When you’re a newly single mom, it can feel like the world is against you. You’re juggling so many things at once, and it feels like you can never catch a break. But don’t give up! Other moms have been in your shoes and know what you’re going through. So listen to their advice, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. You can do this!
10 Truths New Single Moms Need to Hear
1. Ask for help. You can’t parent entirely by yourself.
For single parents, parenting challenges are magnified tenfold. Not only do you have to manage all of the traditional parenting duties, but you also have to do so without the support of a partner. It can be tempting to try to go alone, but that isn’t possible. Parenting is a team effort; you must ask for help when needed.
Fortunately, there are many resources available to single parents. From online support groups to government assistance programs, you can find the help you need to get through this difficult time. So don’t be afraid to reach out – your child needs you to be strong, and asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
If you’re having trouble managing your finances, ask a friend or family member for advice. If you’re struggling to keep up with the yard work, see if there are any outside chores that some teenagers could help with and use for volunteering credit. Same with childcare.
Asking for help doesn’t mean that you’re weak or that you’re not capable of taking care of yourself. It just means that you’re smart enough to know when you need a little assistance.
2. You can do this
You can do this. It won’t be easy, but you have what it takes. You are strong, capable, and resilient. You have been through so much already, and you will get through this too.
I know it’s hard to believe in yourself right now. It feels like everything is against you. But I promise you, there is hope. Things will get better. You have to keep going.
Take it one day at a time. One step at a time. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are people who care about you and want to help you succeed. Lean on them when you need to.
Here is what other single moms have said to encourage new single moms:
- Believe in yourself.
- You are not alone. I would tell her that there are people who care about her and want to help her.
- Be strong, brave, and kind to yourself.
- I would tell her that she is worth it, that she is loved, and that she is amazing.
- You have what it takes to make it through this tough time.
- I would tell her never to give up, never give in, and always keep fighting because she can do this.
- She is strong enough, smart enough, and brave enough.
3. Give your kids all the attention they need
You’ll feel like you need to be everything to your kids—parent, teacher, friend, and more. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but it’s important to remember that your children need your attention and love more than anything else.
Here are some tips for giving your kids the attention they need:
Make time for one-on-one activities. Spending quality time with your children individually is essential for building strong bonds. Plan regular activities that you can do together, such as reading, going for walks, or playing games.
Be present when you’re with them. When you’re with your children, put away your phone and give them your full attention. Listen to what they have to say and engage in conversations with them. This will help them feel valued and heard.
Show them physical affection. Hugs, kisses, and cuddles are crucial for showing your love. Let your children know they are always welcome to come to you for a hug, even when they’re grown up.
Show them love in all the ways you know how. Every child needs to feel loved; there are many ways to show this love. Some parents may express their love through words of affirmation, while others may show their love through physical touch. Whatever you choose to show your love, make sure your kids feel it daily.
Be patient with them. Children are not always easy to deal with, and they will test your patience daily. However, remain patient with them and understand that they are still learning and growing.
4. Put your feelings aside and get along with your ex
Being a single mom is hard enough without the added stress of dealing with a difficult ex. I know it can be tempting to hold onto resentment and anger, but it’s essential to put those feelings aside for the sake of your child. After all, you want what’s best for them, including having a healthy relationship with both parents.
Related: God-Centered Co-parenting Strategies
Here are some tips for how to get along with your ex:
1. Communicate openly and honestly. It can be challenging to have a civilized conversation when there’s so much history and emotion, but try anyway. Consider sending an email if you can’t have a face-to-face conversation.
2. Be respectful. Even if you don’t agree with each other, respect each other’s opinions. Avoid name-calling and personal attacks, and keep the focus on your child.
3. Put your child first. Your child comes first. They need to feel loved and supported by both parents, so try to set aside your needs and focus on what’s best for them.
Communicating openly, being respectful, and putting your child first can create a more positive relationship that will benefit everyone involved.
5. quit comparing
Being a single mom is hard enough without comparing your situation to other moms who may have it easier or harder than you. It’s important to remember that every mom is different, and every situation is unique. Here are three reasons why you should quit comparing yourself to other moms:
First, it’s important to remember that everyone has challenges and struggles. Just because someone else may seem to have it all together doesn’t mean they don’t have their struggles that you know nothing about. We all have challenges and should focus on our journey, not someone else’s.
