Imagine a mother who has just gotten off work. She may come home tired and ready to put her feet up and relax for a while. But (there’s a huge BUT there) she is a single mother. So instead of being able to come home and relax she is greeted by her children. No matter the age, children will have something to say to momma when she gets home. “Mom I need help with my homework… or Momma I’m hungry”. You are never completely clocked out as a single mother. You may be off the work clock but your mommy clock keeps running.
Generally the single mother has to work. She has to have an income to provide for her family. So how does the single mother balance the work life with home life and keep her peace. Below I would like to share a few ideas that I have tried and have worked for me or I need to include. I hope you would find the tips helpful as well.
Set up your Village
What do I mean by village? As a single mother we may often have the mind set of doing EVERYTHING alone. You are not alone and do not have to do this alone. Form your village. You know the phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. Who do you have in your village. Your village can be close friends, family members, trusted members of the church you attend and maybe even a reliable daycare center. Have your village in place so that when emergencies come up you have someone to call to get to your children in case you are not able to get to them as soon as possible.
The village is helpful in so many ways other than just for emergency situations. Maybe you need to put in some extra hours at work next week. Ask that trusted friend or family member in advance if they can help by getting your child from childcare or school and keeping them until you are able to get home.
With your village in place you are able to go to work and make your money and not have to stress over the safety of your children because you know they are in good hands whether with childcare, school or that trusted friend.
End Today Well Equals a Good Start to Tomorrow
How you end today can lead to a good start to tomorrow. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done this. The alarm goes off, and instead of me getting up and getting my day started I hit the snooze button. Wake up some time later now with only a fraction of the time needed to get dressed and get out the door, smh. (I literally have more than one alarm that goes off for this reason smh). So now I’m rushing trying to get myself together and make sure the kids are ready and gets to the bus stop before I leave. Ugh why do I do myself like this. I got to do better y’all (a personal observation).
Prepare tomorrow clothes, shower, and even pack lunches at night so that when you wake up in the morning you are not rushing to get out the door. Doing so allows you to be able to take your time to get things together the night before. You are able to make sure you have everything you need ready and even set by the door so when you are ready to walk out the door you can grab your stuff and go.
Prepare yourself tonight for tomorrow. You may even be able to grab a couple more minutes of sleep in the morning.
Release the Guilt
For a long time I’ve worked a schedule where it seemed like I worked all day every day…. Literally. I would go into work at 6am and get off at about 7pm, maybe later. In time to make it home to make sure the kids are fed and homework was done and they had their bath. I felt like I was missing so much of my children. They were in different clubs at school, chorus, step teams, and orchestra. They had events that I either missed or showed up late for. I felt so bad because I felt I was missing so much.
You will have to personally find a way to work around the guilt that may be involved with being a working single mother. I myself had to find a job that allowed me a bit more flexibility in scheduling. I am now at a job that I work day shifts and am off just after my kids get out of school. My kids are now older and have a little better understanding of why I have to work.
The way I had to work out the guilt of not being available for my children events was me literally walking away from the idea of me working all day provide a good income. You may find it easier to deal with the guilt by maybe doing something extra for your children, to ensure that they know you love them and will always be there for them even if you do have to work. No matter your method no matter what others’ may say about you being a working mother know that you are doing what you need to do to care for your family. If you don’t do so who will?
Get your Calendars Together
You have a project due at work and need time to work on it. Your sons science fair project is also due soon not to mention your daughter has a dance recital this week. Are you good enough to remember exactly who has what to do and when? I’m not, but a calendar is a good way to get everything lined up. I use the calendar app on my phone but there is nothing wrong with going to the classic wall calendar and a pen. Either way use a calendar so you can visually see what is due when, who has what recital or rehearsal. Keep everything in line.
If you see that your child has an early recital on the up coming week maybe you can ask a co-worker to cover you for that time so that you can attend, or maybe even get the evening scheduled off. Maybe there are early releases at school and your child will need to be picked up early, knowing in advance and knowing the dates you may be able to ask your village for help.
Self Care is always a must
In all this remember to take time for your self. Yes it may get a to be a bit much to have to keep going when you are no longer on your work clock and are now on your mommy clock. It may even seem like you don’t get the time to actually rest. But even if it is just for 5 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or a nice hot bath once the kids are in bed at night remember to do something for yourself. Take a moment to distress.
Like I mentioned before my kids are teenagers so when I get home from a frustrating day at work I tell them I need an hour. And I will take that hour to catch my peace, to make sure I left what ever was stressing me at work, AT WORK. I try my hardest not to bring my work life home with me and not to bring home life to work with me either. Of course there may be emergencies but I will deal with them as they come.
Yes work life and home life can balance themselves. Do not allow either to overtake you in the others’ territory. Take each day at a time, and handle each issue with grace and know that you are in control and handle everything you may go through. As a single mother you may be physically alone but you are not spiritually alone. Hebrews 13:5
If you found this post helpful leave a comment below. Have any suggestions? Leave a comment… Or just Leave a comment just because… Let me know you were here.
Thanks for reading,
Until Next Time….
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Making Being a Single Mother Look Easy