Navigating life as a single mom can be overwhelming at times. It can feel like a juggling act in which some balls are made of glass and others made of rubber. The trick is learning to identify which will break if they drop and which will bounce.
I am by no means an expert but here are a few lessons that I have learnt in the time that I have been a single mom:
Create a routine but also allow some flexibility
Children respond well to routines and to structure as they learn what to expect.
Recently my son was home sick from school for a few days. Usually, he bathes every evening, but in this instance, he bathed one evening and the next evening was cold, miserable and stormy. It was the evening of my interview. When it was bath time, my son did not want to bathe so instead of fighting with him, we decided together that he wouldn’t bathe that night but he would definitely bathe the next.
Find quality childcare
This is especially important for working moms. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that your child(ren) is(are) being taken care of is immeasurable.
Find childcare that suits your circumstances.
When I was looking, I had to look for a school that served meals (lunch) and provided snacks. The operating hours also needed to be in line with my working hours.
Mom guilt is real – be kind to yourself
Being a single mom is not without its challenges.
Know that you are doing the best that you can do and that your child knows that!
When I made the decision to enrol my son in a new school, I felt nervous and guilty, (his pre-lockdown school closed, and we were now living in a different suburb). These emotions were valid emotions. I felt at ease once he started school and I could see that he was happy and keen to go to school.
Community is important for (y)our mental health
Don’t underestimate the difference it makes being able to talk to like-minded friends or family. Circumstances will differ, but comfort can be found in sharing. The support that (y)our community offers will take a mental load off.
Your community includes your friends, family, fellow moms or even your faith community.
Remember that there are also communities such as SingleMomsandBeyond and MamaMagicSA on Instagram.
Know that you are stronger than you think you are and that your child(ren) is(are) watching you. It’s OK to be honest when you’re having a difficult time – explain that things will get better.
Stay strong, keep safe and take care mommy’s!
Author: Gail Alston