As a single mom, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Not only are you responsible for maintaining employment and balancing your budget even when things are tight, you’re also tasked with the monumental job of parenting. It’s often tough for two parents to manage, and it’s even harder to be a solo act. How to balance it all? Read on for 10 tips on how to be successful as a single mother.
Create a Support Network for Yourself
You need time to yourself, and as you probably know, it’s essential to spend time with other adults. Partnered parents typically have an easy time cultivating friendships with other couples who have kids in the same age range; it’s often harder for singles. Don’t be shy about mixing and mingling with other moms – even if your children don’t share interests.
Let Go of Baggage
It can be tough to stay positive, but you and your child will benefit when you do. Reminders of your old life can be painful, and they can prevent you from focusing on the great things that are happening now. Consider selling wedding and engagement jewelry, donate or discard items of lesser value, and you’ll find that it’s easier to keep your eyes on the road ahead.
Make Your Health a Priority
Stay active and eat well, even if it’s easier to eat pizza on the couch. Kids can join in, enjoying neighborhood walks and bike rides, and you can even teach older children basic kitchen skills and have fun prepping healthy meals together. Take time to yourself every so often, too, relaxing or enjoying girls’ days out. If you feel as if the concept of self-care seems extravagant, it may help to remind yourself that good physical, mental, and emotional health are vital to your success as a parent.
Be a Money Mentor
As a single mom, it’s up to you to teach your child how to manage money. Teaching even simple concepts such as tracking spending and saving can help ensure that your children develop good financial habits that will serve them for life.
Enjoy Electronics-Free Time Together
Your smartphone connects you to your network – and your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers really are important. But too much time spent focusing on technology can have a negative impact on your child’s self-esteem. Make “together time” a priority. After you’ve handled essential tasks, take time to be fully present with your child. Not only will you enjoy the in-person connection, you’ll also be a great model of healthy online behavior.
Take Your Child on Outings
As a single mom, you’re more than a parent – you’re also a teacher, guide, mentor, and more. Trips – even short ones to local venues – help you create a stronger bond with your child and expose him or her to new experiences. Most communities offer at least a few free recreational opportunities. Take advantage of them!
Expose Your Child to Good Male Role Models
Male mentors such as grandfathers, uncles, scout leaders, coaches, and others are essential for boys and girls alike. Be extremely selective when choosing potential candidates, ensuring that they share your values. Male role models should be trustworthy and willing to spend time with your child.
Create a Routine and Stick to It
With the exception of holidays and vacations, it’s important to ensure that your child sticks to a predictable routine. Try to create consistency with scheduling wake-up time, bedtime, and mealtimes, and set aside special family time and play time, too. Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines create stability.
Be Consistent With Discipline
Most kids get into trouble. It’s a normal part of childhood! At the same time, it’s important to note that children need to understand what’s expected, and they need to know what to anticipate in terms of consequences when those expectations aren’t met or when set boundaries are pushed. Avoid empty threats, keep your temper under control, and don’t be a pushover. Discipline should foster learning, not create distance between you and your child.
Date When and How it is Good for you!
Dating can be an adventure for you and a good opportunity to show your kids the healthy side of relationships. Many single moms can feel apprehensive about dating again, especially when considering their kids. However, there is a way to strike balance with dating that allows for a happier you, and ultimately a happier mom.