7 Reasons You May Struggle as a Solo Mom
Being a solo mom comes with unique challenges. Whether or not you chose to be a solo mom, you are still doing the job of two people. So it's more difficult than if both parents actively do their part.
"Life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a mother" Unknown
However, many strategies exist to help alleviate the struggles that may come with mothering solo. Below are 7 reasons why you may struggle as a solo mom.
1. You don’t love yourself
If a plane is going down, you're instructed to put on your oxygen mask first before you put on your child’s. This doesn't make sense to a mom. Because you want to take care of your child first right?
Wrong. What happens if you are incapacitated or dead? Who will take care of your child then?
Moms in general, and solo moms especially need to put their health and wellbeing first. It’s a hard lesson to learn. And some of us die without even realizing that just taking care of ourselves would keep us living longer to take care of those we love.
Learn to love yourself. If you don’t love yourself how can you truly love others?
By loving yourself you ensure that you are physically and mentally able to take care of others. As long as you live.
2. You Don’t Take Care of Yourself
Loving yourself requires you to take care of yourself. Mentally, Physically, emotionally and spiritually. You create a safe environment for your mental health. You seek help when you need it. You take breaks and practice good mental hygiene.
Develop good habits that create a healthy lifestyle. Listen to your heart. Pursue your dreams.
Eat only foods that keep you healthy and strong. Exercise. But also train your doctor to be your health care partner not your dictator. Read your test results. Ask for an explanation if you don’t understand them. Get a second or third opinion on diagnosis. Be well informed about the medicines you are instructed to take.
The power is in your hand. Ask questions not only about your own health but also about the healthcare of your children.
Taking care of yourself requires not taking your health for granted.
You don’t allow anyone to treat you bad. If you do. You will not be emotionally healthy.
3. You Don’t Get Healing
One of the quickest ways to heal your hurt is to forgive yourself. Then you forgive others who have hurt you. Forgiveness frees you from guilt and shame. When you remain angry and sad, you allow another person to dictate your moods and feelings.
If you have old trauma pulling you into darkness. Get help. See a therapist or speak with a mentor. There are organizations that match single moms with mentors. If you can’t afford a therapist.
Seek spiritual help. You will understand how loved you are. Seeking God doesn’t meant you have to join a religion. God doesn’t care about religion. But he cares about you. Even the hairs on your head.
Healing can be faster when you surrender your will. Letting go doesn’t mean you are weak. It frees the energy you are wasting on fear, anger, and unforgiveness, so you can focus on building on your terms.
4. You Date Before You are Whole
When you have issues that you don’t address they can fester and boil over in the worst scenario. You take what others say out of context resulting in an argument. Or you miss the signs of an abuser and mistake it for love.
You are so busy looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places that you can’t see the signs before it’s too late. You find yourself right back where you started. A solo mom.
But if you don’t want to be a solo mom. If having a loving partner is your desire. Start by healing yourself and getting whole.
Spend time with yourself. Knowing who you are. As you discover your true self you will begin to seek healing. You will start loving yourself. You will raise your standards.
One thing to remember is that you are not half looking for another half. It’s “two becomes one”. So your other half isn’t out there. If you continue looking for your other half. That’s exactly what you will find.
Become whole. Heal and love yourself. Stop looking for what you missed out on as a chid in your future partner. It’s unfair to him, yourself or your children. For one, he has no idea you need those things. And for another it’s not his job. It was your parents in the case of neglect and abandonment. Or your therapist to help you heal front those trauma.
So keep relationships at bay until you are whole. You do not have to be perfect. It’s about being your best self. Wholly.
That way when the imposter comes you will spot him a mile away. And you won’t miss Mr. Right.
5. You Make Co-Parenting About You
Divorce happens. Relationships end. It’s a sad fact of life. However, children still need their parents. So unless he’s a bastard who will hurt the kiddos, you owe it to yourself to work out co-parenting arrangement that works for the kids.
One of my podcast guests, had an arrangement where her son spent two weeks with her and two weeks with his dad. Of course that may only works if you are both in the same neighborhood/school district - maybe.
But find a way to make it work.
If dad wants to be engaged and take responsibility. You both need to find a way to ensure your kids' wellbeing, under the current circumstances.
It might feel better to fight and try to make him pay. But the only ones paying are your kids.
6. You Don't Give Your Kids Space to Grow
Helicopter parenting is the worst injustice to your child. You may think that you are helping them but you are not. I made the mistake of doing almost everything for my children. Especially my middle child. The worst thing is I didn’t even realize it until he was 25.
"If you are worried about being a good mother, it means you are already one"
And no I don’t sit around feeling guilty about it. At least not anymore. But I did. I felt responsible for his actions. I know I’m not but tell that to a solo mom
You have to let your children the space they need to learn and grow. You have to give them the opportunity to experience life. Sometimes they will get hurt. But they will never handle adversity if you try to protect them from life.
So teach them to cook. Let them learn to drive. If dad’s not around and maybe even if he is, find them a mentor.
Your child need the experience of being a child. Smothering him or her doesn’t protect them. And they might even resent you for it
So mom. Grow a pair. Let your little eagle soar.
If you are a loving person they will always want to come home.
7. You Think You’re an Island
So you got hurt. Or their dad isn't the nicest person. That's alright. You can go it alone. But can you though?
Don't fool yourself into thinking you don't need anybody. This attitude can be especially dangerous if you decide to isolate yourself from everyone. It's a losing strategy.
Let others help where you need help. Maybe you pay someone for services like therapy or childcare. But if you can't afford to pay you may have to ask someone. Season 3 Episode 5 podcast episode suggest getting to know your neighbor so you can find time to rest, especially at that time of the month. Your body need to rest. When you are exhausted you will not make wise decisions. It's difficult to think on your feet when you are in a mental fog. And you have to think on your feet when you have kids.
Finally, learn to pray for grace and favor. If you want forgiveness and healing God can give you the peace you need. Life doesn't have to be such a struggle when you have faith.
So don't be selfish. Get help. You can't do it alone. No solo mom is an island.