The words “single parent” used to make me cringe. I literally remember saying in high school,” I would never be a baby Momma!!” Well here I am, in all my glory! Single mothering it up and actually surviving. There’s really no cut and dry answer on how to be a single parent because of all the different variables that can play a role, but here are some things I have learned over the years.
♡ PUT YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN FIRST!! I cannot stress this enough. Look….I’m not angel and I’m a bit of a hot-headed Momma bear when it comes to my kiddos. I’d be lying if I sat here and said I never wanted to be petty or rude to either of my children’s fathers. That’s right folks FATHERS. I have 3 lovely,amazing , well-adjusted children by not 1 but 2 different men. Trust me, it’s not easy playing nice all the time, but you are doing your children a favor by doing so. Be an adult and always take the high road. Will you always have Christmas morning with them? NO. Will you always see then off to every single day of school. Possibly not. Just remember if it’s not best for the kids you have to put your own feelings to the side and play fair.
♡Remember: You are going through a serious life change; be kind to yourself. If it’s at all possible to find a sitter… ( go ahead and laugh) find one and attempt to do something for yourself frequently. For me the worst part of being a single parent is the feeling of having to do it all and some days not having one single second to breathe. Fortunately, the kids have 2 very active Fathers and I have many friends and family to take my little people if I need a break. Moving to the farm was one of the best things I could do, not only for myself but for the kids. We can escape the “regular world” and go play with chickens all afternoon if we want.
♡Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. This was a huge problem for me in the beginning. You will have many well-meaning people trying to give you advice on what you should do, what the kids should do, how you should react to situations, where you should now live, what kind of cereal you should eat…you get the point. Everyone will tell you stories of their neighbors cousins sister who went through the same (never remotely the same) situation and what they did. Well good for them! Nod, smile and keep it moving! You are the parent and, even if it wasn’t your choice to become separated from your other half, you are now in the position where you will have to make some choices. Some will be easy, some will be hard and some will seem nearly impossible. Just remember, this is your life and very rarely will anyone have the EXACT same situation as you.Take sound advice from people you trust but also follow your gut.
♡ Remember to have fun!! Yes, have fun. It’s not the end of the world that you are now in a single-parent household. In fact, this is your chance to start new traditions, do totally new things with your kids and grow together as a “different type ” of family unit.
♡ Guess what…you aren’t a terrible person and your kids love you. Those are all things I constantly tell myself. Why? You would be surprised what your mind tells you about yourself after a long day of cleaning up dog poop and 4 boxes of broken crayons that melted into your car’s carpet. Exhaustion creeps into your mind and makes you question EVERYTHING. Every decision, every move, every word you spoke for the past week, all of it. So, short of the long – remember who you are! Take some time to heal and work on yourself as you become adjusted to the new normal.
♡ Last, but seriously most importantly. ..know when to ask for help. Being a parent in general is super stressful some days. So just imagine the stomach flu from hell running through your household and on the 3rd day it hits you. I’m talking Hershey squirts and Taco Bell sweats hit you. How in the world can you care for 3 screaming, poopy pants, vomiting children when you can’t even crawl from the bed to the toilet in time for yourself? Know when to say when ! Before any of this happens find a “Momma tribe “. It can be neighbors, family or a local well trusted sitter to come to your rescue.
Unfortunately, in times like these the other parent may not be able (or willing) to come and assist you. It “may not be their day” or ” You need to try to figure it out”. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you need help and don’t have it.