Being a single mom can be one of the most daunting jobs you’ve ever had to take upon. The number of responsibilities that you have to shoulder, the challenges meant for 2 people, the fears, the worries, the anger all leads you upwards on Mount Stressful.
You feel jealous when you watch other moms laughing happily with their spouse. You feel guilty that your children do not have a fatherly figure. You feel unfair that you are working non-stop just to bring home that paycheck for your children. You feel that you are not able to pamper yourself like the other moms.
You know that this is all part of the single motherhood journey. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and you want to get over feeling depress and sorry for yourself. You know that you are more worthy than this, and you are one strong woman.
You think about the joy and happiness you feel when you look at your baby smiling up at you, or your toddler bringing you his favorite spring chicken from his cooking set. You love it when you make breakfast together with your children, or when you go grocery shopping with them and decide on Lays or Ruffles.
Keep these happy memories in mind and here are 5 extra tips for you to make your singlehood more fulfilling.
Happy Tip #1 Block Out The Noise
Everyone will have a judgment towards your lifestyle, your choices, your way of disciplining your kids, etc. Restrain from letting the negativity get to you.
Easier said than done, but you know you can do it and no one else knows yourself and your kid better than you. No one knows what it is like to be in your shoes but listen to that with grace. Accept that people are giving you assurance.
Some moms are very good at selective listening, I learned the skill when I became a young mom. I was a single mom for 2 years when my spouse was in the Army. Through these 2 years I learned that you will be able to tell which advice or suggestions are logical, and which are not. Listen to those you feel you can connect with and try it out.
Those that you know are trying to put you down, smile, and let it go. Everyone has their ways of putting up a good front in front of others, don’t let that get to you.
Happy Tip #2 Accept Help
Never think that only the weak needs help. I know many moms are afraid of that judgment. In fact, I think every human on earth is afraid of that judgment. The truth is, you have many people who are more than willing to help you.
Instead of getting a nanny to take care of your kids for a night, have your parents do the honor. Allow your children to spend time with their grandparents, strengthen the bond. It helps to boost grandparents’ health, as well as the children’s sense of belonging in the extended family.
Besides needing help with the kids, there are other forms of help that you may need. It could be financial help, housing, simple gestures from your friends offering to help you bring your kids to the museum, etc. Don’t feel offended when someone offers you help, receive the gesture, and find an opportunity to return the favor. It does not have to be in the same form, sometimes all you need to do is to lend a listening ear, or to teach their children to bake cookies.
Happy Tip #3 Have An Open Mindset
Do not categorize yourself as a single mom and assume that you are different from the other moms. A study published in the Journal of Happiness Study stated that single moms feel that they are more competent, accomplished, and more connected to the family and society.
Resist from giving yourself excuses or create obstacles for yourself as to why good changes cannot happen to you. Give the new change a thought, talk it out with someone close, write out your options, explore the possibilities. You never know what this new change might lead you to!
Make exploring your options a routine for yourself, especially if you have the habit of rejecting mostly. You will start to be able to make better choices and decisions, and make the impossible possible.
Happy Tip #4 Have a Healthy Lifestyle
It can get depressing when you feel lonely and isolated, and the bills are piling. Get out of the house, go to the gym, practice yoga, pilates, kickboxing from YouTube videos in your lawn, do anything except staying on the couch for the entire day.
If you want to be alone, get a nanny, or ask someone to help care for the children. Do what makes you relax most and clear your head. If you feel calm being around your children, bring them out shopping or to the nearby ice cream cafe to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
Having a nutritious diet also helps to keep your mind clear when you feel good about yourself. Introduce and integrate healthy eating habits to your kids so everyone will stay healthy. You will be surprised how much your bond with your children will strengthen when they are involved with your healthy habits and lifestyle.
Happy Tip #5 Be Optimistic
When you used to have someone to share the burdens, you will never know just how strong you can be. After you became a single mom, you will be surprised by your own strengths and competence. It can be difficult at first, but you will soon do great. Be generous with yourself and cut yourself some slack. Look at things from a different perspective, you will start to see yourself in another angle.
You will realize that you can run the household on your own, support your children better than before, bring home a paycheck, make plans on family activities, and still be happy. There will always be sunshine after a rainy day, and your rainy days are over. Every morning wake up and be grateful for having your children by your side, for having the strength to go through every day, and for being healthy.
Stay Calm and Be Awesome
Never blame yourself for being a single mom, never let other’s judgments and opinions bring you down. It is usually the social environment that creates barriers for single moms, such as lack of support, financial pressure, and social disapproval. Everyone deserves to be loved, and know that you are very important to your family and your children.
Being a single mom does not make you any different, in fact, it makes you a stronger woman. You are shouldering challenges made for two, responsibilities that were supposed to be shared. But you are also experiencing the joy that is supposedly divided, choices and decisions are now completely yours to make. You have the freedom to do what you love, and the sole capability of deciding what is best for your children.
The best thing that can happen to you is that now you won’t have to be alone! Single Mums Singapore is a Facebook group with one of the friendliest members. You don’t have to be shy of asking anything that’s on your mind, and there will always be someone who will help you with any hesitation you have.
If you have friends who are walking this single motherhood journey, share this post to empower them with the beauty of staying happy. Feel free to leave your comments to share how you overcome your bad days and what you do on your good too!