There are a lot of single moms out there that are struggling, according to countless research. We try to be the best mom we can be, but sometimes we fail. This makes this conversation so paramount. It is essential to our mental well-being.
Although being a parent may be lonely, we are also profoundly linked by shared experiences and comparable feelings. So if you feel alone and like you are drowning in this motherhood role, Please know…You are NOT alone, Queen!
There is solace in numbers, even if it is not a solution in and of itself. We don’t lack anything and aren’t failing, exactly. Our society is designed to keep us always looking to the outside world & at the external, and as a result, we are consumed by it. Thus, we are naturally experiencing the following feelings:
Yes, all of these emotions are entirely normal, but they also make us behave in ways that do not necessarily align with how we would like to conduct ourselves as Single mothers. Am I right?
We either give in to our emotions; and behave in a way we do not like, we give up and let the child do as they wish, or we end up putting pressure of expectations of others on ourselves and our children, also catapulting us into a situation we shouldn’t be in.
Stress builds up to the point that it shuts down our nervous systems, also known as being overwhelmed.
Lack of knowledge (we weren’t taught how to manage our emotions, let alone those of our children), unmet demands (the list is quite vast), and sensory overload are to blame for this (which is often overlooked and rarely considered). Sometimes it seems as though the cards are stacked against us.
Brené Brown, a research professor and author asserts that the only effective remedy for overwhelm is to become still. This requires us to be aware of the signals coming from our neurological system, take a step back, give ourselves some time to adjust, and then enter the ring again.
When tackling negative emotions, the following methods work wonders to chase those feelings away so that you can deal with situations as calmly as possible.
Overcoming Single-Parenting Overwhelm:
1. Adjust your expectations honey!
To be a good mother, I must do it all and give my best at all times. We may believe it, but that does not always make it correct. Lowering the bar is acceptable on occasion. To be a fantastic mother, one does not need to be a vegan, Pinterest Mom, or a Mom who cooks dinner at home every night.
Therefore, if watching TV or finding a shortcut is your only option for a break you desperately need, do it. Your kids will survive, and your mental health matters.
2. Step away from the situation
There are moments when there is nowhere to hide or flee. It doesn’t seem possible to take a “break.” Even if you are in a critical situation, back away, put your child in a secure location, such as their crib or room, and find a quiet spot to yourself, such as the restroom, the front door, or your closet.
Use earphones, take a moment to breathe, or put on the shower or background music. Even if only for a couple of minutes. Before going back to your child, let your nervous system some time to recover.
3. Know your triggers!
The best offense is a good defense. That means taking a few minutes during a regulated moment to gear up for when you are dysregulated. Write down things that may trigger you when you deal with your child.
Please write down the goals you would like to achieve when those moments occur so that when the situation presents itself again, you have a plan in mind on how to tackle your behavior to best deal with the moment.
4. Move that body baby!
I enjoyed working out before I became a mother. I’ve learned to fit the exercise into my everyday activities since I can’t find the time to go to the gym anymore. When changing a baby’s diaper, squat down, stretch before you go to the loo, and make lunges while cooking dinner.
Another excellent method to keep active and build a relationship with your child is to exercise together. Whatever you do, wherever you are, everything will be well. According to studies, our neurological system benefits more from spine movement.
5. Take a moment every hour to breathe:
I’m not kidding. Stop every hour and inhale deeply one to three times. Regardless of what you are doing. The significance of this technique in resetting your neurological system is supported by solid science.
6. Dump it!
Knowing where to begin when our stress levels frequently reach new heights might be challenging. We all have controllable and uncontrollable factors in our lives. A brain dump can help us become more aware of our stress triggers and distinguish between those within our circle of control and those not.
Write down everything weighing you down right now, including mental, physical, and emotional issues. Take your time and go at your speed; the exercise isn’t supposed to be taxing.
After you’ve finished making your list, go over everything, circle anything you can manage, and cross everything else out. You offer yourself more energy, time, and delight to bring about true change in your life by concentrating on your circle of control and letting go of anything outside of it.
7. Delegate darling!
Many of us have been taught that we must carry the burden alone and that asking for assistance or delegating is a sign of weakness. This is undoubtedly the case if you were raised in a household where doing so was unsafe or if you had to provide assistance or act as a protector for the adults in your life.
Ask yourself, “What makes me happy today?” while fast-forwarding to the present. What else do I wish to impart? What do I need assistance with? What would make me feel better? The ability to ask for aid belongs to the lionhearted. Standing up for your truth and telling someone else requires guts.
Perhaps ask a family member, neighbor, or community member to provide a hand in modest ways, like arranging playdates or carpools with another parent to give you a break. In all honesty, we can also assign tasks to our children.
Children can perform simple activities like setting the table or putting the laundry away, contrary to what we believe. To make a “to-do” moment into a “get to” connecting experience, your kids may even love helping you with regular chores.
8. Chore chart
Planning is everything. Children can comprehend and order what must be done more efficiently and concretely using visual charts. This saves not only time but also your sanity, and it gives your kids influence over the situation.
What household routines cause you the most stress? Turn chores into a visual chart to keep them constant, predictable, and manageable.
9. Get a babysitter
Hire a sitter to give yourself some time off so you may rest, run errands without the kids, or do something you like if you have the means to do so.
10. Get a listening partner
Listening Partners allow us an outlet for our emotions and help us go past our primordial fight & flight reactions so that we may parent our children with more clarity. Partners are an exchange of listening support between adults.
The connection we need to be better parents comes from developing our resources with the supportive attention of another adult. It might be a friend, family member, or another parent.
Plan to talk and vent once or once a month as they support you. Use an app like Marco Polo as an alternative so that you may converse with one another whenever it seems convenient.
11. Learn to say NO!
Until we learn how to say no, our yes is nothing. Take a look at this if you find it challenging to set limits with your children. If establishing boundaries with others is difficult, remember that we are not in this world to please everyone. Resentment is the sole outcome of pleasing others. When we don’t establish outer limits, we show restrictive internal ones.
12. Go for a drive
Sometimes taking a drive is similar to taking a break. Something about everyone being buckled up, secure, and close—yet distant—can be consoling. Play some music, take in the scenery, or refrain from doing anything that you would typically have to do at home.
Additionally, taking your kids to a park in the area might be a lifesaver. Your kids may burn off some energy playing with other children, using the slide, and swinging in the open air.
Sticky notes throughout your home can help you remind yourself what you need to hear daily, like small letters of love to yourself or a supporter encouraging you to keep going. When you don’t have the money for a life coach, you learn to coach yourself—or at least try.
It will undoubtedly feel difficult if you convince yourself it is difficult. You’ll probably find a method to do this if you persuade yourself that you can. Using affirmations when your patience is genuinely running thin is a great way to re-center your thoughts.
These are great ways to get where you need to be emotionally in challenging situations. But what about your child? How do you help your child navigate their very BIG emotions? Remember that their experience of life is relative to them.
This means that when something like losing their favorite toy happens, it feels to them like the world is coming to an end. Our job as their parent is to help them understand their feelings and learn how to overcome them in a way that keeps them in control.
So, in the following few pages, we explore age-appropriate ways to help your child calm themselves in stressful situations.