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Being a single mom really sucks sometimes.
There, I said it.
Moms have a lot on their plates as it is. But when you’re trying to do all the things yourself, it just feels so much harder.
And finding ways to be kind to yourself falls pretty low on the ‘ole list of priorities a lot of the time.
But it’s something you need to do, lest you develop an unsightly eye twitch from all the stress. (Not that I would know from personal experience or anything. )
Taking care of yourself is important not just for you but for your kids, too. Because who likes a grumpy mom?
(Not my kids, believe me.)
So if you’ve been neglecting yourself lately, here are five ways to make it right.
How to Be Kind to Yourself: Tips for the Busy Single Mom
1. Take Care of Your Money
The money struggle is real for a lot of single moms.
On the list of biggest financial challenges single parents face, low income, inconsistent child support, poor credit and debt are all near the top.
Thankfully, I’m in a place where money doesn’t stress me out anymore. But it did, once upon a time. so I decided I had to change that.
And it ended up being a kind of financial self-care, though I didn’t realize it at the time. By paying attention to my money situation, I was able to remove a major source of anxiety in my life.
So for my single moms reading this, here’s what you need to work on to take care of your money:
Learn to budget
Making a budget is a must as a single mom. Even if you’re clueless about budgeting, you can still learn to create a basic plan for managing how you spend every month.
Pay off your debt
I had $50,000+ in debt when I first became a single mom, between student loans and credit cards. And I hated it so I made paying off my debt one of my top financial goals.
Grow your income
Turning my freelance writing side hustle into a business was the smartest money decision I’ve made as a single mom. It’s given us total financial freedom as a family.
(And you can learn more about how I make $200,000+ per year freelancing in this interview at Live a Blissful Life!)
So, if you want to be kind to yourself as a single mom, pick one thing you can do right now to make your financial situation better.
Here are a few posts that can help:
- How to Start a Side Hustle: An Ultimate Guide for Moms
- 12 Profitable Side Hustles That Are Perfect for Single Moms
- 6 Smart Ways to Manage Your Finances as a Single Mom
2. Take Care of Your Health
Good health is so important as a single mom.
Because you know what happens when you get sick, right? The entire world comes screeching to a halt.
If you have friends or family nearby who can help you out, it’s not so bad. But if you don’t, then being sick is something you just don’t have time for.
So, you have to stay on top of your health. That means physically, mentally and emotionally.
Here are some of my favorite ways to stay healthy as a single mom:
I try to work out at home every day if I can because that’s my “quiet” time. If you can do the same or hit the gym, then great.
But if you can’t, then just walking around the block with the kids can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Get enough sleep
I cherish my sleep and I hate when it gets interrupted. Make sure you’re getting enough rest so you don’t feel like a total mombie in the mornings.
Have a routine
Routine is good for keeping order in your house and your thoughts. When you have a daily pattern to follow, it’s easier to get things done without stressing.
Making three meals a day can be hard when you’re a busy single mom, whether you work at home or outside of it.
If you don’t have time for organic, home-made everything try to fit in at least one healthy meal a day, for yourself and your kids.
Bonus tip: Check out HealthyWage–you can get paid real money to lose weight and get healthy!
Make time for self-care.
Practicing self-care matters for all moms but it’s can be tougher as a single mom if you never seem to get a break. But carving out even 5 to 10 minutes a day can give you the time you need to be kind to yourself.
Check out these posts for more ideas:
- How to Create a Morning Routine (When You Hate Mornings)
- 15 Simple Self-Care Rituals for Busy Moms Who Need a Break
- How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a WAHM
3. Say No
Here’s a weird fact about me: I’m an introvert but also a yes person.
Saying no, whether it’s to a freelance writing gig, a field trip with our homeschool group or some other trivial thing, makes me feel guilty.
And I know I’m not doing myself any favors. Because for one thing, I’m busy.
I just don’t have time to do all the things, no matter how productive I try to be.
And saying yes to social things just plain stresses me out. (See my introvert comment earlier.)
So, learning to say no is something I’m working on.
If you want to be kind to yourself and not add to your stress load, then get comfortable with saying no too.
Try taking the KonMari approach if you don’t know where to start. Say no to things, situations or people that don’t spark joy.
Now, I’ll warn you. Saying no will make people unhappy.
Heck, some people might even try to make you feel guilty about it.
But stand your ground. Don’t let other peoples’ expectations dictate what you do–or don’t–do.
4. Skip the mom guilt
Ah, mom guilt.
I think every mom feels it at some point or another but it can be especially strong if you’re a single mom.
Because we get judged all the time, right?
Society attaches this stigma to single moms that we just can’t seem to shake. And what’s worse is when you get judged by people you know, like your parents or mom friends.
So the last thing you need to do is add to that with your own personal guilt trip.
If you want to be kind to yourself as a single mom, you can start by accepting these truths:
- You are not a perfect mom. (But hey, NO mom is perfect.)
- It’s okay to not be perfect.
- It’s even okay to not feel great about being a mom sometimes.
- You will screw up and make mistakes as a parent.
- Your mistakes don’t define who you are or how much you love your kids.
Look, I would love to win a mom of the year award but…it’s not happening. But I’m okay with it.
And if you want to be okay with it too, you have to kick that mom guilt firmly to the curb.
5. Ask for help
I’ll admit, I’m terrible at asking for help.
I’d rather do everything myself than ask someone to lend a hand. Doesn’t matter what it is.
And that’s not a great character trait. In fact, it just makes life as a single mom harder for me a lot of the time.
Maybe you’re the same way. But if you want to be kind to yourself, you have to get out of that pattern.
Asking for help is hard, I know. Every mom feels the pressure to try and be a super mom.
But sometimes asking for help is the very best thing you can do, for yourself and your kids.
If you don’t have a tribe you can call on for help, work on building one.
Connect with other moms, get friends and family to pitch in, pay someone to do a chore around the house that you can’t stand or don’t have time for.
Reach out to coworkers, your church family if you have one, your next-door neighbors. Join a single mom support group on Facebook or through a local meetup.
Bottom line, the more people you can get on your team, the better.
Do You Have a Tip for Managing Life as a Single Mom?
I’ve given you five simple strategies you can use to make life as a single mom less stressful and more enjoyable.
Now it’s your turn — head to the comments and share your favorite ideas for ways to be kind to yourself.
And I’d love it if you’d pin and share this post if it helped you!