To succeed as a single mom, you have to master an extraordinary level of everyday challenges. In addition to the child’s upbringing, you must take care of the house and deal with financial hurdles and loneliness.
Single-parenting is more common now than ever. Almost one-quarter of children in the United States who are less than eighteen years old live with one parent, or better put, are raised by a single parent. More often, are raised by a single mother. Single mothers account for about 80 percent of all single parents. This means that out of every 100 single parents out there in the U.S, about 80 are single moms.
Being a single mom can be hard and sometimes frustrating. Many single mothers describe the experience as exhausting. But does it always have to be so? Well, no. You can succeed as a single mom and find happiness in this world with your child. Keep reading to find out 6 ways you can succeed as a single mom:
1. Don’t Pay Attention to Critics
Even though single parenting is getting commoner, some form of bias still exists against single mothers, especially in societies that are either too moral or too religious.
They consider single mothers to be loose women who have to raise a child as punishment for promiscuity or as a woman who could not keep their marriages and so ended up on their own.
If you are going to succeed as a single mother, you will have to stop paying attention to the critics. Do not listen to what anyone says. Do not let it get to you.
Realize that by being a single mother, you are a hero. You are assuming responsibility for your child amidst whatever you have been through, whatever scars you bear. That is pure strength, and strength like that is heroic.
Do not fall for being your own critic. It is somewhat easier when we are being criticized by the world outside us. But when we become our own critics, it gets quite hard.
You have got to dismiss that inner voice that criticizes you and puts your faults before your eyes like some pendulum. Our inner critic can cause us to fail by convincing us that it is impossible to succeed as a single mom. Do not listen.
Silencing the inner critic is not as difficult as it seems at first. It all lies in managing your mind effectively; do not let it stray into self-doubt. You can do this by reading more books, taking care of your body, eating healthy, and enjoying your own space.
2. Find Motivation from The Right Places
To succeed at just about anything, you have got to find motivation from the right places. This includes even succeeding as a single mother. Being motivated comes easy after you have been able to unclog your mind of the criticism.
Look around you, and you will see a single mom who has been in your shoes and succeeded just fine. This may be a close relative, a distant friend, or just some documentary on the internet.
Look at their lives, and convince yourself that if they did it, you just could do it too.
The thing about human relationships and interaction is that we draw strength from each other. When we find someone who has gone through our struggles and succeeded just fine, we become more strengthened.
Here are some other ways to find motivation as a single mom.
- Go on google, and search for single moms who succeeded in raising kids who changed the world.
- Go on YouTube, and search for the same thing. Watch podcasts and documentaries.
- Buy books about single-parenting. There are a number of nonfiction books out there about single parenting featuring stories from single mothers just like you. Buy these books, read them, and convince yourself that you too can do it too.
- Practice positive self-talk, especially when it gets hard. Self-talk is an effective tool with which we can keep our minds strong. Remind yourself that you are amazing at every chance you get.
3. Love Your Child from Your Heart
Parents, whether single moms or not, owe their children one thing, and it is pure, unbridled love. Success in parenting is achieved when a parent establishes a loving relationship with their child—one that is defined by mutual respect and healthy communication.
For this to happen, the parent has to love the child so much that this love radiates to the child. So much so that the child begins to reflect the love back to the parent.
Loving a child is often misunderstood. People think loving a child is showering the child with whatever that child wants. But this isn’t true. Love for your child can be seen when you:
- Show your child as much affection as that child craves.
- Do not let feelings of frustration and exhaustion make you withhold any of your affection for your child.
- Care for the child.
- Hug him or her.
- Establish a friendly relationship with him and be there for him always.
Listen: Listening to your child is a great way to let them see how much you love them. It means you are there, present whenever they have something to say to you.
Say ‘No’: Many single moms think that saying no to their child means hating that child. This is not true. True love is seen when one is able to say no to the other person, especially when that person is asking for things that can harm him or her.
It is fine to say no to your child as a single mom sometimes. Just say no.
Disapprove Certain Behavior: You don’t have to accept everything your child does. It is fine to disapprove of their behavior, especially ones that may pose a threat to society. Encourage them to uphold values that are appreciated by society.
4. Be Patient; Don’t Compare Your Child
Parents have expectations about their children. Some parents want their child to become this or that. However, not all expectations turn out the way we want them to.
As a single mom, realize this.
Your child may take longer to become that person you want him or her to be or may not even become that person. He may choose a different career path for himself. This is fine.
As he or she goes through life, discovering self, be patient. Do not compare them to other children. Comparing children to other children can make them grow up feeling inadequate.
It can make them nurse resentment towards you and maybe even see you as an enemy. If you want to be successful as a single mother, the last thing you want is a child who considers you an enemy.
Your child ought to see you as their number one supporter. They always have to feel safe and welcome around you, even when they may be slow at grasping stuff.
As a single mother, you are your child’s number one supporter. As it has been seen in many successful men and women of our age, a mom’s support is such a great motivator.
