with the other parent has been proven to lessen the chances of developing behavioral issues in children of single Moms.
Single Moms and Dating
After the divorce, you may decide to step back into the dating world. You find someone sweet, considerate and caring but deep down you have fear. “How will my child react to this?” You think. To make sure your child is comfortable with a new person in your life, wait until your relationship is more solid before making the introduction.
Let your new partner build a relationship with your child and remind him/her that the new partner is not there as a substitute for the other parent. Hold out for partners that will respect and care for the both of you. Don’t rush into relationships.
Show Your Child Examples of Positive Role Models
If the other parent is not as present in your child’s life as you would like, it will be hard for him to relate to people of the opposite sex. Give your child great examples of both sexes by making sure he/she is exposed to positive role models of both genders.
Although, single parenting means getting rare precious time to live your own life, being a parent in itself is rewarding. At the end of the day, when you are slouching from exhaustion and your toddler gives you his happiest smile, suddenly it all becomes absolutely worth it.