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Advice On Being a Single Mum

Advice for single mums - also suitable for all single parents. How to Ace Being A Single Mom: My advice on being a happy and healthy single mum. From one single mother to another. Watch the video instead.

advice on how to be a single mother
Single mum

Being a parent is one of the most precious gifts that life affords us. I'm blessed to have my two girls. They're my world. However, being a parent comes with its own set of challenges. Things get harder for single parents, especially single moms.

Women find themselves single parents for several reasons: losing a spouse to death (widow), divorce and out of choice. Nowadays, women are choosing to be single mothers through adoption and other means. Some women, even though they'd love a partner to share parenthood with, cannot find a suitable match.

So, in this blog, I'm breaking down two umbrella challenges and suggesting tips on how to ace being a single mom.

On How to Ace Being Single Mum: Two Crucial Things to Consider

Watch the Narrative

When it comes to narrative, two things come into play. The first is regarding the self, the second covers society and stigma.

Self is about the thoughts you entertain as a single mother, what you tell yourself, and the things you believe about yourself. So, the question is: what sort of things are you telling yourself about your situation as a single mom? What kind of things are you entertaining in your head about yourself?

When I became a widow and a single mother, I remember thinking, 'There must be something wrong with me. I must be cursed, and it took me a while to realise I was my worst enemy.

Be selective about the things you're listening to. The things you allow in your life. Because some things we allow into our lives or space only drag us down, lowering our self-esteem and diminishing our confidence as a single mom. Also, guard your thoughts and energy and get rid of self-limiting beliefs.

Society can be cruel sometimes, especially in some cultures. I've heard shocking things said about single moms. In some parts of society, single mothers are frowned upon and looked down upon, and some are blamed for being single parents.

However, the most important thing to remember is that what someone says about you does not have to become your reality. While you can't control people's perceptions or opinions, you control your reaction and how you handle yourself.

Relationship With Your Kids

Every parent's wish and dream is to develop a strong relationship and bond with their children. As a single mum, you want your kids to confide in you and to be your best friends. As a parent, you can be a parent and your children's friend, but also strict when you need to be and soft and cuddly when necessary.

When your children are young, the challenge comes when you have to juggle work, other responsibilities and being a single parent. When my child was young, I used to take her to the childminder while I spent the day at work. By the time I picked her up, sometimes late in the evening, I was too tired to spend quality time together.

I know of parents who were unfortunate to miss their children's first words, first steps and other significant moments because they could not afford to spend as much time as they wanted with their children due to work.

Not being there to help your child with their homework, pick them up from school, ask them about their day, and their friends can leave you feeling guilty as a mother. Furthermore, not being able to be physically present when your child needs you makes you feel as if you're failing as a mom. These feelings of inadequacy and guilt can take a toll on you and leave you emotionally exhausted.

Also, sometimes kids can blame the single mother for the absence of the other parent from the home. If this happens, explain things to them and reassure them that even though the other parent is not there, they're still their parents. Speak positively about the other parent and never let your children hear you put down the other parent.

Give yourself grace and forgive yourself for being tired and overwhelmed. Because being a single parent who has to juggle many things and take care of the household, putting food on the table on your own is not easy. It is hard for two parents, let alone one parent. So, extend yourself the grace and forgive yourself for the things you cannot fulfil.

Most importantly, take time for self-care. All the rushing around, being Superwoman can take a toll on you physically. So pamper yourself whenever you can and practise mindfulness.

Lastly, explain things to your children. Let them know why you cannot do certain things. Be open with them and make them understand and trust you.

While some challenges can create a rift between you and your kids, sometimes those challenges can have a positive impact. The challenges can strengthen the bond between you and your kids. When your children see you juggling work and home responsibilities and doing all you can to keep things going, they may appreciate you even more. Despite being young, children are not naive. The effort you put into being there for them and seeing how you run errands and overcome challenges may inspire your kids and cause them to respect you.

My very last remark is, whenever you can, spend with your child or children, be sure to make that quality time. Be fully present in body, mind and spirit. Give them your full attention and tell them how much you love and value them. Because your kids will soon grow up and one day fly the nest. The last thing you want as a single mother is to regret not spending quality time.

Before you go, check out my YouTube channel. You can also watch the video version of this topic. It offers some more insights from a cultural perspective (Zimbabwean culture).

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There is such a stigma with being a single mother. That is why it is important to surround yourself with people that will encourage you and give you grace. I think your post will help single mothers to feel encouraged.

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