A few years ago, I became a single mom of two beautiful kids, with my only wish to be a successful mother. At the time, I depended on my husband’s salary and emotional support because I’d chosen to change my life and career into one that prioritized the kids. It was what I assumed was the best for my family.
So you can imagine how my life has changed since then. I had to pick up the slack from my husband, who no longer helped with anything, and I had to become more emotionally mature and financially stable.
I’m proud of the journey that has brought me here, and I wish to inspire you to with some of the best advice I’ve received over the years.
8 Ways to be a Successful Single Mom
1. Accept help
I have to be honest; I take pride in the fact that I can do many things myself. I hardly ask for help, and when I do, I feel uncomfortable. However, life is so much easier when you reach out and ask for another pair of hands, a few hours of a friend’s time, a shoulder to lean on.
My best advice is that you can do anything, but not everything. Ask for help when you need it, and when someone offers to help you out, accept it. People are better at heart than we give them credit for sometimes.
Accepting someone’s assistance may feel challenging at first, but you’ll be so much more relaxed and sane in the long run.
2. Build a network of babysitters
Babysitters are the best thing since sliced bread when you want to become a successful single mom. There is no way that you can become financially independent without some help with the kids, even if the babysitter is your parents or next-door neighbor.
So, build a network of babysitters that you trust, can call up anytime, and that your child feels comfortable around. Why am I advising you to create a network? Sometimes your usual babysitter won’t be available, and you can’t leave your kids with anyone. Avoid the small nervous breakdown should you have to work an hour late or are stuck in traffic on your way home from the gym.
3. Look for role models
I’m a career girl, and I believe you might be too – since you’re here.
I want to create something significant and meaningful, and being a single mom, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to build my business as fast and as big as I had planned. However, when I looked around and searched for single mom role models, I found many beautiful examples of women kicking ass in business and life.
Have you found your role models yet?
If not, go ahead and make a list of every single inspiring and successful single mom out there. I can assure you there are many more amazing women such as yourself out there. Realizing this will help you along the way when you feel uninspired and overwhelmed.
4. Take care of yourself
My favorite piece of advice from my mother is: ‘You cannot pour from an empty cup.’
She is right, of course. Schedule time for yourself – even when you feel you don’t have enough time. It’s crucial to have some me-time in daily life’s craziness, mainly when your day consists of bills and cute but soiled baby fingers.
Be mindful of spending some time away from your child, going to the gym, taking a long walk, reading a good book, or sitting in meditation. It doesn’t have to be hours on end, just a few minutes to ground yourself. The more you take care of yourself, the more your child will benefit.
Please read here for my top self-care tips.
5. Don’t envy married couples
I have spent so much time feeling resentful towards my ex-husband, other couples, and my friend’s husbands. It isn’t very nice to admit, but I envied couples raising their children together. I always felt this pang in the pit of my stomach when I saw friends share their family life, and I felt like my babies, and I was missing out.
Later I realized that it was time I could have spent growing my business, loving my kids, or living my life.
However, life isn’t always shades of pink in couples’ lives either. I should know; that’s how I ended up a single mom in the first place. It’s best to stop looking at others with envy and focus on your life with your children instead.
6. Trust the process
Are you always trying to control every minute of your day? Are you stressing out when you’re running 5 minutes late because you feel like it’ll ruin all of your plans?
I used to be like that, but I soon realized the more you hold on to plans and schedules, the more stress you’ll create in your life.
So, try to relax into the natural flow of life with a child. Expect things to turn out completely different than you’ve imagined, and you’ll make your life a whole lot easier.
7. Celebrate yourself
You’re doing a heck of a job.
You’re raising a child on your own, and you deserve to be celebrated. So, be intentional about praising yourself – even if it’s only in your mind. Be proud of everything you’re managing to do and don’t let it go unnoticed. If you feel daring, take yourself out to dinner, go to the movies or treat yourself to a nice necklace. You deserve it.
8. Don’t compete with yourself
Stop trying to be perfect and instead realize that nobody will ever do everything right. When you’re already super stressed, and you feel like you have to whip up the perfect dinner, only to prove a point, don’t. Instead, get takeout or heat some leftovers from the other day. It’s OK.
Nobody is going to kill you, and your child will certainly survive. So, cut yourself some slack and take it easy.
What are your tips for making life as a single mom easier to manage?