This is a minimalist guide for rocking single motherhood.
1) Think that it’s temporary: No one is a single mom to the rest of their lives, because guess what, children grow!
2) Don’t spend your time grieving about some alternate reality: instead, make the best of your current reality. This IS your life so make it a happy one. Laugh, cry, talk, dance. What could’ve been did not happen, but you have a whole future ahead of you and your children, and that story is yours to write.
3) In direct contrast with (2) above, cry: Cry when you’re tired, when you’re angry, when you’re frustrated, when you’re disappointed, when you’re sad, when you’re missing someone. Get it out of your system whenever you need to, because you don’t want that in your system. You want hope and love. Always.
4) No matter how you became a single mom, do not let people put you down for it, ever! People love to criticize and never look in the mirror. You and your children are a family. A happy family. Say that again: A happy family!
5) Spend a lot of quality time with your children: Always think about how they will remember their childhood. Are you making good memories for them now to take into their adulthood? Cuddle them, laugh with them, talk to them, cook for them, take them out, always. Even if it is your daily stroll around the block, do it. Find your happy routine and do it.
6) Routine: Make sure it’s a good one. Even if you work until three in the morning, your children are smart and resilient. If they see a happy and present parent come home to them, they will accept your situation.
7) Have a paycheck: Always, you need that. Don’t ever spend money that you do not have. Oh, and don’t feel resentful of mothers who don’t have to work. Well, unless they’re awful nagging entitled leeches then it’s O.K. to feel that ;). But then you’d still hate these types of people even if you were not a single mom.
8) Spend a lot of outdoors time with your children: the playground, the park, the lake, the river, the trails, the slopes or whatever it is that is outside. Children love it, it’s a great way to exhaust them, and you get to chat with other adults and meet future friends. Win win always.
9) Have close and supportive friends. Even if it’s only one friend, they’re great. Friends also have the extra advantage of talking sanity to you when you’re losing it.
10) Dream: that you and your children will be O.K., fine, great! Don’t ever stop dreaming, and working for your dreams.
This is life and all of us have our trials. We’re lucky that our trial is a blessing, in the form of our healthy and happy children. Make sure that whatever it is you’re doing now, many years from now, you, and your children, can look back at it, and say, “We’ve done it!”.