Mommy Guilt? That’s nothing. How about Single Mommy Guilt? That’s when the guilt doubles. It’s just you –on overdrive. And it makes leaving for work, saying ‘no’ and making time for yourself, even harder (if not impossible).
The fact is, there’s no getting over it. It’s more like you have to accept it as the beastly animal living in your brain, telling you the kids need to come first, shaming you for missing a 10am school performance, and beating you up for each mistake your child makes –as if that f-bomb from your 5 year old made you miss the cover of Successful Single Moms Magazine.
Sometimes this voice is super loud and unruly. And other times, he can be successfully shut up. So here are 9 things to shut up the inner brain-shaming.
1. The Kids Are Happy/Healthy/Great. Because, well, they are. If your kids are (relatively) happy and healthy, you can call yourself a successful mom.
2. I Did My Best. And just like you tell your kids, there’s nothing more that can be done if you can say you’ve done your best.
3. I’m Doing the Job of Two People. I mean, really. Let’s take a moment and pat yourself on the back here (and then repeat #1 and #2 again).
4. My Happiness Leads to Their Happiness. Sometimes you need to take care of yourself first. Yes, that can mean missing a bedtime to get your hair cut or hiring a sitter so you can go out with a friend. You’re a role model, after all. And the kids need to see their mom taking care of herself.
5. I CAN Do This. Because you can. It might take a different approach than a family with two helpful parents. But not everything has to be done the same exact way.
6. I Have Supporters/Helpers. Lean on them. They might be hired (sitter) or come with strings attached (Mom). But use them. You can pay back favors later.
7. I Will Figure It Out. Find other single moms and a real mentor (online, at work, in the neighborhood) and listen. Her solutions to her problems might inspire you.
8. No One is Tracking My Mistakes Except Me. That’s the real truth. Except of course, if you have a child who likes to point them out for you (in that case, see #9). But for the most part, you can’t do it all, so don’t expect to.
9. One Day, They Will Get It. Your kids might give you the biggest guilt trips of all, but every house has kids who are complaining about something. It’s called creating a “well-adjusted kid.” And just remember that one day, they’ll realize you did this job (that takes a village) as one person, and they will really regret yelling and slamming the door because you couldn’t drive her to the mall on a Tuesday.
Single moms, what would you add? Share them below!
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