Becoming a mom was the single most amazing moment of my life! From the moment I met my boys I realized that being their mom was my one, true calling, and...I'm really good at being a mom! In fact, its the one thing I do that I never second guess or doubt myself on. But being a single mom? That is still effing hard! Despite how a woman feels about being a mom, being a single mom can still force you into fetal position crying in the corner of your house IF you're not careful. So, flip the script. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. Its crucial to gain control of negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts that serve you and guide you towards the greater good.
Why is the single mom gig so hard?
1. Money (or lack thereof)
No matter WHAT you do for work, or how much money comes in- it's just YOU. That's it. There's noone else carrying the weight of the finances, making money, budgeting, balancing books, paying bills, paying taxes, or deciding how to invest for everyone's future. And, let's face it, most single moms are facing huge financial strain because likely money was lost/owed in the divorce and you're still playing catch up, and childcare is WAY overpriced. Then, there's the added strain of actually securing a spot at a quality childcare center, most of which have a two to three year waitlist (news to you when you're child is old enough to need care) and you learn you have to wait for a spot to open up, which will most likely happen by the time they can enter kinder.
Flip the script: I AM a resourceful and capable person. Money is fluid and will flow in and out of our lives, but my relationship with my children will always matter.
My ex essentially "left" us while I was ICU status after the birth of my twin boys. He let me know it was "too much for him to handle" and advised me to call my mother for help. Although we were still married for another 18 months, caring for these two tiny humans was on me. Every feeding, bath, diaper, sleepless night, meltdown, and new stage was mine to navigate (times two). Single mothers don't often have a chance to recharge their batteries. In fact, I bet we could all swap stories of having food poisoning or the flu and rocking a crying baby (or two) while hanging over the toilet puking. We are exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Flip the script: I AM much stronger than I know. Pushing past my boundaries and doing what it takes to care for my young makes my stronger each time.
This word may be foreign to many of you. Time is that thing everyone else has, but you. When someone says, "let me know when you have time" you laugh, because when you're in charge of other humans, you're availability gets cut down significantly. While as an adult you may only need 8 hours of sleep a night, you're stuck at the house for likely twelve hours each night so your kids can rest. Then, add in naps, and depending on the age of your child(ren), this could mean another 4-5 hrs you're unavailable.
Flip the script: I am avaailble for THESE hours and I WILL make that time productive and meaningful. I will accomplish what maters to me.
To me, this one is the hardest because I'm an extrovert. I get my energy feed from others...groups even. The shock of the way my ex retreated and left me alone after having the boys was draining on me mentally and emotionally but, even though he wasn't ever around, I still knew I had someone somewhere that knew I needed them. The isolation for a single mother is tenfold! Some days you find yourself oversharing with the mailman just to have someone to talk to! You run into an acquaintance at the store and find yourself word vomiting your deepest darkest secrets just to feel some kind of connection with someone. And then, theres dating...ick! It's so hard to keep your cool and not latch yourself onto the first normal guy you meet just because you need another adult human in your daily life. You're addicted to your phone and social media because it's a reminder there's life out there and even a mom like me who's ALWAYS out and about...you're still doing it all alone.
Flip the script: I AM the single most important person in my child's life. THEY need me more than anyone else out there and I matter to THEM. They are where I'll find my strength.
5. Future Trippin'
This phrase is a Gabby Bernstein term for what people (especially women) do when they're in tough life phases. We start to trip out over what our future holds. A single mom is constantly in her head wondering, "will I always be alone?" and "are my kids going to suffer being raised by a single mom" and "can i really do this?" Our projection becomes our perception and it can spiral OUT of control when we allow our ego to get control over our ID (the deeper self).
Flip the script: I AM fully present in the moment and will not focus my energy on what hasn't happened. I WILL focus my energy on what I can control, which is here and now.
Notice each time I "flipped the script" I used assertive language. Try to focus on what you CAN do rather than what you CANT. Focus on what you ARE rather than what you ARENT. Your self talk is THE most important tool you have because what you think about you bring about. You can change your world by changing the way you react to the world.
Parenting expert, blogger, inventor, single mom to twins, barefoot nomad, adventure seeker, boho spirit, advocate of play