Single parenthood is the hardest thing I have done in my life. Every time I think I have it down, life throws me a curve ball and reminds me that I’m just a student of motherhood who will be dealing with a whirlwind syllabus for the rest of my life. I think all mothers can relate to this. Still, I find the pressure of mothering alone to be particularly intense. I often hold myself to impossible standards. I have lost a home and moved and then moved again for work. I have tried to build a career while figuring out how to be a solo parent at the same time.
One thing I’ve learned in this burgeoning journey: There are some things a single mom and her kids need and deserve to be happy. For starters, our own health and happiness are vital—a foundation for our kids to perch and grow upon. If we’re rocky, chances are our kids will stumble on the stones. This doesn’t mean we need to be perfect, but it does mean single moms (and as in my case, moms of divorce) must care for ourselves even as we fervently attend to our children.
Here are some of the things I believe we single moms need to do it.
1. A Single-Mom Network or Friend to Fall Back On
You must, must, must, even with all of your wonderful married friends, have at least one single mom friend who sees you as family, and vice versa. This will allow you both to help each other out when times get tough. No one understands your situation better than those wearing the same clunky shoes. So get out there and befriend someone. Even if you don’t have a ton in common, that one common bond will help both of you—even if it’s being each other’s emergency contact and back-up childcare.
Read More:12 Things Single Working Moms and Their Kids Need for a Happy Life
Build Your Network,