That’s all too true for single parents.
Most people do not create a family knowing they’ll be raising that family alone.
Furthermore, those who are raising a family alone, for one reason or another, are never fully prepared for the many challenges that come with it.
Being 100% responsible for the lives of children, while tending to their emotional, physical, developmental, and education needs, and while maintaining the duties of a stable household, can be exhausting, tiring, and thankless work.
Sounds pretty dismal, huh?
Are single moms and dads to believe that their lives will be a constant drumbeat of children, bills, household chores to be repeated forever? Will their path in life ever be fulfilling outside the nonstop work train of a single parent?
Of course it will.
My success, happiness, and awakening is not due to my negative thoughts about being a single mom. It’s based on what I do with those thoughts as a single mom. Realizing that helped me curb my negative energy and turn it into something useful.
And so can you!
When you acknowledge the activities you do on a daily basis with and for your family, you’ll realize you have positive, vibrant energy to obtain all the happiness and fulfillment your heart desires.
Let’s explore 10 ways to find your happiness, success, and awakening right now!
Accepting Your Comfort Zone
As single parents, we often feel the need to overcompensate for the obvious: a missing spouse.
We try to make many friends, join friendly groups, try online dating. Over and over again, only to feel like we’re better off with a small social circle.
And maybe that’s because that’s where we’re truly intended to be.
If you find yourself feeling at peace alone or with a small group of trusted friends, don’t question it. Embrace it! And realize there’s nothing wrong with it!
Accept your comfort zone as just that: your personal space that gives you balance and peace. It keeps you out of questionable situations as well as keeping you level headed as you go about your day balancing home and kids alone.
The faster you accept and love your comfort zone, the more content you may find yourself.
Accepting Your Singlehood
For me, being apart from the father of my children was the best decision for my family.
I did not want my children growing up around fighting, arguing, and disrespect.
While I know we made the right decision to terminate the relationship for our family’s sake, but what about my sake? Am I doomed to singleness forever?
Maybe. And so what if I am?
Being single means you can make your own decisions. You can spend your money how you like without consulting with anyone else, plan the trips you want, and allow your kids to stay up a little later than usual without the opinion of other people.
For me, I was able to take control of financial responsibilities, drastically improve my credit score, and crawl out of debt far better than when I was with someone who didn’t have great money habits.
So, enjoy your singleness and the many freedoms that come with. Do something spontaneous like take a random vacation with the kids (or alone). Leave the dishes dirty for a few more days. Don’t fold a piece of darn laundry till the weekend!
Love your single self while you can!
Embrace Your Appearance
You’re too skinny. Too fat.
Your hair is too kinky. Too tangly.
You’ll come up with any and every excuse as to why you haven’t attracted “the one” yet.
Most of the time; however, it’s not your appearance.
It’s likely how you carry yourself in that appearance.
If you dress for work like you don’t want to be approached by the cute guy in IT or the hot girl in the accounting department, then you won’t be approached.
But if you dress like you feel positive and wonderful, then positive and wonderful people will take notice.
(And if they’re not so positive and wonderful, hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little flattery!)
The experience of not being ashamed of my hair or body was never something I could explore in some past relationships. But now, I have a very special appreciation of my body that only I understand. And I shouldn’t have to bend on that to find a mate.
Even better: appreciating your body starts with you. You can take that yoga class, cycling course, or kick boxing class knowing you did it to improve YOU for YOU, not for someone else.
Apply Laser Focus to Your Career
Let’s face it.
Most of us don’t like our jobs.
Many feel overworked, underpaid, and under-appreciated.
But as a single parent, you try to be extra careful of what you do at work. You getting canned could mean doom for your family.
So, instead of secretly hating your job, embrace it. Be thankful for it. Be thankful for the fact that you can provide for your family on your own.
And learn to put more focus into what you like about your job. Love technical writing? Be the go-to person for desk guide creation. Good at number crunching? Become an expert with Microsoft Excel.