Second, comparison can lead to negative emotions like jealousy and resentment. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to other moms, you’re likely to feel jealous of those who seem to have an easier time or resentful of those who seem to have it all figured out. Neither of these emotions is helpful or productive, so it’s best to avoid them by focusing on your own life.
Finally, comparison can take away from the joy of motherhood. Motherhood is a special and unique experience to be enjoyed for what it is. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to other moms, you’re likely to miss out on the joy and happiness of being a mom. So quit comparing yourself to other moms and enjoy the ride!
6. You will become a master of multitasking
Single moms have so much going on that it’s inevitable that you’ll become master multitaskers. Not only do you have to juggle all the usual parenting duties, but you also have to do them without the help of a partner.
You’ll need to be able to cook dinner while helping with homework and cleaning up after the kids. It won’t always be easy, but you’ll improve with practice.
One key is to accept help when it’s offered. Friends and family members often want to help out, so let them. It can feel unnatural to ask for help, but it’s important to remember that you can’t do everything on your own. So take them up if someone offers to babysit or watch the kids for a few hours. It will give you some much-needed time to yourself.
You’ll need to find ways to relax and recharge. Make sure to schedule some time for yourself every week, even if it’s just an hour or two. Use this time to do something that you enjoy, whether it’s reading, going for a walk, or watching your favorite TV show. It may seem like there’s no time for this, but it’s important to make time for yourself, or you’ll quickly burn out.
You’ll find your way of doing things before long.
7. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it
Being a single mom is hard, but it’s also gratifying. Seeing your child grow and develop into a person is an incredible feeling. Knowing that you are the one who has helped them become the person they are today is an amazing feeling. Being a single mom gives you a unique opportunity to show your child how strong and capable you are. They will look up to you and admire your strength and courage.
Single parenting is one of those things that you don’t realize how far you’ve come until your kids are older. Trust me when I say one day, you’ll look back on this time in your life, and you will amaze yourself.
8. You learn how to do things on your own or else miss out
As a single mom, you learn how to do things on your own and become more independent. You also learn how to be more patient and understanding, as well as how to juggle many different tasks at once.
If you pass on every opportunity where you wish you had a partner to go with you, you and your children will miss out on many different activities.
Just go on the Boy Scout camping trip. Drive your kids three states over for that vacation. Sign up for family activities. Sure there will be nuclear families there, but you have a fantastic family too.
Additionally, one of the greatest gifts of this time is that you’ll learn how to enjoy your own company.
9. You develop a thick skin
You will develop thick skin. At first, it may feel like every little thing is a huge deal. But as time goes on, you will realize that you can handle anything that comes your way. You will become more resilient and confident, and you will start to see the challenges in your life as opportunities to grow.
10. You learn how to budget and save money
You may feel like you’re in over your head, but I’m here to tell you that you can do it—and you will. You will learn how to budget and save money, even if finances initially feel overwhelming. Here’s how and why:
For many single moms, managing finances is one of their most complex challenges. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning and organization, you can take control of your finances and build up some savings.
The first step is to create a budget. Sit down and list all of your income and expenses for the month. Include childcare, food, housing, transportation, and other necessary costs. Once you have a good sense of your monthly cash flow, you can start looking for ways to cut costs and save money.
One place to start is with your food budget. Cooking at home can be more affordable than eating out and healthier for you and your family. Another way to save money is by cutting back on unnecessary expenses, like cable TV or gym memberships. And finally, make sure you’re taking advantage of any available discounts or coupons. Single moms can often get discounts on groceries, entertainment, and travel.
If all of this sounds too overwhelming for you, as a friend who is good at budgeting to sit down with you and create a budget.
Remind yourself that there is no perfect way to do this. Every single mom has her unique story, and there is no right or wrong way to do things. Just do what feels suitable for you and your family, and trust that you are doing your best.
If you need a small boost as a single mom, check out the Single Mom Toolbox. This toolbox contains the same worksheets and strategies I used in my early days of single-parenting.