How Do I Do It? Physically?
If you are a single mom then you have probably been told how “strong” you are. I don’t think they are referencing physical strength here, but let me tell you, it takes a physically strong mama to raise children by herself.
And I don’t mean able to bench press your weight strong, I mean, pushing your body past the limits strong.
You go to bed late.
You wake up early.
And in between, you hardly get a chance to rest.
From housework to school work, to YOUR work, there’s so much to do.
This is part two of a three part series “How Do I Do It?” You can see part one How do I do it financially? here.
Find a Support System
I’m blessed to have family close by that my children love spending time with. It isn’t uncommon at all for Losh to wake up in the morning wanting to go to Pa’s house. His Pa is happy to take him and spend time with him, freeing up some of my day.
If you don’t have family near by, turn to friends, or even ask your local college for baby sitter recommendations.
As much as I hate to, I often leave messes for a later time. Seriously, that sink of dishes really is going to be there later. And, a little laundry pile never hurt. I’m not saying leave your entire house a mess, but it’s okay to take a shower instead of doing dishes. Don’t feel like your house has to be spotless.
This one often goes along with cleaning for me. There’s no way I’m going to clean an area my children are playing in. Instead, I focus on the area that is not going to get messy again soon.
Other tasks are prioritized and the most important one is done first. This way, I don’t feel guilty when I choose to watch Netflix instead of doing those dishes.
You need your sleep just as much as you need to stay up late getting things done. And I totally understand, I am a night owl too, but if I know I have something important the next day, then I make sure I get my sleep the night before.
When I can, I nap. I waited so many years for my kids to be old enough to not destroy the house – or each other – while I napped and now I take advantage of it. I once knew a mother who would leave her young child in a playpen so she should get some rest. At first I thought the idea sounded totally ridiculous, but when my kids got to that stage, I totally understood.
Find something that energizes you whether that’s coffee or exercise. As a Mormon, I struggle with giving up coffee. I do good for so long, but then exhaustion hits and I find myself pulling through that drive-thru anxiously waiting for the barista to hand me my iced caramel latte with non-fat milk.
For some, energy may come from a long bubble bath, or reading a good book. Find what makes you energized and embrace it.
Have a Positive Attitude
Ever hear somebody say they “couldn’t handle” what you do or that they aren’t “strong enough” to handle it? Yeah. It annoys me too. It somehow implies that what we do isn’t desirable. I’ve never met a single mother who told me that she wasn’t strong enough or couldn’t handle her role as a single mom. There’s no test seeing how strong you are.
Once you are thrown into this club, you just do it.
The secret isn’t about being physically strong enough, it’s about your attitude. Having a positive attitude really defines you as a single mother. Sure, you could be bitter and hate life, but that doesn’t teach your children anything.
What are some ways that you have helped support a single mom?