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  • Writer's pictureLayne Philipson

10 Things You Realize When You Become a Single Mom

Imagine this: You're cruising along life's highway, windows down, music blasting, when suddenly, you hit a major detour – flashing lights and a one-way shot to Single Mom Boulevard. It's like getting a curveball you never saw coming. But guess what? That detour leads to one heck of a transformative journey.

Yeah, it's tough at times – like trying to navigate when Google Maps suddenly changes the route – but it's also a journey of growth, strength, and discovery. From learning to juggle a gazillion things at once to finding your own groove and identity, being a single mom is like riding a rollercoaster with no seatbelt – wild, unpredictable, but oh-so-rewarding. So buckle up, mama, because this journey is about to take you places you never imagined.

Independence Isn't Just a Choice - It's a Necessity:

Seriously, when you're flying solo with the kiddos, you learn real quick that you've gotta be your own superhero. From fixing stuff around the house to managing the bills, it's all on you. But you know what? There's this awesome feeling that comes with knowing you're totally owning it. So yeah, independence isn't just a choice – it's our superpower!

Your Definition of a Family Evolves to New Heights

Family isn't just about blood ties anymore. As a single mom, I've redefined it to include my closest friends, support networks, and chosen family members. They're the ones who offer a listening ear, lend a helping hand, and cheer me on when I need it most. Together, they form my tribe, my rock, and the backbone of my support system. In this journey, I've learned that family is about love, connection, and the people who show up for you, no matter what.

Your Child Becomes Your Greatest Motivation

My child's well-being is my top priority, driving every decision and action I take. Their happiness, safety, and future are what motivate me to keep pushing forward, even when faced with challenges. Seeing them thrive is my greatest joy and purpose in life, and I'll do whatever it takes to ensure they are loved, supported, and flourishing.

2 years ago, when I tried to dance at a club in DC, those words would have made me spit my drink out. Seriously, I never pictured myself having a child, married or unmarried. Then, when I found out I was pregnant, BAM! I knew it was what I needed - like it was crazy. I went from being completely selfish to this thing they call selfless... it was an adjustment at first, for sure. Being a very independent person, I was not super well-versed in thinking for two people. But, here I am. And here you are too.

Self-Care Isn't Selfish; It's Essential

I know, it seems like everyone is screaming self-care for no reason these days. Well, there is a great reason, I will have you know!

Taking care of yourself isn't just a luxury – it's a necessity, especially as a single mom juggling a million things at once. Prioritizing self-care isn't selfish; it's essential for maintaining your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Think of it like recharging your batteries – as they say, you can't pour from an empty cup. Whether it's carving out time for a bubble bath, going for a walk, or indulging in your favorite hobby, self-care is about replenishing your energy and nurturing your soul.

When you prioritize self-care, you're better equipped to handle the demands of single parenthood with grace and resilience. You're more patient with your kids, more productive in your daily tasks, and better able to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of life.

So, don't feel guilty about taking time for yourself. You deserve it, mama. Remember, by taking care of yourself, you're not only investing in your own well-being but also setting an example of self-love and self-respect for your children. And that's something worth prioritizing.

What are some ways you guys like to do self-care?

Financial Literacy Becomes a Top Priority

Obviously, money has always made the world go 'round, so we all had to have had at least someee degree of financial literacy before single momming. If you aren't prioritizing financial literacy as a single mom, please start right now (well, after reading this post)!

Some less discussed reasons for us to have some financial suaveness are here:

  1. Debt Management: Single moms need to be savvy about managing debt, whether it's credit card debt, student loans, or mortgages. Understanding how debt works and having a plan to pay it off can help prevent financial strain in the long run.

  2. Future Planning: Financial literacy enables single moms to plan for the future, whether it's saving for their children's education, retirement, or long-term financial goals. By making informed decisions about investments and savings strategies, they can secure their financial future.

  3. Teaching Children About Money: Single moms play a crucial role in teaching their children about money management and financial responsibility. By modeling good financial habits and involving their children in budgeting discussions, they can set them up for success later in life.

