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15 Signs You Have The Coolest Single Mom In The World

15 Signs You Have The Coolest Single Mom In The World

Being a single mom can be like living life in a pressure cooker.  All the cares and concerns of a household push down on them from all sides, eveything from preparing meals to seeing their kids through fever and chills.  There isn’t anyone running interference when the world comes knocking hard at their front door.  And all that responsibility is enough to change a woman from a carefree young adult to a sour matron with permanent frown lines.  So it’s not just being a single mom a challenge, but also doing it with joy and style.  That can seem nearly impossible!

But is your mom still staying cool through the years?  Breeze through the checklist. She may have been so cool about things, you haven’t even noticed how cool she really is.

1.  She makes time to pay attention just to you!

In a world full of responsibilities, demands, chores, and distractions, your mom puts away the phone, closes the laptop, turns off the TV, and listens to what you have to say.  She isn’t waiting to talk about herself, or zoning out, but wanting to know what you are doing and how it is going.

2.  She seldom criticizes you.

While other parents might try to tell their kids they are not up to their standards, your mom asks thoughtful questions that make you think.  You might even rethink what you thought you had already decided because she allowed you to consider things from another viewpoint.  She doesn’t want you stuck in a box.  She wants you to think outside of the box and see things for what they are.

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3.  She is smiling in all your selfies together!

Before they were even called selfies, you and your mom were smiling together from the beach or just the park around the corner.  She didn’t fuss about her hair or makeup, but just put on her best smile with you.  She was loving being with you and it still shows!

4.  She doesn’t fat talk or body shame herself.

Some women talk about their bodies in negative ways and about how they feel fat.  They are always dieting or going to diet.  But your mom might have just went walking or jogging or maybe did kickboxing or yoga in front of the TV.  She bought clothes that flattered her whatever her shape and didn’t pick on herself.  By example, she helped you understand that you being beautiful is about you being healthy.

5.  She tells you her life is better because you are in it!

You weren’t an inconvenience or a bother or a burden.  You were and are the light of her life.  You make her feel whole.  She learned to love deeper and better because she had you.  She might have discovered what real love was because she had you to inspire it.  She can’t imagine her life without you and she never wants to!  She told you this over pancakes or cocoa.  She may have developed a secrete hand squeeze that meant I-LOVE-YOU.

6.  She never sweats the small stuff!

Single moms do it all, except when they just can’t.  Sure, there were messy beds and unwashed laundry, but you always were taken care of and had clean clothes.  The pantry was messy, but she knew where your favorite foods were and you shared them together.  Her fingernails were sometime chipped or she missed a spot shaving her legs, but she never missed picking you up from school or seeing you in a play or a game.  You lost your lunch money or a library book?  It was a lesson moment, but she made it clear, nothing was so critical to ruin a day or ruin a relationship.

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7.  She knew what to make a priority!

She never got caught up in the drama of other mothers or got hung up on what she missed out when she was younger, but instead she made her children her priority and her joy.  She didn’t self indulge in creating drama or making things about herself because she was busy with more important things like you and your siblings.  Being a single mom gave her clarity of purpose.  She was raising you and that was important. Enough said.

8.  She makes time to dance with you!

Sometimes it was a house party, with just you and your mom in your pajamas, dancing and eating frosting out of the tub.  Maybe it was even a Wednesday night and just time to kick up your heels together after the work of the day was done.  Fun was not just permitted, it was welcomed!  Being a single mom is challenging, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t fun.

9.  She is endlessly creative and has always encouraged yours!

A single mom doesn’t get much help, but your mom goes above and beyond when it comes to being creative.  Maybe it would have been easier to just buy a costume for halloween, but she indulged your creativity because you wanted to be a ballerina dinosaur or a soccer playing butterfly.  Maybe she turned a whole wall into a chalkboard to keep track of ideas or just to let you draw.  Oh, and you had buckets and tackle boxes of art and craft supplies, and a single mom armed with a high temperature glue gun who knew how to use it!

10.  She loves you for you!

Your mom never second guessed who she was because she was a single mom. She was your mother and she never wanted you to second guess yourself either.  She loves you for you, inside and out, curves and edges.  She saw what made you sparkle and nurtured it.  She understood your flaws were there for a reason and would lead you to deeper understanding.  They even lead her to a deeper understanding of herself.  So how could any of it be wrong?

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11.  She is tough!

She might not win an arm wrestling competition, but she is tough on the inside!  There hasn’t been a time that you felt she wasn’t there to protect you.  In the sand box or stepping off the bus, your momma bear was there to first wipe away the tears, then get involved.  There wasn’t a bully big or small she couldn’t handle.  And as far as disasters went, she could keep her cool whether the car died on the busy interstate or you broke your arm on the playground.  Mom was always the first responder you could rely on.

12.  She was always prepared.

She never lost her cool in part because she was always prepared. Fire escape plan?  Check!  Emergency speed dial?  Check!  First Aid kits?  Check?  She tested the fire detectors.  She check if the doors were locked.  And most of all, she kept you prepared. You knew your name, her full name, your address, your phone number.  You learned how to dial 911 before kindergarten. You knew who the safe people were and what the safe word was. She even played what if games with you and took you to the fire station’s open house so you could see what the firemen would look and sound like if they ever had to come and rescue  you. It was all just ADVENTURES.  And because she was prepared and confident, you felt safe and secure.

13.  She has always had outside interests and hobbies that set her apart.

Maybe other mom’s were Pinteresting or Facebooking, but your mom was making and doing.  As a single mom, she didn’t have all the time in the world, but you saw her set up a painting corner in your home or you watched her scour thrift stores and used book stores to create her own library.  She made a flower box out of anything and grew vegetables, herbs and flowers.  She kept journals of inspiration and ideas.  She kept travel magazines around and pinned pictures of places she’d like to visit with you on the wall.  She had dreams before you and now you are welcomed into those, too.

14. She is timeless!

Your mom has never slowed down and has stayed bright like a diamond.  She doesn’t act age inappropriate or dress to get attention, but she stays fresh and timeless.  No one would think she is your sister, but a young cool aunt would be a possibility.  She just carries herself well.  Nothing has kept her down.

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15.  She is becoming your biggest confidant and friend.

Your mom drew a line in the sand that she was your mom and you were the kid when you were young, but lately, you feel less like the kid because she talks and looks at you differently.  You want to tell her everything because you know she respects you and you want to hear what she has to say if you need advice.  You know she can just listen too without going into protective momma mode.  She recognizes that you are the independent adult she was always aiming to create, so it might be time to take her out and treat her to dinner and tell her, “Thank you.  I am grateful that I got you for my mom.”

Featured photo credit: Mother and daughter in the park. Mother and her child enjoy the early spring. Happiness – mother with her child.Young mother with child outside on a summer day. mother playing with her son in the park via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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