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10 Things You May Not Know About Single Moms

10 Things You May Not Know About Single Moms

When I got married and had children and stepped into the world of parenthood and being a mommy, I never thought that one day I would be handling the majority of the parenting responsibilities on my own. I never imagined I would have primary custody of my children and that I would be living under the ‘single mom’ label.

I lived 3 years as a single mom and it was never easy but it was always rewarding. Some days I didn’t know how I would pay the bills or be able to provide everything for my children but by being blessed with great family and friends, we were always taken care of.

I was very blessed to have their father involved in their lives, so I did get breaks every other weekend and during holidays. Single moms who cope with no feedback or help from the father of their children are the true heroes. They are doing the work of two parents emotionally, financially and in every other way they can. Single moms and dads doing it alone deserve great respect.

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The photo accompanying this article is of myself and my two beautiful kiddos and they are the reason I was able to get up every day, and do the right thing. They helped me to support them, even when some days I just wanted to crawl into bed and go to sleep after a full day of work and caring for them.

Here are 10 things you may not know about single moms:

1. We are resilient

We have experienced divorce or separation and watched our children go through the pain of a broken family. We have experienced hardships and situations we did not want or ever expect to have to go through. We continue to experience negative and challenging situations one after the other, and we just keep going with the main focus being our children. We know that it is our responsibility to do the right thing for them. Our motivation is driven by the fact that we are living for others now, not just ourselves.

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2. We love to snuggle

We have children that love us unconditionally and we love them back. We sometimes just snuggle in bed with our kids and we love giving them kisses and hugs. Our moments spent together are precious, especially if we lose every other weekend with them while they visit their father. We love our kids as much as we can and those special times are the reasons we do what we do: it’s for them. The other awesome thing is that it is also for us as our children provide us with so much love it makes it all worthwhile.

3. We want relationships with others

Just because we have children doesn’t mean we don’t like to have friends or our own lives apart from our kids. We want to have relationships with adults, especially when more than half of our time is spent watching reruns of Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, playing games, or doing crafts with children. We still like to have fun and we really don’t want to spend every single waking moment with our kids. We still need quality time with friends and others outside of our relationships with our children so we don’t feel isolated.

4. We deeply value family

We know what it was like to feel like a complete family. We lost that, but we still long for it. We look at other friends or family members who have issues within their relationships and we wonder how on earth they can be unhappy – they have a stable home, beautiful children and no real drama or issues like the ones we experienced. We hope for, and desire to be a part of a healthy, and strong family once again. We would be so thankful and grateful to have another chance.

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5. We want the best environment for our children

I could have stayed in my relationship to ensure that my children still had their father around. It would have been easier financially and easier for the kids to have their father around. But it was not the best environment for either of us, or the children. Single moms make hard decisions that many times will change our finances in a negative way. We choose the safest and healthiest environment for our children and we make decisions to protect our children as much as we can. Each and every situation is different but we truly want the most healthy environment for our children, and sometimes that includes hard decisions like ending the marriage if all avenues for working things out have been exhausted.

6. We don’t want pity

We do not want sympathy or pity for our situation. We accept where we are in our life as single moms, (even though we don’t love it), and we don’t want special treatment or for others to think that our lives are of lesser value. We do have a complete family, it just looks different than the traditional one. We just want love and acceptance. So, if you know a single parent that has no family nearby and you want to make their day, just offer to watch their kids for an hour so they can go to the grocery store in peace.

7. We wish we were always on time

We really do not like being late or want to be late. But when you have yourself and one or two children that need to be somewhere at a specific time, sometimes stuff just happens. We deal with scenarios like this: we’re about to walk out the front door but our son can’t find his other shoe, or, our daughter has to take that one special Barbie with her that she can’t find (rather than the 23 others she has in her toy box). Due to last minute issues like this, we get delayed. We sometimes need a little grace if we’re late. Just know that we really try and sometimes it just doesn’t work out like we planned.

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8. We have lots of patience

We don’t have a person with us to reinforce boundaries or rules when our children are testing us. Often times we are disciplining on our own and it’s hard to keep rules in place every single time. We pick our battles to keep from losing our temper and we try as hard as we can to have an extra reserve of patience for those days that no matter what we do, we feel that the kids have won and we are completely defeated. However, one more day of self control and patience is a victory, and we need to celebrate that instead of beating ourselves up.

9. We have no problem being alone

We love our kids deeply, we really do. If you give a single mom a choice of staying with her kids or spending some quality time with herself, 90% of the time they are going to take the time to just recharge for a bit without their children. We would be so excited to go see a movie alone that is not animated and has a higher rating than G or PG. We would love to just drive around with OUR music on the radio LOUD because we can. I encourage the other 10% that might feel they need to be with their children every single moment they have them to just try this. We all need time for ourselves so that we can better care for our children. Let go of the mom guilt- it’s not a bad thing to take care of yourself as well.

10. We wish we had a clone

Single moms often wish they could have a carbon copy of themselves made just to accomplish simple tasks easily, like getting the weekly groceries. Or as another example, if we had a clone we could then work out in the morning before work, when the kids are still sleeping. Many single moms work 40+ hours a week and still come home to feed, care for, and nurture their children on a daily basis. Having a clone would just make it so much easier to do the small things involved with taking care of an entire household.

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Wendy Redden

Digital Advertising Account Manager, Music Blogger, Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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