Parenting is beautiful, but if we are going to be honest, it’s also exhausting as hell. Hey, somebody has to do it. You’ve got to know when to do it and how to do it. Here is my advice in a nutshell. As single mothers we take on many roles; nurse, educator, role model, cook, maid, driver, mediator, diary. I’m a perfectionists by nature. I want everything I’m doing done right and I want everything you do done right. But how many of you have realized that life and nothing in it will ever be perfect?! But that’s okay. You live and you learn and as single moms we are expected to do the same.
Here are 8 lessons I learned being as a single mother:
- Don’t wait. Do what needs to be done now. Appointments, cooking dinner, laundry, whatever you’re procrastinating around stop it. Dinner was a huge one for me. I like for my girls to be able to eat dinner somewhere around 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm, so sometimes, depending on what I choose to cook, those meals need to be prepped and cooked before they get home from school. I’d like to think I had all the time in the world to create a 5 course meal in 3 hours. Nope. Gotta prepare yourself. Give your self some time in between finish cooking and them coming home from school to breathe. My girls are always bothered that I have dinner ready which doesn’t leave them much room for snacks. Winning. Don’t wait.
- Everyone is not going to be okay with your decisions and that’s cool. There’s going to be a lot of objections from people on the outside looking in. No matter what you do sometimes there’s going to be someone who thinks they know just a little bit more than you and that’s cool, but no one knows what’s better for your child than you. If you choose not to give your child a Popsicle after 8 pm that’s your choice. No one has to agree with your choices. Know your child and you will in turn know what’s best for them.
- You have to get a breather. Hard as hell lesson for me. After my oldest was 2 I wanted to go out. I didn’t want to be home on a Saturday night and of course there were a lot of side eyes, but I didn’t care. I eventually grew up and for the past 9 years I’ve pretty much been home with the girls, but we all know that sometimes you need a breather, you need space. IF not you’re going to lose your identity. You’re more than a mother, you like your alone time just as much as you love the kids. You can have both. I learned that having both is vital to my performance as a single mother. I can’t be great for them if I’m constantly burnt out from mothering. So now I take breathers.
- Kids are more open if you give them space to be. So yes, this is not something a lot of us are going to agree to. Space? NO ma’am. Your like 10! But what I have found is that I don’t hover over my 11 year old which allows her to be more open with me. I used to want to know everything and I still do however, I don’t hover. I ask some questions, but no hovering. We are always going to know what we are doing, but if we allow them to come to us then they will be more open to sharing.
- Letting go of hurt removes the pain. I was hurt after my girls and their fathers breakups, but it is what I allowed that hurt to steal that caused the most pain. Hurt was taking moments and laughs and laughter that turned into tears away from me. I wasn’t mothering in the moment. I was too concerned about what he was going to do or say about me or my parenting style. But one day I was just like, forget it. I’m tired, I’m worn, I’m just going to forget it. I stop fighting the hurt and just let go of it. Yes, it is a process, but you are better for it. Don’t miss out on moments with your kids because 1 person acted stupidly. They deserve every moment.
- If you don’t think you are great enough to be their mother, you won’t be. Gotta believe in yourself and the choices that you’ve made for your family. You are here for a reason nothing is ever a mistake. If you aren’t sure about the decisions you’ve made, ask questions. If you are not confident in your role as a parent and or single mother, any little thing will support that. Believe in you.
- You don’t know everything. Yes, we are single mothers, but we we’re not programmed to know everything. There’s going to be something’s that require growth, spiritual and mental growth. It’s okay not to know everything. Nobody is judging you, well, the world is, but don’t let that scare you. We are not judging you. We are rooting for you.
- Be selfish is necessary for your mental as a mother. I forever thought that going to enjoy the things I loved before kids was selfish. As if me being who I am is not good parenting. I loved getting a manicure, going to the movies, naps. Took me a while to realize that none of those things are going to harm my kids nor are they defining me as a single mother. True, everything we are working for is for the kids, but it needs to be for you too. Who you are as mother is who you are as a whole and that includes the person you were before kids.
These are some of the lessons I learned so far. It’s important to remember that you aren’t making mistakes, you’re learning. Every parent is learning. Here’s where I’m doing most of my single mama parentinghttp://www.thesinglemomsuniversitee.com