Excelling in Your Career as a Single Mom

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Lori Pace

Managing your career and parenting your kid in parallel can be challenging as a single parent. According to Statista, around 15.04 million families had a female householder. That means single moms had to navigate work-life balance daily—a challenging thing to do without a spouse. This begs the question—how can you balance your work and be a good parent? If you’re wondering how to answer that question, you have come to the right place. We’ll give you a few tips to help you balance these critical aspects of your life.

Spending time and bonding with your kids is fun, but it can be difficult for a single mom. You might be having a hard time working and focusing on your kid. But there is no need to worry, as here are a few tips to help you excel in your career as a single mom. 

1. Find A Family-Friendly Employer

Not all companies are equally supportive when accommodating parents for their engagements. Therefore, choosing a reliable and family-friendly employer is paramount. Seek out companies that have a reasonable policy for single parents. You can connect with current employees on LinkedIn and ask them about the company’s culture before joining them.

Ideally, look for people who are parents to find out more about their experiences with the company. You can also get insights about the company through different job sites, such as Glassdoor. Current and previous employees might have left their reviews, giving you a better idea about the company. During the interview, question the interviewer about how they can accommodate parents, especially single moms. Finding employers who go the extra mile to help single moms might be challenging, but you can find them after some research. Some employers even have employee awards for those who manage to deliver despite being single parents. 

2. Set Clear Boundaries

As a single mom, setting clear boundaries and complying with them is essential. For instance, when you are at work, your focus should be solely on work rather than your home. On the other hand, when you are at home, you should focus on your kids and spend time with them. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t leave the office before your shift ends or respond to an email at home. Nevertheless, it is all about setting clear boundaries and sticking with them. This is one of the best ways to maintain focus and devote yourself to work and family. 

3. Make A Proper Schedule

Figuring out your schedule is a constant challenge when you’re a single mom. There might be times when you are parenting and other times when you are working, and these two might overlap. So, finding workplaces offering flexibility is an ideal option to ensure you maintain a proper balance. You can also discuss the possibility of flexible timings with your HR manager at your existing workplace.

Remote work is becoming quite popular, and many employers allow their employees to work from home once or twice a week. Therefore, it is a great way to have a flexible schedule and manage your work accordingly. 

4. Talk To Your Employer And Set Expectations

Another important thing you need to do is set clear expectations with your employer. For instance, if you have three weeks’ advance notice before you can travel for work, clear it up with your employer. You can tell them about working from home if you want to lead a project but don’t want to spend time on the commute.

If there are any parent-teacher meetings that will cause you to miss some hours at work, you should talk about it with your managers. Setting expectations upfront can reduce surprises for both yourself and your managers. Additionally, it will pave the path for you to excel in your career as a single mom.

5. Accept Help

Lastly, as a single mom, there is no shame in asking for help from your friends, family, or coworkers. It is best to abandon any do-it-alone attitude and get assistance from other people, especially when they are offering it. You can reach out to your friends and family willing to look after your kid while you are at work. Also, ask for help at work to divide the work. Being a part of a team rather than a solo operator will allow you to get work done quicker. If you have a team, you should delegate work to them so it evens the load on everyone, including yourself.

As a single, working mom, there is no perfect strategy for maintaining a work-life balance. But there are small steps you can take to bridge that gap. Try your best, and do what makes sense and seems best for you, your kids, and your workplace.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!

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