What has felt like a lifetime has only been 10 months. Can you believe it? It feels like I have run 50 marathons back-to-back (thanks partially to Covid-19) and still the finish line is not even in sight. But, the race has become easier. I have figured out a rhythm, identified weak spots and times, and have paid close attention to refuelling. Although I have been fighting a new battle for the past 2 weeks, overall I think I have figured out this single mama business – at the moment, at least. Since I am feeling so confident today, I wish to share with you the 5 things I have realised are key to me feeling like I am handling myself and my kids successfully. Use them, don’t use them, either way, I am feeling great that I was able to share!
My 5 key things to make you a great single mama:
1. Live in the moment.
This I wish I could shout from the rooftops – forget tomorrow, embrace today! You only have now, and your kids only have you now. Give them your undivided attention and you will reap the rewards. Embrace the moment, even if it sucks. That too shall pass.
2. Don’t dwell on the past (but also don’t worry about the future).
The only time it does you any good to think about the past is when you are dissecting what you need to fix in order to grow or improve. Thinking about yesterday as a way to berate or justify yourself is not only a waste of time but a waste of energy and emotions. Forget yesterday. But also, stop fretting about tomorrow – you are stealing joy from today. Easier said than done, but definitely worth practising! Also, read point 1.
3. The days are long, so tackle them one at a time.
This ties in with points 1 and 2, and serves as a reminder to live moment by moment. Unexpected things will happen, you will get surprises (nasty and good), schedules will change, etc. Then remind yourself that to-do lists can be moved, excuses can be made, dates can be rescheduled. For now, focus on the small pleasures like a warm smile, a hug, a splash in the pool – the pure joy of your kids.
4. People you thought would always be there might not be.
Don’t know about you, but I had a few surprises of being dropped like a hot potato the moment I needed support? Some people just do not have it in them to be there through the good and the bad. But on the other hand, I also have lots of new people who came into my life, and a few other people who surprised me with their understanding and empathy! Embrace your tribe, use their support, and give it back to them also.
5. There are no breaks.
Let us not beat around the bush. Being a single parent is more than a full-time job. Even if you have help. You still need to be there emotionally for your kids. You are the one they turn to. You are the one who needs to make sure they are brought up well. All of that rests on your shoulders, and it is dam exhausting. But know this – you are not doing it alone. If you have your tribe and you have God, you can make it. Although there are no breaks, this too shall come to an end, and I am venturing to say that then you will miss it.
I have realised one big thing – I regret more the things I didn’t do than I regret the things I did. So for now I am focussing on doing instead of thinking. Thinking leads to anxiety and fear and depression, but doing – well, doing can move you forward.
I hope these help! Please share with me what you would like other single mamas to know.