The job of raising children is a daunting task for most of us, but for single moms, it can be overwhelming. Whatever the events of the past that led to you raising your children without a father in the home, they will undoubtedly have left you with issues to deal with, and questions of “what if” nagging at the back of your mind. It was a brave decision to make, and one which I am sure you did not make idly, but having reached it, it is time to get on with your family’s life.
For the single mom, organization is even more imperative. Not only do you have the household tasks to deal with, but financial concerns too, as well as being the only one there most of the time for your child. It is extremely important to get a support network to be there for you as much as possible, be it an occasional babysitter to a weekly house cleaner, if finances will permit. It is so easy as a parent to get burnt out trying to cope with all the demands made on our time, but as a single mom, it must be so much harder.
Try to encourage your children to help you around the house as much as possible from an early age. You need all the help you can get, and if train your children to start helping you early on in their life, it will be easier for them to continue this habit as they get older. They can make their own bed, clear up after themselves, organize their toys, and put them away after use, even help prepare their own meals with some adult supervision. Even the youngest toddler can tear up some lettuce for a salad, but do make sure they have clean hands first!
There is of course the difficulty of a single mom getting some time for herself and her friends, be it male or female. Again this takes some organizing, and perhaps the easiest way is to have a routine whereby every Wednesday say, you get together with your friends. This means you need to have a good babysitter that you can rely on and trust with your child. It doesn’t have to be a teenager, it could be a neighbour, and maybe you can help them out in return.
When it comes to the time for the single mom to date again, it can be very nerve racking. Not only are you looking for a partner for yourself, but someone that your child can learn to love too. Take it easy and slowly, there is no race, but do realize that your children may not be happy at first, just because it is someone else that you are sharing your time with.
The following article has some interesting points – thanks go to Teri Worten:
Loving Beautiful You – An article for Single Moms
by: Teri Worten
In today’s world of the perfect size and the perfect hair and high fashion, it can be difficult to accept yourself and take pride in the beautifully unique creation you are. However, as single moms, or even single women (or for even married women!), there may not always be “someone” around you to remind you how lovely, talented, beautiful and elegant you really are! So you have to do it yourself!
Realistically, legitimate self esteem generates from within a person and has very little to do with the exterior or “outside” world. That means that a woman could have a loving mate that lavishes her with gifts and compliments and still have a low self image. That’s why we have to learn to esteem ourselves by cultivating a healthy love for ourselves. There are several ways to embrace and love yourself, one is to enjoy being alone. There are so many women who consistently need people around them. They never learned the quiet confidence of just being alone without being lonely. I’ve even stretched myself to enjoy an afternoon movie with just me – not feeling alone, or that someone is “missing”- just enjoying some time with myself.
Another way to enjoy you is to eliminate the unconstructive self talk. For instance, when you make a mistake or blunder, don’t come back with a self-defeating comment like:
“I can’t seem to do anything right!”
These statements deplete our self image and they do it very gradually and subtly. Instead using self-defeating language, be patient with yourself or as I heard a minister express, “be gentle with yourself”. As a substitute for the negative self talk, reaffirm that you are indeed human and remind yourself that you are improving every day. The next time you make a error, try to say something like:
“That’s an ooops.” (then smile, mistakes aren’t fatal!)
Next time I’ll do that differently.
Look out folks, humanity shining through.
I have heard that the best way for the brain to eliminate a thought or process is to replace the”wrong” thought with a positive or preferred one. So, begin to retrain your thinking in the direction of encouraging and optimistic viewpoints.
Likewise, begin to notice and be intentionally aware of your beauty. As a replacement for of looking into the mirror and noticing only the wrinkles under your eyes, think to yourself how pretty your eyes are. Remind yourself you are all that and a bag of chips and that any man would be blessed to be able to share a lifetime with you! Tell yourself that until you believe it!
Remind yourself that you are God’s unique, lovely daughter and that you have a dazzling future, with an awesome destiny. Declare that nothing can hold you back or keep you from succeeding. You’ve survived so much! You’ve made it this far in your journey a (In the proper perspective, that’s not pride.) You know, a weaker woman would have caved under the pressure you’ve endured, but not beautiful, wonderful you! You’re strong. You’re a survivor and you need to remind yourself often!
Again, self esteem is about self. What you perceive yourself to be. If you think little of yourself, others will too. Even worse, your children will begin to see your negative self image and begin to manifest it in their own lives. You don’t want that.
So, go for it you’re allowed to love yourself as God loves you. And you know what else? You might even find someone else that wants to love ya too!
It is important that you and your children have good self esteem, and this may take some work for all of you. Try to have a positive outlook on life, and encourage you children in this too. Look at the humour in situations, and again, encourage your family to do this too. A good laugh can be very therapeutic! ~ Site Editor
About The Author
Teri Worten is a freelance writer and the founder of several inspirational websites for women and single moms. One is called Gotta Be Me, Girl.Com. You can access the site by following the link: http://www.gottabemegirl.com. Secondly, visit the Greater Kansas City Single Mom Network at http://www.kcsinglemomnetwork.com.
So, basically, keep up the good work that you are doing raising your children as a single mom, but remember to stay cheerful and positive whenever possible!