Encourage your child to become the best version of themselves. Let them know that they are not steps backward; that they have got a shot at success just like anyone else out there.
Here are some ways you can take advantage of to encourage your kid as a single mom:
- Be present at all their big events.
- Be there the first time they play a football game for their team.
- Be there when they present their first essay.
- Verbally encourage them.
- From time to time, hold them and say stuff like: “I love you very much. You can become anything you want.” Words like that stick with kids, and they grow up with a mindset strengthened by those words.
6. Prioritize Yourself Too
Being a single mom does not mean you have to ignore yourself. It is true that parenting takes a lot from you—your time and attention and maybe even hobbies. But how much would you let it take?
To succeed as a single mother, prioritize yourself in the following ways:
- Step back once in a while, especially when it gets quite tasking both mentally and physically, and prioritize yourself.
- Do not abandon all the things which once used to bring you much joy and satisfaction.
- If you used to love sports, it is probably time to go back to those sports which brought you joy.
- Go back to playing your favorite video games and watching your favorite movies.
- Go back to writing those amazing stories and poems you used to write.
- Also, prioritize your health. You cannot succeed as a single mom if you are not healthy.
- Do a lot of exercises. Join a gym or fitness center.
- Eat healthily.
- Watch your diet and make sure you do not gain too much weight.
- Also, take good care of your mental health. The stress and the frustrations can put a strain on your mental health. So, guard it.
- Prioritize your friendships too. Good friendships are a great support system for you and your child, and you should leverage them as much as you can. You do not have to let valuable friendships go because you are a single parent now.
- Go out with your friends. Invite them over. Have your child see a glimpse of what true and genuine friendships should look like.
- Go on a solo date and attend meetups.
- Adopt a pet
Other Practical Ways to Be Successful as a Single Mother
If you are a single mom, be meticulous about your domestic responsibilities. Take pleasure in them because they will add to the happiness of your children. However, proper planning and organization are essential.
You can succeed as a single mom by learning to use your hands in new ways. For example, many single mothers have tackled painting, electrical repairs, and simple auto repairs by consulting knowledgeable friends, cookbooks, and helpful professionals.
Engage in wholesome association
Admittedly, you will sometimes feel very lonely as a single mom. But you can endure it with help from your loved ones. Spending time with family and friends can do much to fill the void of loneliness. Also, try not to see your loneliness as a disadvantage; instead, use the quiet time you have to reflect appreciatively on what you have – your children.
Loneliness can make you desperate for attention and can make you vulnerable. Dwelling too much on it could cause you to settle for just anyone who would accept you. You could begin to think that any attention is better than no attention, which may lead to falling for the wrong person.
Have a schedule
Single moms only have a limited time for their activities and relaxation. Children work best on a schedule, so having a well-planned schedule can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. To succeed as a single mother, you need to stick to a plan. When things go out of control, you will go the extra mile to fix them.
Juggling work, home, and kids’ plans can be very demanding. Your child will stick to his schedule and follow it through if he realizes that you’re taking your schedule seriously. Sticking to a plan will help you raise successful children who will also do the same.
To succeed as a single mom, you need to be reasonable, consistent, and firm when disciplining your children. It may be challenging at first, but in time, they will respond.
Here are some ways to maintain discipline:
- Temper your discipline with understanding.
- Find ways to talk to them at every opportunity.
- Use dinner time to have cozy moments together with your kids.
- Ask your kid to join you in preparing dinner every now and then. They will be able to confide in you during these times.
Love should be the foundation of and the motivation for your discipline as a single mom. Sometimes, they may stretch your patience to the limit, but remember that anger-based punishment is counterproductive.
Avoid using harsh words and constant criticism when disciplining your children. They can lead to more misbehavior and sometimes even mental health problems.
It is natural for single moms to be close to their children, yet you should set boundaries between yourself and your children. It is your responsibility to care for them and not vice versa. At times, you may need some advice or support. Seek it from experience or older family and friends, not your minor children.
Setting boundaries also includes knowing when to say no because children can sometimes use manipulative means to get what they need, so it is best to know when not to give in to their demands.
If you can set boundaries, they’ll know where to draw the line from the start instead of constantly nudging you into giving them favors. It also helps them understand what is impossible and would not even request it.
Setting boundaries helps raise successful adults as they will also respect boundaries when they grow older.
Ask for support
Ask your loved ones for support if necessary. It will help you as a single mom immensely. To be successful as a single mom, ask them for help if you are overwhelmed. For example, if you need to have a drink and relax with your friends, don’t think you are selfish.
You can ask a relative to babysit and don’t think for a long time before seeking help.
Nevertheless, many single moms have succeeded in implementing their professional duties and care for their children over the long term.
As a single mom, you’re not only tasked with the hard work of parenting, which is often tough for two parents to manage; you’re also responsible for your household and finances even when things are tight.
Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash