It takes a village.
I know, I know. Everyone says that…but it’s true. Being a parent is hard. Doing it alone can feel impossible. And quite honestly, sometimes you just need a break. You can’t be all things to all people. It’s important as a single mom to surround yourself with people who are in your corner, helping you pick up the pieces of life when you need it, and cheering you on when you don’t.
You can do hard things.
There are days where I feel like I’m unstoppable and can accomplish anything. There are other days where I’m lucky if my coffee makes it off the tailgate of the car before I pull out of the driveway. (And yes, that has happened enough that my toddler kindly reminds me of it every time I make coffee before work). Everyone has good and bad days. Single parenting can just make those days feel magnified at times. Some days, hard things come shaped as home repairs, bank statements, co-parenting conflicts. Other days, it can feel impossible to even get out of bed. Those are the days you call on the people in your corner.
Do the next right thing.
What about her birthday in 4 months? Or vacation this summer? Or college? How do I pay for college?! Just breathe. Don’t try to conquer all the world’s problems today. Overwhelming thoughts can happen in an instant and then steal your joy for days. Instead, focus on what’s right in front of you. How do you manage the next 5 minutes? 30 minutes? 2 hours? Easy wins, no matter how small, can help you inch towards the day when you are ready to conquer the college problem. Until then, focus on doing the next right thing for you and your kiddo(s).
Take time for yourself.
You, dear momma, matter. Your needs, your health, your wants, they all matter. It’s the same reason why when you are on an airplane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others around you. You aren’t much good to others if you aren’t breathing yourself. Be intentional about self-care. Stop for a pedicure on your way home before picking up the kids. Find a sitter and spend an hour at the local coffee shop, reading, writing, or just people watching. It could even be as simple as taking a nap or enjoying a hobby. Whatever it is, find a way to recharge yourself.
Don’t be afraid to seek help.
Once you establish your village, call on them. Life happens and just because you are a single parent doesn’t mean that you have to try to handle everything alone. There will be times when you need someone to help you with errands, or picking up the kids when you are running late. Sometimes, you just need another adult to talk to when life feels overwhelming. No matter if it’s a friend, family member, support group or professional counselor, surround yourself with people who are willing to pour in to you to ensure you have the help and support you need as a single mom.