Up by 5 a.m. prepping bottles, packing school lunches on your own, doing a load of laundry, responding to the teacher’s email, placing diaper bags in the car so you do not have to make three different trips because you don’t have an extra hand to help ,does any of this sound familiar? If it does, I imagine, “ you”, my lovely reader, are living the life of a single mother. It is by far the hardest, unpaid job that a woman will ever have, while it has its rewards, it is still very challenging.
Whether you are a professional working woman with a fulfilling career, an aspiring actress who is regularly attending casting calls, or a leader of the Cub Scouts in your local area, women who are single moms have a shared experience of being able to relate to one another. Single motherhood is doing the job of two individuals and still expected to have the same outcome, well rounded self-actualized children. You are responsible for the basic care of the children, maintaining household duties, financially being responsible, extra-curricular activities such as pageants, football and/or soccer practice, annual check-ups, the list goes on and on.
Oftentimes, women are busy being mom and overcompensating for the absent parent that by the end of the day they are completely wiped out and have absolutely nothing left for themselves. In this blog post we’ll discuss what single moms can do for themselves to maintain their sanity, especially amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Whether you are a stay at home mom or a part of the working field, motherhood has its challenges (since this blog is about single mothers, should we focus on the challenges of single parenthood? This is more generalized to all moms) . I wonder, in your day-to- day activities, how often do you take time out and intentionally look after your mental health? “Well I do not have the luxury of looking after my mental health,” you may say. Looking after your mental health as a single mother looks may look extra challenging, Mindfulness is a great self-care strategy that can be done anywhere, and incorporating guided meditations into your morning routine may be helpful. Also, seeking out professional help if you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed is another way to take care of your mental health. Clarity Clinic NWI offers services to address any mental health concerns that you may have. Afraid to pursue counseling amidst Covid-19 pandemic? No problem Clarity Clinic NWI offers telehealth services.
As a single mom, you often feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You are responsible for the physical care of your children, their academic success, caring for the home environment, scheduling doctors appointments, taking time off in the event your children are sick, the list goes on and on. I implore you to take a look at the people in your circle. Who can you lean on for support? Is there a mom in your neighborhood that you can carpool with? Can you schedule doctors appointments later in the evening for regular check ups? Can you and your closest girlfriends have a trade off? This weekend you take the kiddos, and enjoy some time for yourself, next week I’ll take the kiddos and do the same? Single motherhood can make you feel alone and isolated, but exploring your circle will help you realize there are others living your same reality and you can lean on each other for support!
As a single mother, you are constantly caring for your children, maintaining the household responsibility, planning for their futures, etc. but as you review the to-do list, oftentimes you’ll find that you are not anywhere on that list. Ask yourself, when was the last time you did something for yourself? Self-Care is essential to mental clarity and maintaining a well-balanced life. Need help? Try making a homemade body butter via your Kitchenaid; “ throwing on a foot mask while you are folding the kids laundry”, waking up before your kids are up and enjoying a nice cup of hot coffee while cozying up in your favorite chair and reading a few pages out of that romantic novel you purchased a few years ago. YouTubers put the rest of us to shame when it comes to the art of self-care, but for busy working moms it is those small things you do each and everyday that remind you that YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
As a single mom, your to-do list never ends. Things typically just are transferred from one list to the next with the hopes that you’ll be able to accomplish a little bit more than you did the day before. We often live on Red Bull, Grande from Starbucks with double espresso shots, with permanent bags “under our eyes”. While you deserve to be celebrated for all that you do for your children's well-being, I encourage you to take some time out for YOU!