Whether it was chosen or you’ve found yourself in the situation where raising a child alone is the only option, the fact remains, being a single mother isn’t easy. However, I bet you wouldn’t change it for the world.
Sure, there are times when you wish you had the luxury of going out on late-night dates or having cocktails with your girlfriends after work. Perhaps even dreaming of sleeping in a little bit later over weekends, even though you know it’s extremely far-fetched. It’s not an ideal situation because you have to provide emotional and financial support to another human being that replicates a mini you.
As with any good mother, you’re reluctant to put anything ahead of your child, including yourself. You’d much rather work yourself to death to ensure your child receives only the best, and rightfully so. However, in order to stay sane, you need to think of yourself on occasion.
Here are 10 guilt-free tips every single mother should implement:
1. Hiring a babysitter
Everyone needs a break every once in a while, and it doesn’t make you a bad mom for finding someone to take care of your child/children for a few hours a week. Whether you decide to hit the town with a friend or go to Bible study one evening, it’s okay to leave your children with someone trustworthy. Remember to always leave emergency numbers in case of the unlikely event of something happening, and don’t forget to have fun.
2. Spending time alone
It’s absolutely crucial to spend some time alone – even if it’s just for a few hours once a week. This will give you the necessary time to recover from a busy schedule and feel like a normal human being, without the added bonus of having to wipe down sticky fingers and runny noses. By doing this, you’re creating much-needed ‘me-time’ that’ll help you stay sane through difficult growing phases.
3. Doing microwave meals
As a busy mom, you don’t always have the time or patience to keep a wholesome, abundantly healthy meal. In which case it’s okay to do microwave meals every once in a while – especially if you have tired, cranky children screaming the house down. However, if you can, prepare healthy meals ahead of time and freeze them. That way you have an emergency stack on days when cooking just simply isn’t an option.
4. Dressing to impress
Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you have to wear sweat pants or mom jeans all the time. Sure, it’s comfortable. However, you’re still a woman, and you need to feel like it. So remember, it doesn’t make you less of a ‘good mom’ if you wear high heels and do your make-up. In fact, it makes you seem as if you have all your ducks in a row, even if your ducks seem to be going in all different directions.
5. Joining a dating website
At some point, you may want to get out into the dating scene and spread your wings a little bit, and what better way to do that than by joining an online dating site. It gives you the opportunity to scout men from the comfort of your own home, perhaps even in your pajamas. You can eliminate the unviable options without necessarily hurting anyone’s feelings and you don’t have to worry about introducing anyone to your children if you’re not quite ready.
6. Having a glass of wine
I’m by no means advocating excessive alcohol consumption, but a glass of wine will do no harm. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you have to stop being fun, and maybe all you need at the end of the day to recollect yourself is a little bit of liquid courage to get you through some of the toughest times you may face. Being a single mom isn’t easy, and who’s to say that you can’t enjoy a glass of your favorite wine when the children have gone to bed.
7. Asking for advice
You can’t know everything, and it’s perfectly normal not to. So don’t beat yourself up for not being the ‘perfect mom’ when we all know there’s no such thing. As perfect as you may want to be, there will be times when you simply don’t know what to do. That’s the perfect moment to ask for advice, preferably from someone who’s already gone through it. Those who judge simply have not been in your shoes.
8. Buying snacks for market day
You’d be surprised at how many parent buy the products instead of going the homemade route – especially the single, working moms. So technically you should make the time to bake a few cookies, but if you decide to stop by the grocery store on your way home from a busy day, don’t feel too guilty about it. Just make sure you choose a batch that looks amateur-like if you’re not a well-known for your baking skills.
9. Dreaming of an empty nest
They really do grow up really fast, and before you know it you’ll be stuck with an empty nest. However, for now, you may be dreaming of that alone time in order to do your own thing. Don’t feel guilty. Every parent has those thoughts. The best thing to do in that situation is to take some ‘me-time’. Missing your children will kick in shortly after.
10. Using socks as a cover up
Sometimes, bath time becomes too late – especially if it’s been an eventful day. In that case, it’s okay to put clean socks on those little feet and put them to bed with the idea that you’ll bath them the following day. Besides, you definitely don’t want to go through bath time with a tired, cranky child. It’ll be miserable for both of you, and it’s simply not worth it.
With the right mindset and adequate support, tackling the day as a single mother is do-able. You don’t need to be Superwoman, or even have all of your ducks in a row. In fact, none of us ever do. We’re simply doing the best that we can with what we have on a daily basis, and you shouldn’t be any different. So keep your chin up, throw out your mom jeans and act like the strong, beautiful, single mother that you are!