Single momming is hard!!
I mean, don’t get me wrong, motherhood, in general, is hard.
Even with a step-parent or a close family member helping, this crap is unbelievably difficult. And even each of those come with their own unique set of challenges.
All of my mom friends, in particular, my single mom friends have always told me that there was one thing I needed to make sure I remembered……………………………
Always Remember to Take Care of Yourself!!
But the question is, how in the hell is a busy mother supposed to remember to take care of herself? I mean I sure as heck don’t have the money to go get my nails done or go shopping, hell it’s been 4 months since I’ve had my hair cut and colored. (Psst….My roots are terrible.)
Some people are able to go get pampered on a regular basis or go on the occasional shopping spree.
Now if you can afford that….then, by all means, DO IT!! More power to you, girlfriend!!
For those of us that can’t afford this kind of pampering, we must try and find other means of self-care.
Lets start with the basics:
DRINK MORE WATER!!!
If you don’t drink enough water you get tired, muscle cramps, headaches and overall feeling of gross…trust me I do this on a regular basis and it is miserable.
PRO TIP: find a low sugar/low cal flavor additive to put in your water. If you find the right one for you then drinking water becomes a breeze.
My go-to is MIO Sweet Tea Concentrate. It is literally the only reason I drink water.
2. GET SOME SLEEP…..zzzz
Mom’s need 6-8 hours of sleep to function properly….well that’s what science tells us. Any mom knows that we can function on far less although we probably aren’t at our best.
I personally am not a nice person on less than 4 hours of sleep for multiple nights. I’m not a good mom.
I’m kind of b@&#.
So I have to make sure that I get at least 6 hours now that I’m a single mom because there is no one to pick up the slack when I stay up until the crack of dawn.
There are many different ways to try and get better sleep:
- Try a white noise machine. There are apps for that also.
- Try guided meditation for sleep on YouTube. Just play it as you sleep.
- Try over the counter melatonin. Holistic, completely natural and comes in low doses.
Got any other ideas for better sleep? Be sure to comment below!!
Of all people, I am not the one who should be talking to anyone about exercise.
I hate exercise.
I avoid it at all costs.
I know that I should be more active, that my body would probably hurt a lot less if I was, that I’d lose weight and feel better about myself. You know? Stuff that’d be good for me.
And honestly, all of us know that finding time to exercise as a single mom is what feels like 10x harder. We have to balance far more than the average person, its exhausting and it takes up literally all of our time.
It comes down to, for me at least, would I rather sleep, spend time with my family, or exercise? Sleep and family far out weight exercise, at least for me.
So I’ll put this out there….exercise is awesome for you, physically and mentally. It’s a natural stress reliever. It gives you additional energy and releases endorphins (Thanks Elle Woods).
There are many workout-at-home programs that are fantastic. I have used Beachbody in the past and am still a fan (No, I am no longer a coach.). But I did enjoy the workouts and am a Shakeology fan. But it is costly and again not everyone has an half hour to an hour out of the day.
If that’s not for you or you just don’t have the time, that’s okay too!
4. FIND A HOBBY
For a lot of us when we became moms we quickly lost all of our hobbies. We no longer had the time or the funds to keep pursuing them. But motherhood is the time we most need to incorporate stress-relieving activities into your life. Some of these hobbies can become a family activity. Some could even save your family money in the long term.
Hiking is one that I love. Or ” doing nature” as my children call it. We go wander around wooded areas looking for cool plants and animals. Spending time in nature helps me to feel grounded and reenergized and my kids get to learn a lot bit about the environment.
Gardening is another one of my favorites. I’m not great at it and I have yet to have a large yield from any of my plants but I absolutely love gardening. Watching something grow and nurturing it can be extremely fulfilling. Some of our favorite parts about motherhood except the plants don’t have attitudes and they cost less. It can also become a family activity. My sons love to help me weed, prune, and water my garden.
DON’T LAUGH BUT,
Paint by Number/Coloring. This has become a huge thing in both mental health treatment and growing fads among women. My best friend recently discovered that this is a huge stress reliever for her and she has found some awesome paint by numbers paintings.
My best friend recently discovered that this is a huge stress reliever for her and she has found some awesome paint by numbers paintings.
5. REMEMBER TO BREATHE
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to breathe.
Momming is hard. Life is hard.
Take a few minutes a day to just breathe…..Focus on your breath and just be in that moment, for a just a short time each day.
A Simple Breathing Exercise a few times a day can make a world of difference.
Breathe in…2…3…4…5 Breathe out…2…3…4…5 x3 a few times a day
You’re worth it!!!
6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
If things are just too hard……..
If it’s getting harder and harder to hold it together for your kids and you’re starting to feel helpless, hopeless or worthless……..
Or if you are constantly feeling on edge, worried, or panicky……….
Please please please, get help!!!! Don’t suffer alone.
There are resources in your community to get resources for women of all backgrounds.
There are therapists with sliding scales based on income. There are resources for childcare during appointments so that single moms can get help.
There is help out there!
Ask if your job has an EAP program! They may have childcare and treatment resources.
Do not feel ashamed for needing help!! There is far more strength in recognizing you need help and asking for assistance than in suffering alone and allowing life and all the shit that comes with it to win.
You are worth it!!!
7. DON’T GIVE IN TO THE MOM-SHAMING
Don’t allow anyone to make you feel like a failure! Just because someone has something bad to say about you and your life does not make you a failure.
Mom-shaming is a real thing and most people don’t realize they’re doing it. Everyone on social media and even in the grocery store, have their opinions on how you should raise your child or how you should run your life. They legitimately think they’re helping. What they don’t see is the damage that it can cause.
You work hard every day to provide for your children, to make sure they are fed, clothed, healthy and happy. You agonize daily over what type of person they’ll become, whether you’re disciplining them correctly, and what kind of impact every little thing you do has on them.
You are the expert on your children. You are the expert on your life. Everyone has an opinion, that doesn’t make their’s right and yours wrong.
Embrace your decisions, good or bad. You are kicking ass!
8. DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT WANTING YOUR OWN LIFE
Last but not least, remember that you are allowed to have your own life.
You’re allowed to want to have time for yourself, to go out with your friends, to date, to start a new relationship, to focus on your career, and any number of other things.
You’re allowed to not spend every single second of your life on your children.
You’re also allowed to spend every second of your life on your children.
The choice is yours! But one doesn’t work for everybody.
It’s hard to find a balance between the two. I’m still working on it.