10 Tips for the Newly Single Mom
I've just passed the 7th month mark of being a single mom. If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that my story is a little different then most single moms you may now. I became a single mom after leaving an unhealthy marriage when my son Aimery was 14 months old. You can read more about that journey in this post. As the months go by, it gets easier being a single parent. In fact, it's starting to feel like the norm! Since I wrote an update on everything I've learned since becoming a single mom, I wanted to also share 10 tips for newly single mothers!
GIVE YOURSELF TIME AND PERMISSION TO FEEL SAD
I didn't allow myself even a day to feel sad. For the first few months of my separation, it was mostly an adrenaline-powered blur. All I could think about was the custody battle, talking to lawyers, and picking up the pieces of everything that was left for me to take care of - like cancelling phone plans and taking care of unpaid bills... And of course, this was all going on while learning how parent on my own, and running my own business. Talk about a crazy time of life. All I needed at that time was more then a few hours to just be sad that my life took an unexpected turn.
Don't give yourself a day to mourn. Give yourself weeks, months even. You can be 100% positive that you made the best decision to be a single mom, but you're still allowed to be sad that things didn't turn out the way that you thought you would. It's normal to feel grief or even loss after becoming a single parent.
BUT KNOW THAT IT WON'T LAST FOREVER
That being said, you can be encouraged that the intensity of sadness won't last forever. One day you will wake up and not be sad anymore. You will stop hurting. You'll have a lot of good days - and although some days you may be caught off-guard with pain, just know that it's normal. You'll learn to accept that some things will make you feel sad, and you'll be able to acknowledge the pain you are feeling and still move forward. Life will continue to go on.
HAVE AN AMAZING SUPPORT SYSTEM
Surround yourself with friends, family, and other single parents. Join a community or a church. Get outside help from counseling. Pray, mediate, or go to yoga. In order to feel strong, you need things supporting you.
GET A HOBBY
Have one thing you do every week for you. Get a babysitter if you can and make it happen. Take a weekly fitness class at a gym or meet a friend for coffee. This is a new stage of life for you, so if there is anything you've ever wanted to try, this is the time!
ALSO, MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF EVERYDAY
It's so important to make time for yourself everyday, especially once becoming a single mom. It may seem impossible to make time with everything else going on, but it's so important! Doing things for yourself is truly what is best for your children - as it allows them to have a mom that is happier!
DROP NON-ESSENTIAL COMMITMENTS
With saying that, make sure you don't have too much on your plate. Try to simplify your life as much as possible so you can focus all your time and energy into learning how to be a single parent. It's important to set a new routine now that you are doing this all on your own.
ASK FOR HELP
This was a hard one for me. I'm very independent and had a very hard time accepting the fact that I NEEDED help from other people during this stage of my life (and still do!). For me this meant moving away from somewhere I loved to move back into my parents home, and still accepting help seven months later. Ugh, so hard. You can still be a supermom while accepting help from your support system.
BECOME FINANCIALLY STABLE
Now that you are surviving on one income, it's time to figure out a budget and stick to it! Develop a long term plan for ways to cut down on groceries, save for an emergency fund, and get out of debt. You can read more about becoming financially stable as single mom in this post.
GET PAPERWORK ORGANIZED
Becoming a single parent normally also means a ton of paperwork in regards to custody and divorce. Get a folder for each to save all paperwork given to you by lawyers along with important documents like birth certificates, custody agreements, and financial statements (mutual funds, 401(K)s, mortgage, etc.).
KNOW THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY
This stage of life won't last forever. Give yourself time to become settled as a single parent. There are plenty of other women out there that have gone through the same thing, so be sure to form some community with other single mothers and learn how to thrive together!
What are some tips you would give a newly single mom? Comment below!