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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 January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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