6 Ways To Reduce Stress As A Single Mom
Stress is a monster we all deal with on a daily basis, especially as single moms. I’ve written about it before and it’s something I know first hand is one of the biggest challenges we face. Raising kids on our own, trying to keep everyone fed, clothed and alive, paying the bills and just keeping our heads above water.
It can all be a bit too much at times. Stress is definitely in our lives and not leaving anytime soon. So here are 6 ways to help reduce the stress in your life.
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6 Ways To Reduce Stress As A Single Mom
There are very few people that set out to be a single parent. The choice to have a baby is usually between two people who want to grow their love so much that it literally spills out of them: children. Some find themselves pregnant unplanned and so single parenthood is the possibility but not the goal.
One of every four children in the US today is growing up in a single-parent family. The reasons are many: some divorce, some become widowed and some are single parents by choice, but the realities of single parenthood are stark and wonderful all at once.
Being alone in the journey of parenting, whether you have extended family to help or not, is stressful and hectic. Yes, there are moments of sheer wonder and not having to share those moments is like a piece of your heart you get to keep all for yourself. It doesn’t take away from the fact that you are alone on this journey and may come up against a lot of barriers to success, balance and ultimately, happiness.
Parenting should be full of joy. It’s not easy for anyone no matter the circumstances that they are in, but for those who are going it alone, the joy can be harder to find. When you’re trying to balance the financial burdens of life along with making it to every dance recital and ballgame, it’s fraught with worry and fear that you’re not getting it right.
to-do list in the home of a single-parent family is huge; with the challenges of a home with two parents being managed by just one. It’s hard. It’s hard to look around and feel like you’re in a cycle of work, housework, and parenting that just doesn’t seem to let up.
Managing a household is hard enough as it is without having to be the only person in charge of said household. You could have a network of family and friends willing to step in and help, but they’re not going to be with you at every hour of the day. If your financial situation doesn’t call for it, you’ll also very much be alone with the housework and cleaning.
There are ways to make life easier, such as buying a baby swing like the ones shown on The Burp Cloth, to help you manage housework hands-free. However, if you truly want to be able to minimize the stress in your life as a parent you should do whatever you can to cut the right corners so that you don’t slack but still manage to find joy in parenting. Here are six ways that you can cut your parenting stress and make life a little easier.
Manage Your Finances.
Money is the biggest factor for a single parent, especially if you’re not getting any help with child support. Trying to raise your children on one income in a bad economy is not easy, and even if you were getting alimony or child support, no one wants to have to rely on any of those things to keep living. You need to take as many steps as you can to learn about budgeting and making good investments so that you can manage your finances properly.
If you are open to the idea, consider getting back into education so that you can support yourself independently with a better paying job. It’s lucky that a lot of schools are now offering courses online, as you can learn from home and save yourself the childcare. There are lots of money habits you can learn to help you keep your pockets full and your heart light.
Manage Your Village.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s important to know that your village doesn’t have to be your direct family. You will need help, whether this is from understanding employers who offer daycare on site, if you work out of the home, or a friendly neighbor who can step in as a sitter when you need to run errands.
Sometimes, your support system can be just someone to talk to when things get a little on top of you. There’s no wrong way to have a support system, and while you may feel too proud to ask for help, pride doesn’t help you to sleep at night and it doesn’t put food on your table.
Manage Your Routine.
Even in a two-parent household, routine is the key to success. So, in a single-parent home where you are handling most things alone, it’s important that you try to keep your life as scheduled as possible. Being consistent with bedtime and meal times and chores will keep order in your life. It’ll also help your child to feel as secure as possible.
You are a single parent, but that doesn’t mean that you allow your children to behave negatively. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve gone through a divorce or they’ve lost a parent; being too lax with behavioral expectations is a great way to ensure that you lose control of the situation at home. Keep consistent with behavioral boundaries and you’ll have tough situations managed in an instant.
Manage Your Words.
Older children have a knack for the curious and when a two-parent household goes to a single-parent one, questions are bound to be raised. You need to be as honest as possible with your children, even if honesty is difficult. Be open with your kids. It may be instinctive to shield them from everything, but it doesn’t help them, and it certainly doesn’t help you. They will pick up on negativity, and the more honest you are, the more that they will thank you for.
Manage Your Time.
You are a person as well as a parent, and while the whole routine of single parenthood is scary and overwhelming, you need to try to make time for yourself, even if that time is a luxurious bubble bath, or indulging in some dark chocolate which is known to actually reduces the stress hormone cortisone in the body while providing beneficial antioxidants, so chocolate your heart out! Anyway, you need to make time for yourself. Children cannot thrive in an unhappy home.
Stress is an inevitability in parenting and yet all you have to do is manage the expectations set out in front of you and boss it every time. Got it? You are a strong mom boss and I know you can do this!
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Love Jess, XO