Even with tasks or aspects of your job that you don’t love so much, learn to embrace them, but not overly focus on them. Got toxic co-workers? Acknowledge them but don’t entertain them. Your boss is a world class jerk? Figure out what makes them tick and do the opposite. If they decide to be a jerk about everything, tune them out by focusing on new skills for a better job.
You can also utilize your career laser focus off the job too. Learn a new language part time online or at an inexpensive community college. Try your hand at coding for free on the internet. Enroll in that project management course you’ve been putting off for years.
You may find yourself far more successful at your job (or a better job) by simply embracing it more effectively.
Give Your Passion Laser Focus
Always wanted to sharpen your freelance writer skills?
What ever happened to that website design business you started in college?
As a single parent, you have more time than you realize.
Even in doing chores and watching the kids during soccer games, you’re thinking about how best to make your life better.
Why not give that passion of yours more focus?
Pay for a finances class to be a better freelance writer so you can start earning side income for your family. Sign up for that entrepreneur course at the community center. With only one person handling the finances, you don’t have to justify investing into your passion to improve your life.
Give Yourself A Book
Sure, you’re a pretty bright solo mom or dad.
But, you can afford to be smarter. Heck, we all can.
If there’s something you’ve been wanting to dabble in (i.e. investing, person finance, gardening, hiking, cooking), read up on it.
They don’t say reading is fundamental for nothing! Being your own teacher is one of the best ways to learn something new. You’re acquiring new information theoretically and organically through your own thought processes and comprehension.
No standardized tests or quizzes necessary!
Reading interesting topics is exercise for the brain, helps you de-stress, and if you’re like me and tend to read around your children a lot, it could help them develop better reading habits as well.
A lot of times, single parents tend to always assume they’ve done something wrong.
They question themselves, their decisions, and their actions a lot because they don’t have another inquisitive adult in the house.
But there comes a point when you simply have to stop apologizing for everything.
Being in constant regret of your decisions could bring about all kinds of unstable feelings. Don’t do it to yourself!
Say what you mean and mean what you say more often. Stand your ground for once and don’t feel the need take anything back.
Furthermore, standing up for what you think and feel builds confidence and inner strength. You may find yourself standing up a little more at work against aggressive coworkers.
Not apologizing doesn’t mean you’ve turned into an insensitive jerk. It just means you stand by what you believe in.
As the old saying goes:
“Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
Stop Caring…About The Wrong Things
As a writer, I oftentimes receive commentary containing strong opinions!
With some of them I read and reply to them. Others that are filled with inflated insults and disrespect, I simply don’t care to engage with further.
When you stop caring about others’ opinions about you, your craft, your family, or your life, you really begin to live. Living for the approval of others is a quick path to unhappiness.
When you march to the beat of your own drum, the other music kinda dies out in your ears.
What your parents, friends, neighbors, or teachers think about your life becomes a non-issue because you no longer care to give them the energy.
Stop worrying about things you don’t have no control of. For me, I use to stress out about my student loans like it was a terminal disease! When I realized there’s nothing I could do about them but, well, pay them off as best as I could, I seriously stopped caring about it! Giving it more worry than necessary would have sent me to an early demise much faster than raising rowdy kids alone!
Stop Being Ashamed of Your Feelings
Most people do not want their rawest emotions to be felt.
Well, if that becomes a chronic pattern it can easily build up into depression and anxiety in the long run.
Let your feelings be known. If you’re dealing with a stressful working environment, let it be known. In a respectable but direct manner, bring up legitimate concerns of the growing stress you’re feeling at work. You, like everyone else, has a right to a stable and welcoming working environment.
And that’s nothing to be ashamed about.
If you’re stressed out at home, let it be known. Inform your kids of what is really making you sick (stress can lead to serious illnesses) at home and tell them you need their help to cope. Make them do more chores. Demand more respect from them even if it means applying some tough love. If you need to take a vacation without them, do it and don’t be sorry for it!
If you’re in a relationship, allow your feelings to be heard. Tell your significant other what bothers you, regardless how silly he or she may think they are. If they choose not to show respect, that’s a good thing. You now know what direction you should take your relationship.
And that’s nothing to be ashamed about either.
So get out there and start living your life as a more happy, successful, and awakened single parent!