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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 July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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