For many single mothers, life is often a challenge. Caring for your children plus working to provide for them is a 24 hour job. Here are tips that can help you become more stress-free. Of course, check back often for advice from The Passionista Playbook’s own Single Mom Maven Tinzley Bradford. Thanks to Caroline jones, mother of three for this great advice post! -aa
When it comes to the “fast life,” single moms live it to the extreme.
There is perhaps no greater day-to-day challenge than raising children, working, and taking care of all household responsibilities all on your own. You cope with a baseline of stress that’s higher than most, and you feel like things just never stop moving. No one can blame you if you feel a little crazy sometimes – or all the time.
Here are 5 ideas to help you handle it all.
Delegate Whenever Possible.
You have to take care of so much, that it’s hard to let go of having control. You feel like you have to do it all, and that if you don’t, you’re somehow failing or placing your burden on others. Stop thinking that way.
If you can delegate even small tasks to other people – a friend, parent, your children’s father, or even the kids themselves – do it. The people who love you want to help you, and you deserve to have some help.
Delegating responsibilities can make everything easier.
Make Your Free Time a Priority.
While it seems like you never have a minute to spare, that’s just not true. As a single mom, you feel pressure to take care of everything, and there’s a lot to do. If you reexamine your priorities, however, you might find that there are some things that aren’t quite as important as having free time for yourself.
You need that time to de-stress and do something you enjoy, so make it a priority. For example, at night, if you have the choice between loading up the dishwasher or taking a long bubble bath, remember that the dishes can wait.
Feel Proud Instead of Guilty.
Don’t feel guilty for your alleged shortcomings. You’re harder on yourself than you should be. Instead of feeling guilty for the things you don’t do, feel proud for what you do accomplish, which is a hell of a lot. You’re a strong woman who faces many obstacles.
Focus on the good things about yourself – and there are a lot – instead of what you perceive to be not good enough.
Stop Saying the Word “Should.”
Really listen the next time you talk to yourself. Are you saying, “I should do this. I should do that?” Stop. “Should” is a word that you must eliminate from your vocabulary. You think you “should” do something, but says who? “Should” is a word that implies you’re not doing enough, and you can’t keep beating yourself up like that.
Replace “should” with “need to” or “want to.”
There are only needs and wants in life, and nothing in between. Identifying whether something you “should” do is actually a need or a want will help you give yourself more realistic standards and goals.
Live in the Moment
Your kids are growing up so fast, and one day you won’t have nearly as many responsibilities, because they’ll be adults. Stop rushing around all the time, and live in the moment. Really cherish the time you have with your children.
Laugh, smile, and take advantage of the precious time you have together, because once it’s gone, you can never get it back.
Writer Caroline Jones lives in Phoenix and is the mother of three. She is a professional chef but is constantly working and often relies on frozen food to feed her family.
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