Going through a divorce is one of the hardest experiences that we can experience in life, and it can be even harder to handle once the dust settles and you realize that you will need to care for your children and bring in all of the income as a single mother. However, as a strong woman, you will get through this, and we are here to help.
Tips for Single Moms
We have created a list of tips that can help you to get through this tough time while being present for your kids and helping them thrive, even in this new family arrangement. We will discuss moving to a new home, budgeting, and finding support so you can get through to the other side and have a happy life.
Moving out of the Marital Home
It will likely be very hard to move out of your marital home, but it may be what is best for the kids. Even if you were able to keep the house as part of the divorce, you might not be able to afford it on your own — or you may just want to get out because of the bad memories.
Whatever the case, you will want to take some steps before moving away from home. Look at your budget and determine what you can afford. If you are not yet committed to a new town or are not sure where to live, then you may want to find a rental apartment that suits your needs. When you are looking at potential landing spots, it is important to ensure that there is proper medical care nearby for you and the kids. That means a doctor, dentist, and optometrist. Call ahead of time to verify that they take new patients.
It will likely be difficult to move everything you own to the new house, so you will need to declutter. Go room by room and seriously think about the items you no longer need and donate them. You can write off what you give away on your taxes. Don’t forget to update your mailing address on all bank accounts, employee records, and insurance information, so you can keep up to date.
Keeping Your Family Afloat Financially
A major factor that can keep many single mothers awake at night is how they will be able to keep their families afloat on a single income. You can survive and thrive if you have a plan. The first step is to create a budget that accounts for every source of income you have, from your job to the spousal support you receive as part of the divorce. Then, you need to look at all of your expenses, from the required (utilities, rent) to the unnecessary (dinners out, coffee at Starbucks, the cable bill), and see where you can make adjustments. For instance, do you need to pay extra for the extensive cable package with all of the movie channels, or can you reduce your expenses by downgrading and paying for a streaming service or two for half of the cost?
If you find that a lot of your money is going toward daycare costs and babysitting, then you can ask your job if they will allow you to work a flexible schedule or work from home so you can keep an eye on your kids. Have a plan of action before you speak to your manager. Tell them how you have a quiet place to work, a suitable desk and chair, and a strategy to complete all of your work without distraction.
If you are short on funds, you can consider working a side hustle like driving for a food delivery company or working for Uber or Lyft. Side jobs will give you some extra income and let you choose your hours. That last part is key because it is essential that you schedule appropriately and spend time with your family and show your love during this tough transition.
This will undoubtedly be a very stressful time for you as you try to navigate a new life and make ends meet, but it is important that you don’t bring that anxiety home to your family. If you do, that stress could rub off on them, and it isn’t good for their mental health. You don’t want to keep your kids completely in the dark, but you don’t want to burden them with unnecessary problems, either.
That is why it is important to get your feelings out, and you can do that by joining an online support group for single parents. These groups can do wonders for your well-being because it is a chance for you to talk to other people in your same situation and learn how they get through the hard days. Talking to others is also essential because it prevents social isolation that can lead to mental anguish and depression.
If you are uncomfortable speaking to other people, even in an online capacity, then you should at least get your feelings out by journaling your thoughts before bed or by talking one on one to a professional therapist.
As you can see, though it won’t always be easy, there are ways that you can overcome adversity and find a way to thrive as a single mother. Consider these tips, and you will show your kids that with drive and a desire to succeed, they can overcome any obstacle.