A Single Mom Birthday

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When you’re a single mom and it’s your birthday, it’s pretty much like every other day. Chores. Cleaning. School responsibilities. Figuring out all 3 meals and snacks. Usually, making most, all or planning out all of those said meals. Virtual school. The same old same old.

Your kids don’t always remember it’s your birthday. Mine didn’t. She thought my birthday was next week. It’s not. It was this past Friday. I think I’ll cut her slack since she’s 9 and we’re living in a pandemic without a real sense of a calendar or time as hard as I try to have a schedule. It was truly the first year though, that it didn’t even feel like my birthday. It didn’t feel celebratory. I did see friends over the weekend, but I don’t know. Between virtual school and the responsibility of working from home and everything else, this year has felt so depressing and isolating. I really don’t know if I will make it through 2020.

In the Dark,

Laura

Being a Single Mom Right Now Has Pushed Me to My Limits

Whichever way you slice it, no one has it easy during this unprecedented time in the world. No one is jumping around for joy. Everyone is bogged down with stress and anxiety, and we’re all dealing with the changes the best we can. But I have to admit that as a single mom, this current health crisis has pushed me to the limit.

There are now limits I never thought I’d see before. There are people celebrating how excited they are to have their spouse home and their busy, independent teenagers. I get this. But then there’s me: acting as head teacher, cook, cleaning lady, employee of the month, and mom of the year, 24/7 — with no way to tap out.

Read More: Being a Single Mom Right Now Has Pushed Me to My Limits

Hang Tough,

Laura

10 Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Favorite Single Mom

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Lately, I’m running on empty. I’ve had a few fires to put out and other contending fires to still manage. Welcome to life as a single mom. Surprisingly, I’ve handled it all really well– minus some sleepless nights and a little heartburn. I can thank my dad for the heartburn. Pretty sure genetically, he handed that down to me. But I digress.

Valentine’s Day is in 8 days (yay!), and with that said, this single mom could use a few Valentine’s gifts for anyone in the mood to buy me something. Wink.

And if you don’t personally feel like gifting me, I’m pretty sure any other single mom I know would like these gifts!

Starbucks Gift Card

Your single mom would love a coffee gift card because chances are … she runs on Dunkin or the ‘Bucks.

Someone to Make Lunch

I hate making school lunches. I would love someone to make my kid’s lunch for a week!

A Big Box of Godiva

You can hand pick the truffles she wants at Godiva, and damn, it’s delicious.

I need one. I want one. I MUST HAVE ONE!

Bring Her Dinner or Take Her Out

Relieve her burden. Take her to dinner! Bring her dinner! Give her the night off, already.

Massage or Mani/Pedi

Chances are if you’re a single mom, treating yourself comes with either intense financial guilt … or doesn’t come at all due to $ or time.

Treat a lady!

Champagne or Wine

A nice bottle will take the edge of the last X of days I’ve been kicking *ss as a single mom.

Send!

Cozy PJs or Lingerie

If you’re her friend, don’t buy her lingerie unless she’s feeling you, too.

If you’re more than friends, treat her to something beautiful. Bring chocolate too.

If you’re just friends, cozy pajamas with some hot cocoa is super sweet.

Watch Her Kid/s

Be a babysitter. Give her a break. Don’t text her as you’re watching her kids either, unless it’s urgent.

Do a Chore For Her

Do the groceries. Fold the laundry. Clean the house. Get dirty for her. Give her a day off.

Just Make Her Feel Special & Appreciated

Enough said!

X’s & O’s,

Laura

 

12 Days of Christmas, Single Mom Style

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Photo by Ira Ostafijchuk on Unsplash

I tend to listen to holiday music ad nausem because I miss singing in choir; this season always reminds me of numerous years of concerts I either sang or sang and played an instrument in over the years. But, as I “race” to get stuff done– and try to remember hiding the elves for my daughter, and oh can’t forget Hanukkah too, it all blurs by. This is when I wish I had four hands instead of two, but part of being a single mom is learning how to be more than one person. Guess what? I still haven’t quite learned because it’s just not possible.

It had me making up my own little 12 days of Christmas song– if only.

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Giving Up Things You Need & Love: Life As a Single Parent

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Photo by Sergei Gavrilov on Unsplash

Sometimes we hit hard patches in life and we have to give up things we love. At the tail end of this year, I got hit with something that cost me financially a lot to handle– but I had to handle it. I couldn’t walk away or retreat from the matter and I ended up doing the right thing. But as a single parent, it was a financial hit I didn’t need as I already had endured enough the past six years. Not to mention the holidays– as much as I try to watch my funds and stick to a budget– it still costs– even with me being mindful.

So, after tallying up what I will need to pay for the next month or so, it hit me I may have to give up some things I love and some I even need in order to keep going, which really hurts. No one truly knows the financial sacrifices involved when you are a single parent– unless you are one as well.

My most favorite thing and really my one source of consistent artistic and physical joy, is dance.

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Gratitude: This Single Mom Sees Wins & Rewards Everywhere– Despite Hardship

After a very difficult few weeks– and a few still upcoming, I was pretty spent. Tired, lack of appetite and a bit quiet.

