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Beating The Single Mom Blues
Every single mom goes through it. You stay up late into the night, wake up before dawn, scramble through your day, caffeinated beverage permanently glued to your hand, wondering if you will get a moment to just sit and think. Then (hallelujah!), your window of opportunity opens up and you seize the moment. Then you immediately wish that you hadn't, because earlier in the day, someone made a comment about your parenting, or you heard something on the radio that reminded you that you forgot do do something. You are always wondering if you are doing the right thing. Are you doing enough? Being the best mom you can be? Are your kids going to turn out to be serial killers? How do you beat the single mom blues?
You are NOT Alone... EVER!
One of the worst feelings a single parent deals with is the feeling that you are alone, but never REALLY alone. My four year old daughter always follows my into the bathroom. When I tell her that I need to be alone, she says, "I want to be alone WITH you!" It is in these frustrating moments that I am reminded that though I am alone in this, because I have the kids, I am not really alone.
The best way to beat the loneliness is by asking the kids to help. It may not always be easy to get your children to help you out, but there is always something that they will want to do for you. For example, my son, age 9, likes to vacuum for me. My daughter tries to help me fold the laundry, usually ending in disaster, but my point is, the kids see everything that you do and like to help in their own way. Let them help, and smile as they struggle through it. They are part of the team.
Your life is CRAZY!
Everybody has a morning routine. You get up, get the kids dressed, fed and out the door. It sounds easy enough, right? I usually end up breaking up a fight over a toy, and chasing after my daughter to wrestle her into her coat and boots. It takes about ten times as long to get my kids out the door, than it does to get my son to school.
Life is hectic on its own, without trying to raise children by yourself. I find that when I get frustrated with the day to day madness, the best thing I can do is ask for a little help. I would be lost if my mother didn't come to see the kids once in a while. I see that as an opportunity to take a little break. If you can't get anyone to help you out, find a way to keep the children occupied, so you can just sit and have a cup of coffee, or take a quick shower (with the bathroom door open, of course). It took me a while to master that trick, but once you do, you'll be able to find time to unwind.
This the feeling that I struggle with the most, as a single mom. At the mere mention of anything that I have been putting off, or could be doing better, I feel like a complete and total failure. All moms feel this way at some point. We never want to admit that we're not perfect. So, you kids ate Pop Tarts for breakfast a few times this week, or your son had to wear his sister's pink gloves to school, because he lost his. Nobody is perfect.
It helps me to remember that other people really aren't all that worried about the way you are raising your kids, because they are too busy worrying about what YOU think about how they are living their lives. We spend way too much time and energy trying to please others with how we live our lives, when they really don't care. They have their own stuff to worry about. I find that the best way to get past this, is to admit that I am not perfect. Nobody is! All you can do is try your hardest. Do everything that you can to be the best mother you are capable of being, and learn to be okay with that. Try not to compare yourself to others, because they live lives that are entirely different than your own. And remember, they are just as worried about what YOU think!
I will readily admit that I don't wish single parenthood on anybody! It's a tough life, but it is so rewarding, when you take a step back and see that you really are doing the best that you can. Nobody has a perfect life. There will always be a toy to trip on, a forgotten lunch, or tears to wipe away, but you do the best you can, and learn to be okay with imperfection. You don't expect everyone else to be perfect, so why torture yourself.