Loneliness Can Be Conquered With Connection

Loneliness is a tough adversary, especially for single moms juggling a million things at once. But here's the thing – it doesn't have to be a permanent state of being. Fortunately, COVID taught all of us the importance of social interaction, and how to get that in creative ways. So, you really have no excuse to get yourself some connections!

Whether it's reaching out to friends, joining a support group, or simply striking up a conversation with a neighbor, making meaningful connections is essential for combating loneliness. It's about finding your tribe – the people who get you, support you, and lift you up when you need it most.

And hey, connection doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sharing a laugh with your kids, bonding over a shared interest with a fellow mom, or even connecting with yourself through meditation or self-care practices.

Every Moment Is a Teaching Opportunity

I always thought being a teacher was one of the worst jobs for me. There are so many reasons why, but mostly what would I do with a class of kids waiting to hear me say things?? I'm awkward as heck with children.

Well, being a single mom is like having a crash course in teaching and learning with your kids. You're not just raising them; you're showing them how to be resilient, independent, and compassionate human beings. To me, this can be less intimidating than a class of 20 seventh graders, so I will take the victories I can.

Perfection Is Overrated; Progress Is Key

Let's talk real talk about this whole "perfection" thing in single motherhood. Spoiler alert: it's a total myth! Life as a single mom is messy, chaotic, and downright imperfect – and you know what? That's okay!

Instead of chasing some impossible standard of perfection, let's embrace the beauty of imperfection. It's in those messy moments, the ones where things don't go as planned, that we find our true strength and resilience.

So, let go of the pressure to have it all together all the time. Embrace the messy hair, the spilled milk, and the occasional meltdown (yours or theirs). Because in the end, it's those imperfect moments that make life as a single mom beautifully real.

Patience Isn't Just a Virtue; It's a Superpower

I have, like, no patience. I want things now - fast food, fast commutes, fast answers, fast fast fast. I have so many pet peeves about people, you know, those little things a person does that equates to scratching a chalkboard??

Well, being a single mom has taught me to prioritize the patience thing. It's like having a secret weapon in our back pocket, helping us stay calm and collected even when everything feels like it's falling apart. Sure, there are moments when we want to scream into a pillow, but instead, we take a deep breath and tackle whatever comes our way with grace and humor. Though let's still scream in pillows sometimes - just when the kids are sleeping and you're on the other side of the house... other things I have found help with patience in parenting are:

  1. Practice Mindfulness: Take a few moments each day to practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or simply being present in the moment. This can help you stay grounded and calm, even amid chaos.

  2. Set Realistic Expectations: Recognize that not everything will go according to plan, and that's okay! Set realistic expectations for yourself and your children, and be flexible when things don't go as planned.

  3. Delegate Tasks: Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Delegate tasks to your children or enlist the support of friends and family members to lighten your load and give yourself a break.

  4. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself, especially when you're feeling overwhelmed or impatient. Remember that it's okay to make mistakes and that you're doing the best you can in a challenging situation

  5. Take Breaks: I hear breathing is important these days! So, give yourself time to take breaks when you need them. Whether it's a five-minute breather in the bathroom or a solo walk around the block, taking time for yourself can help you recharge and come back to the chaos feeling more centered.

Your Dreams Are Still Achievable

Let's make one thing clear: You are unstoppable, and your dreams are worth pursuing, no matter what challenges come your way.

Don't let anyone or anything hold you back from chasing your dreams and aspirations. Whether it's furthering your education, pursuing a career change, starting your own business, or simply carving out time for self-care and personal growth, know that you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to. Trust me! I managed school, work, and babyhood and I am not a special unicorn! I just had to adjust from staying up until 3 am watching Desperate Housewives... and ask for help, prioritize routine and self-care, and develop that good ole' patience.

In conclusion...

If you made it this far, thank you! As you reflect on your journey as a single mom and the valuable insights you've gained along the way, I invite you to share your own experiences and realizations in the comments below. Your stories and perspectives can inspire and empower other single moms who may be facing similar challenges.

Additionally, if you found this blog post helpful and insightful, consider sharing it with your friends, family, or fellow single moms who might benefit from its message. Together, we can create a supportive community where single moms can thrive and find strength in solidarity.

Remember, you are strong, capable, and deserving of all the love and support in the world.

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