Yet, as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah and the New Year approaches, I remain pretty grateful even despite.

I didn’t find love or create as much work as I wanted to in 2019. I didn’t do as much financially as I wanted to in terms of debt management or savings.

But I did pay down quite a bit. I did make some huge strides financially. I learned a whole new skill (tap dancing and jazz). I improved my turns (ballet) and form at the barre. I wrote and found new clients and did my final pieces for former clients. I just got word from another writer about forming a long-distance writing group. I may do two recitals in 2020.

And I got closer to my child.

This past weekend, I got so many hugs from her– and I could see the results of the care I provide and protection I give for her. More often than not, I put myself aside to make things work for her. I am one person with a lot of responsibility so sometimes, I cannot do as much as I would like– but I am still one person who really cares.

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5 Things I Won’t Ever Apologize for as a Single Mom

I’ve said sorry more times than I care to admit. I’ve apologized for so many things.

I’ve apologized …

  • For stuff I’ve actually done
  • Crap I thought about doing
  • Things I wanted to do
  • For things I worried I might do
  • For things I’ve never even done
  • For my existence

Women are raised to apologize and be “good” all the time. Couple that with some insecurities and, bam, you’ve got a walking, talking apology machine.

But each day, week, month, and year, I get a bit stronger and a bit more sure of myself. And I’m tired of saying “sorry,” “my apologies,” “I didn’t mean to,” and a whole bunch of other phrases that all make me put my metaphorical tail between my legs.

Read More: 5 Things I Won’t Ever Apologize for as a Single Mom

NOT Sorry,

Laura

How To Put Your Kid Ahead Of Your Ego With The Custody Schedule

Making a custody schedule is about as fun as stubbing your toe on a Lego or getting food poisoning. However, if you’re divorcing with kids you’ve got to make a schedule that works, which means rolling up your sleeves with your ex and potentially, a mediator or lawyers if needed (hopefully not) and putting it in writing.

The hardest part of all of this is putting your kids before yourself.

It shouldn’t be. I mean, a custody schedule is all about the children, but it’s not uncommon for divorcing parents to let their egos get in the way when making a schedule for their kids.

The bottom line is, of course, you and your ex need to consider your own personal needs and work schedules, but the kids’ needs have to come first.

Here are a few tips to keep your ego in check and put your kids first:

Read More: How To Put Your Kid Ahead Of Your Ego With The Custody Schedule

Put Them First,

Laura

How to Network & Relaunch Your Career After Divorce

Okay, lady. You just got your divorce signed, sealed and delivered. You’re probably a bit weary, a lot tired and maybe completely terrified.

Been there, done that—certified in those feelings totally.

And now, you’ve got more financial responsibilities on your shoulders. While your life has unraveled, it’s now time for you to get it all buttoned up and particularly, with your career.

Believe it or not, your divorce could be the launching pad you need to either totally revamp your career or start one altogether. Even though it’s a time of crisis, it is a time of renewal and a time to focus on you and your life path for at least the next 1-10 years.

So, how will you get your career off the ground or, shined and polished up? With a bit of networking and strategy, that’s how:

GET THE TOOLS

Before you start networking like a fiend, you need to know what tools you’ll need to make your career blast off.

Is it:

  • More education? Do you need to go back to school? If so, can you take out loans? Can you set aside any money weekly? What about your assets? Can you sell your engagement ring, wedding band or marital jewelry to help fund this endeavor?
  • A better resume? Do you need to invest in a resume writer? Perhaps you need two separate resumes or more—in order to nail down the position you want, you may have to test out a few resumes.
  • A job switch? Do you have to leave your current job altogether to get to where you want to go? Or, could you move up or laterally in the company? Consider your “directionality.”

Read More: How to Network & Relaunch Your Career After Divorce

Be Empowered,

Laura

Being a Mom With No Family Support Is the Hardest Thing Ever

Motherhood is hard enough but it’s even more so when you don’t have family support. It used to be that the family “village” was always there for you when you had children, but times have changed. For me, my parents are much older, so they’re not available to me. If anything, they need me to check in on them. Many of my friends are also in this same boat — older parents that simply can’t be as helpful as they’d like to be. For others, some of their families are far away, absent or plain old dysfunctional.

There is no doubt that without those helpful family hands, having a baby and young children can feel like a huge hurdle. I’m talking to you, working mom with a sick baby and no PTO days left. I’m talking to you, mom with PPD and two kids under 2.

Here are some of the challenges that come about when your family village just can’t — or won’t — be there:

Dreaded Sick Days

Let’s face it — not many college-aged kids or really, anyone, wants to watch a sick kid. But when your kid is in day care or school and germ season hits, the sick days roll in and they don’t stop.

But you don’t have any more paid time off. If you’re lucky, you can work from home and no one in the office will gossip about you. If you’re not lucky, you’ll lose pay or have the whole office gossiping about you being out, again.

Read More: Being a Mom With No Family Support Is the Hardest Thing Ever

Hang Tough,

Laura