Just to make you aware that It was never in my plans of life to become a single parent. Life handed me a lemon and I don’t even like lemons. I have been a single mother to my 3 lovely children for slightly over 10 years now. I have made some astounding mistakes, punched my way to some success and pulled out my entire weave in the process. But every journey broadens your horizon and every mistake expands your wisdom. I have grown stronger with my circumstances and learned so much from it. Therefore I am confident to say that I have discovered some tips and tricks to smashing single motherhood and I’m more than happy to share them with you.
Be emotionally smart
I can tell you now that you are not going to succeed as a single mum if you don’t apply some emotional strategies. I completely understand that we are humans and therefore we feel pain and react accordingly but it must be tamed for your sake and that of your children. It is so much easier if you have an agreeable ex who is able to co parent with you thus avoiding all unnecessary dramas and you both can move forward. But we both know that only a few people are that lucky.
Take charge of your emotions and do your best to tame your anger towards your ex. As a matter of fact, shove him at the back burner and focus! I did that!
If you are widowed, find peace in the storm and focus on your new journey. Do not get too hung up on death, it won’t do you any good. The best thing you can do to honour your deceased husband and give hope to your children is by finding peace and marching forward with dignity and strength. It sounds hard but you can do all things with God by your side and with your sheer bloody-mindedness.
Change in circumstances can trigger some mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, I developed both! And I was on antidepressants for 6 months which worked wonders until I discovered running and gym workouts as a way of improving my mental health instead of the daily 10mg of Citalopram. I also had 12 therapy sessions. I rate therapy and counselling highly because they guide you toward finding answers with a clear mind and most importantly confidentiality is maintained. I find that you can’t really trust people with your story and even your most trusted friends will share your story with others without your permission.
Get help from your doctor if you are suffering mentally or speak to someone about it. Don’t suffer alone.
Get God involved big time!
Prayer is key is not just a cliché, it’s actually dope! And best thing I ever did;
One night I went down on my knees, no clothes on (don’t ask me why) and cried to God for help with my children because my ex-husband had refused to support us as my punishment for walking away. I was bitter, broken hearted and disappointed with my life. I had no family in England to fight for me or support me financially and my father had just passed away. So I went to God naked and broken. I prayed for money! Not love, not peace, not healing but money! I was so broke; I struggled to buy food and found it hard to keep my family warm. I was in so much debt that I was too afraid to pick up my landline whenever it rang.
Not so long after that night, I went to the church on a lovely Sunday and an English woman who was completely slain in the spirit came over to my seat and prophesied over me that God had heard my prayers. I was stunned and I cried with joy. Till today Jehovah Jireh (God the provider) has remained true to His words. I have continued to make God the centre of my home and I regularly pray for my children and for blessings over me as a mum.
A praying single mum is a gift to her children.
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Make memories with your children
When we are suffering, its easy to neglect what’s more important and focus on the dark clouds, become victims and totally bask in that present negativity. Your children are more important than your pain and distraction, this might sound harsh but they are children and therefore require your support and attention. I am not saying that you can’t have time to yourself, what I am saying here is ensuring that you are spending some quality time with your children. Visit places and make memories because your children will always remember that.
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It is important that you continue to develop yourself and grow in your area of interests. I know that it can be stressful working and parenting alone, but with balance in mind, you are be able to juggle a lot better than I did. I achieved my nursing degree whilst parenting my children alone and with that qualification I was able to adequately provide for them. Many single mums have achieved so much during their most desperate and vulnerable times, I mean think of JK Rowling; she was a single mum when she wrote some of her best-selling books. Be self motivated and flourish.
Find time for fun
I couldn’t go out or even have a little moment to myself when my children were little. But after few years and when they became a little independent, I employed a live-in au pair to support me. With support in place, I was able to go out whenever I wanted and had time to socialise and enjoy myself.
To stay sane as a single mum, I recommend finding time for yourself regularly as long as your children are being looked after by a trusted and responsible adult. Going out an evening per week with your friends is not a crime. Enjoy your time alone and don’t feel guilty about it.
Protect your Children
I have seen many single mums allow every guy they dated have access to their children. Consequently, each time a break up happened, children felt abandoned again and again.
I must admit that I did a great job in this area and very proud of myself. I dated lots of guys since my marriage ended ( not very proud of that) and my children have only ever known one man. This particular guy and I were together for over 4 years, so it made sense that he met my children. I also dated another guy for 2 year and I didn’t introduce him to my children and he never slept over at my house. Without spelling the dangers out so much, some abusive men prey on single mums to have access to their children. Call me paranoid but this has happened to many single mums. keep your lovers away from your children unless of course you have found the one and you completely trust them with your life.
No boyfriend or partner should discipline your children without your permission. Many single mums give away their authority to men in their lives and it is a real shame. There should be an understanding between you and your partner on this and he must respect you. With mutual understanding in place, then he is allowed to apply some discipline when a child is badly behaved.
Know your worth
I am going to keep this short and simple. If he has no job, unable to support you and acts like he is godsend to you, don’t date him! Wait on God for the right man.
Have I missed anything? I would like to hear from you in the comment box below.
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