We have all met at least a few people who have been dying to get a good night’s sleep because their children have been keeping them up all night. Although it seems like those people exaggerate the situation, they actually don’t. Raising a child is one of the hardest tasks to accomplish in this world.
Especially if you are a single parent, it may feel like a heavy burden at times. Taking care of a kid is really difficult even when two people are doing it so if you feel overwhelmed by it, just relax. It is totally normal for you to feel that way. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love your kid or anything; it is just a really hard thing to do alone.
Statistics tell us that almost 17% of the children between the ages 0-14 are being raised by a single parent. That is a really high percentage.
Plus, almost 88% of these parents are single moms. You can actually understand a single mom’s struggle when you start thinking about things such as a woman’s status in society and the gender pay gap.
If you are one of them don’t worry, you are not alone. There are lots of single moms out there anyway. In order to make your life at least a little bit easier, we prepared a list that might help you. Here are the 7 things you can do when you feel overwhelmed as a single mom:
1) Ask for Help
You don’t have to take care of things just by yourself. There is nothing wrong with asking for support from a friend or a relative. Being a single mom is hard enough, don’t make it even harder for yourself.
Don’t be ashamed of asking a friend if it is okay for him/her to take care of your child for a few hours. It doesn’t make you a weak mom in any way at all. Everybody is well aware of the fact that it is not easy for a single mom. So, if you have strong relationships with your friends and relatives, asking for support should not be a problem.
Also, if you are divorced, try to maintain a mature, friendly and healthy relationship with your ex as long as it is possible. Although you might reject this approach based on some circumstances, that way you can ask for some help from your ex whenever you are in need.
2) Stop Being Extremely Serious
Being a mom and taking care of your child is not only about being extremely serious, but it is also about spending quality time with him/her. Both you and your kid need and deserve some fun time.
Life is not all about the chores. Doing the chores can wait and nothing will happen if it does for a little while. However, if you procrastinate fun activities, you will eventually start feeling overwhelmed and depressed.
So, stop being extremely serious and try to do some fun activities with your kid instead. It will relieve the stress of both you and your kid because seeing your kid happy will make you feel that you did a great job.
3) Remember That They Are Kids
When you are overwhelmed by being a single mom, it might be easier for you to get frustrated by your kid. But at those times, you should try to remember that your kid’s behaviors are not really well-thought since he/she is a kid and they are not mentally developed enough.
You should not forget that kids are not capable of thinking about how they can make you feel while doing something. Thus, don’t push them too hard or else you wouldn’t be only upsetting your kid but also yourself.
Since knowing this will give comfort to you, try to calm yourself down by reminding yourself that they are just kids.
4) Create a Routine
When your life is unstable and you feel like you are falling apart because of that, it helps to create a routine so that you might know what to do at a certain situation at a certain time. The best part of creating a routine is that your kid will feel more secure.
Having a routine will make you feel organized and this will calm you down a lot when you feel overwhelmed. Some people might be disturbed by the fact that routines are monotonous. But, keep in mind that monotonous actions might make you more relaxed at times where you feel like you can’t go on.
You can do this by having a fixed sleeping schedule and setting a specific period of time where you can handle your daily tasks like doing the chores or preparing dinner. You can also try to arrange a relaxing time for yourself if you feel like you need one.
5) Give Honest Answers to Your Child
It is understandable if you feel like children are not grown enough to be able to handle real answers. Nevertheless, if you manage to give those answers in a way that is appropriate for their age and if you can be open and honest with them, they might be able to calm you down a lot.
Children will try to understand you, even though they cannot be great at it. Without a suspect, they will try to comfort you in their own way. At the same time, they will be developing mentally and learn about empathy as well which is a good opportunity to help them improve.
Your kid might stop (or at least decrease the level of) giving you a hard time when he/she hears what you might be going through. Your child is still a kid so do not expect mature behaviors from him/her though. But, he/she will try to help you, therefore reduce your negative emotions.
6) Try not to Feel Guilty
There is not a single person on this earth who does everything as he/she should. Considering that parenting is one of the hardest things you can do on this earth, it is not hard to imagine that a parent will never be great at parenting.
Nobody is perfect. Everyone does some mistakes and as a single parent, it is impossible for you to manage to do everything on your own. Nobody can.
Thus, know that there is no point in feeling any kind of guilt. Let’s say you don’t have adequate time to spend with your kid, then the solution is not continuing to do the exact same thing while feeling guilty about it.
Instead, you should try to stop feeling guilty knowing that it doesn’t fix anything and try to create more time to spend with your kid. It doesn’t matter feeling bad about something if you are not trying to solve it.
As a result, don’t feel bad if you feel like you are inadequate to meet your child’s need. No need to make yourself feel even worse for something that is impossible. No need to feel overwhelmed.
If you ever find yourself feeling guilty, try to remember the things that you are providing for your kid. Food, love, a home, a family. That way you can stop being too hard on yourself.
Be realistic and reasonable when you are trying to understand your faults and what you can do about fixing them. Being a single mother is hard, don’t underestimate and overwhelm yourself just because you made a tiny mistake.
7) Take Care of Yourself
Yes, your child needs your attention but that doesn’t mean that you should stop taking care of yourself as soon as you start taking care of your kid. In fact, that might harm both you and your kid.
Not taking care of yourself might be the greatest reason you are feeling overwhelmed as a single mom. You are an individual too and you have your own needs, which
For example, if you have time, try to exercise. Exercise keeps your mind off things and it is a great way to stay healthy. Taking a hot bath might do the trick as well.
However, you might not have the time for it. If that is the case, trying to get a good night’s sleep is a great way. Sleep deprivation might be the reason for your feeling depressed and overwhelmed, so try to keep a healthy sleeping schedule.
Also, try to eat well. Although it sounds trivial it actually works. Also, it is easy and not time-consuming at all since it doesn’t requires anything extra compared to having an unhealthy meal.
Another thing you should keep in mind when you are trying to take care of yourself is the effect of classical music has on people. Studies show that listening to classical music just for 30 minutes creates a calming effect on people. So, it is good for you to listen to classical music for as much as you can every single day.
In conclusion, no matter if you are divorced or a widow, there are a few things you can do to make life easier for yourself. Don’t ever be shy to ask for help, everyone needs help. Don’t be serious all the time and take it easy. Try to remember that they are just kids.
Try to have a routine for yourself. Give honest answers to your child which are age-appropriate. Don’t blame yourself if you feel like you made a mistake at parenting. More importantly, never neglect yourself and always take care of yourself.
Nobody is awesome at parenting, so as a single mom, don’t go too hard on yourself as it really is a hard job. Keep these things in mind and things will start to get easier eventually. If these do not work, remember to ask for help. Do not reject getting professional help when you need it