Being a single mother is one of the most challenging jobs in the world. You have to be both mother and father to your child or children, which means you have to wear many different hats. You have to be strong for your kids when they need you, but you also have to be vulnerable with them when the time is right. It’s a lot to juggle, but it’s doable—especially if you follow these five principles.
Put Your Children First
This one should go without saying, but it’s important enough that it bears repeating. Your children should always be your number one priority—no exceptions. That means you must ensure they’re fed, clothed, and cared for before worrying about anything else. So here are some ways to always put your children first, even if you have other responsibilities.
Hire Caretaking Services
Caretakers and daycare can help you more than you might think. It’s not a failure to outsource some of your parenting responsibilities—it’s thoughtful planning. Hire a babysitter, pay for daycare while you work, and schedule regular date nights with your children, so they know they are important and loved.
Time management skills are crucial for single parents. They can help you balance work, parenting, and your own needs. Get a planner or use your phone’s calendar to schedule everything from soccer practices to doctor appointments. Prioritize tasks and delegate when necessary.
Prepare Their Inheritance Early
The reality is that no one knows when they’ll pass away. It’s important to have a will and an estate plan in place to take care of your children when you’re no longer here. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help ensure all legal documents, such as a living trust or power of attorney, are filled out correctly and updated as needed. Additionally, they can ensure that your children can go to the right people who will care for them as they grow older. It’s unlikely that you will perish early, but always put your children’s interests above yours, so prepare their inheritance early.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Just because you’re a single mother doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Sometimes you need help, so don’t be afraid to ask for it—whether it’s from friends, family members, or even strangers. Many people are more than willing to help a struggling single mother, so don’t hesitate to reach out when you need assistance. Here are some great organizations for single mothers:
- Single Mothers by Choice: a supportive community for women who have chosen to become single mothers
- National Association of Single Mothers: provides resources, support, and advocacy for single mothers.
- The National Fatherhood Initiative: offers fatherhood programs and resources for both fathers and single mothers.
Stay Organized and on Schedule
One of the best ways to stay sane as a single mother is to stay organized and on schedule. That means having a daily routine you and your children can follow and stick to as much as possible. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but trust me—it’s worth it. A little organization can go a long way toward making your life as a single mother much easier.
Take Time for Yourself
It’s easy to get so caught up in taking care of your children that you forget to take care of yourself, but it’s important to remember that you’re only human. You need time for yourself—time to relax, de-stress and recharge your batteries. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your children the way they deserve. So make sure to schedule some “me time” into your day or week—you’ll be glad you did.
Have Faith in Yourself
Last but not least, remember that you can do this—you’re stronger than you think. It won’t be easy, but if you have faith in yourself, then you’ll be able to overcome any challenge that comes your way. So whenever things get tough (and they will), just remember that you’re not alone and can do this!
Being a single mother is one of the most challenging jobs in the world—but it’s also one of the most rewarding jobs. If you’re currently struggling with being a single mom, just remember that you’re not alone—and some people can help if you need it! Just follow these five principles, and things will improve in no time: put your children first; don’t be afraid; stay organized; take time for yourself, and have faith in yourself! You got this!