These days our lives are filled with a lot of ‘to-do’s on our list. Add children to the mix and we are now the managers of their lists too. Couple that with being a single parents and it can be overwhelming to think about all that has to be done during the day.
I have polled all of my other single mom friends and the number one thing they all wish they could manage better is Stress and The Single Mom.
I have been a single mom for almost two years now. I got a taste of it in my marriage because my ex-husband was never around. But the reality of the ‘never gets a break‘, ‘only adult in the house’, ‘how am I going to do it all?’ feeling did not really hit until he was out of the house for a little while. The first time I had one up all night, one needing to be at school and one with a fever all at once, the reality hit.
But as I have grown as a mom and a woman, I have learned that I can only do what I can do. Though stress is a huge part of my day, so is the desire to alleviate as much of it as I can. If for no other reason than to be a more present mother for my kids.
Here are some of my best tips for managing stress as a single mom!
Tip #1. Make time for YOU
I don’t care if it means putting the kids to bed an hour early, we need down time to recharge and feel complete. I have been known to put my kids to bed early, grab my tablet, and play some mean rounds of Candy Crush! The mindless activity makes me feel like I really got away. I feel somewhat refreshed on my craziest days.
Tip #2. Complain to Someone
OK, maybe don’t complain, but talk. When things seem out of control and the shoulders tense up, sometimes just putting your feelings into words to a friend, parent or someone who is paid to listen can relieve a lot of that stress! Talking it out can help you work through problems and get a new perspective from the other person!
Tip #3. Relax
Easier said than done, I know. But accepting that things are going to go off kilter every once in a while can help when they do hit. I know that between managing everything from bills to the house to tantrums, something else will probably come along to add some additional stress. I breathe deeply and accept it and then get to work solving the issue.
Sometimes the dishes pile up. Sometimes I have to spend an entire day that my kids are with their dad doing a mass amount of laundry. Sometimes I feel I sleep standing up.
But I would not change the fact that I get to raise these kids every day. And that is the only real task I have to do. The only one that matters most.
I would not change that stress for the world.