Have you ever wondered how to be a successful single mom? Yeah – I wondered that too when I was alone. I was always looking for tips for single moms that would help me be successful.
Now, I realize that being a single mom was the hardest job I ever loved! When I was going through it, I wouldn’t have said I loved it, but now when my kids and I reminisce about those days – they remember how close we were. I didn’t have much money to do elaborate things, so I gave them what I had most – my time. And, it made an impression on them.
If you’re wondering how to be a successful single mom, here are 10 tips just for you.
1. Don’t compare yourself to other moms
Yeah, maybe I should have started with an easier lesson, but you need to hear this. I spent those years alone continually comparing myself to other women. You know, the moms that looked like they had it all together? They volunteered at every event, and their kids looked like they just walked out off of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog shoot.
As easy as it is to compare – don’t! They don’t have it all together – I promise. They’re running the same trial and error experiments at home with meals, bedtimes, and everything else that your running. Yeah, maybe they have a man by their side – but, who’s to say you won’t have again someday too?
2. Get help for you and your kids
You might feel alone, but you don’t have to do this alone. Ask for help from family or friends. Invest in a family counselor when you and the kids need a little extra support. Find a coach or counselor for yourself that you can be authentic and vulnerable with about everything in life.
3. Be kind to the ex
You don’t want to live with him, but you do need to be able to have a cordial conversation with him. Don’t argue with him or talk badly about him in front of the kids. If he wants to fight, walk away and be the example you want your kids to see. They might not recognize it now, but trust me – they will, and they’ll be happy you set an excellent example for them.
4. Create smooth transitions
Going back and forth between your house and his is hard no matter how old your kids might be. It’s still hard on our teenage son. They leave routines, possessions, friends, and pets when they have to go between the two homes.
Create routines. Help them pack the most important items to take back and forth. Try to make it fun for them and reassure them that you will be fine while they are gone.
5. Talk to your kids
You might think that they had no idea you and your ex-husband were fighting, but chances are, they knew exactly what was going on. Talk to them openly about the situation on their level. Let them ask questions and answer only what they ask. Don’t give them more information that they want to know.
This is another opportunity for you to model the behavior you want them to see in you. Don’t bad mouth their dad. You might not like him anymore, but they still love him.
6. Set goals for your new family
You and the kids are a new family. You need to set new goals for yourself and them. Plan weekend trips or vacations. Start new holiday traditions. You have so much to be thankful for with just you and your children. Planning for this new family you have is an excellent opportunity to learn how to be a successful single mom.
7. Have fun with your kids
When you’re a single mom – you have to be the bad cop a lot. Don’t forget that your kids need you to be the fun, super-cool cop sometimes too! Pick one day each week where you order pizza, watch movies, or let them stay up till midnight. Be the fun mom! Let them see you have fun and connect with them the way you did before you had to take care of everything.
8. Make peace with the past
This is another big one! To move on healthily, you have to make peace with whatever happened. It doesn’t matter who was to blame or why it happened, you just have to accept that it happened and learn to move forward.
Tap into your support systems for the love and understanding you need. Look for a local support group for people who’ve been divorced with kids. Put yourself on the right track to learn how to be a successful single mom.
9. Take me-time
Girl, you deserve it! Take time just for you! Create a budget for a massage, shopping spree, or lunch at your favorite restaurant – alone. Buy that new pair of shoes you’ve been swooning over at the mall for the last few months.
Self-care doesn’t come naturally for many women, and when you’re a single mom, it can be downright tough to find time just for you, but you need to make it a priority! If you don’t care for yourself – you will run out of steam when caring for everyone else.
Use these tips to learn how to be a good single mom and watch your kids thrive in their new life!