By Laura Lifshitz
As mothers, we are constantly tearing ourselves apart. We could have always done something better…did something differently…said something differently…all the time.
And as a single mom, we seem to take on extra guilt and expectations for ourselves. Because the responsibility lies on us, we seem to think that we are not supposed to be just mothers, but also super heroes. The reality is we are hurting ourselves more than helping ourselves by some of the things we tell ourselves and buy into.
Here are 7 things a kick-ass single mom needs to stop telling herself. Now! And I mean it!
1. Stop Telling Yourself You Can Be Mom AND Dad
Yes, technically you’re doing the job of two people but still…you’re not dad, also. So stop telling yourself that you are or have to be.
If dad is around in your kid or kids’ lives, then he is dad. Even if he isn’t dad of the year, he is responsible for being “dad.” Whether he does his job is another story but still…
You can only be mom. This is fine. Would it be wonderful if you had another spouse whether female or male depending on your orientation to parent with?
Yes, yes and yes!
But you don’t. This is ok. You can only be mom and don’t blame yourself for that. You are officially now: “Mom doing a lot of sh*t by herself.”
You were born to be one person and one person only, so recognize that and remember…
2. Stop Telling Yourself You Are Failing
Stop telling yourself you’re not good enough. You are. You are doing a lot of work. Hard work. Kids are messy, expensive, nutty and demanding. They siphon our energies.
When you see a farmer plowing a field, do you think he or she is doing hard work? When you see someone running a school, do you think he or she is doing hard work?
Yes! It’s a hard job. And you my friend as a fellow kick-ass single mom have a hard job to do as well. So be kind to yourself. You are only one person. Just one person! So knowing this…
3. Stop Telling Yourself You Don’t Have Enough To Offer Your Kids
I had no money this summer to do anything like I used to. No day trips. No fun fairs. No nothing. It was literally, a 1970’s summer here in my house. My daughter said it was the best summer because she was with me. Sure, she would have loved day trips and fun fairs but most importantly, she loved being with me.
You are enough. You have plenty to offer your kids. Honestly, most of us keep too much “crap” anyway. Kids have too many toys and do too many activities and have schedules that rival our schedules’. You have plenty to offer your kids. You have you. That is what they want. That is what they need.
4. Stop Telling Yourself It Will Never Get Better
Don’t feed into negative self-talk. Don’t tell yourself that it will always be hard on your own. It may not be easy, but believing it’s always going to suck is not what a kick-ass single mom does, so quit it! You’re only hurting yourself.
5. Stop Telling Yourself You Don’t Deserve To Love Or Date Again
Yes, your kids may need time to adjust to a new partner in your life, but yes, you deserve to love and date again. You are not a bad mom for wanting that. You are a normal human being! Everyone wants love and affection and adult company. This is natural. A kick-ass single mom also acknowledges that she has needs and wants of her own and she tries to form an identity that is based around “who” she is and not just as mom.
She balances love and family well—she doesn’t deprive herself of the chance to love again.
6. Stop Telling Yourself That Everyone Has It Better Than You Do
Truly, if we all put our garbage and issues in a pile we would probably pick our own problems rather than someone else’s.
Stop telling yourself that your single mom status means you have it worse than others do. You have no idea what kinds of hell people are facing. You don’t know what it’s really like to be in their shoes. Remember that you have so many blessings. Count them. Know that even in the darkest times, damnit, it gets better. It just does.
Tell yourself this.
7. Stop Telling Yourself Your Kids Will Always Suffer
Divorce or the absence of the other parent can really make it tough on kids. So yes, sometimes our kids are more mature than other people’s kids and tougher around the edges because they’ve had life experiences that their peers have not. They’ve seen “fairy tales” end…they’ve been heartbroken. Their lives have been turned upside down. Sometimes, this is really hard. Sometimes, a divorce or absence of the other parent can really affect our babies and it sucks to watch. Sometimes, we just worry about how it’s affecting them in ways we don’t see.
Okay and yes, I’ve seen the statistics of kids and divorce. I get it. But I also think you can’t tell yourself that your kids will always have it the worst. It’s negative and not helpful. Your kids will get through it. This is their journey and life path. They will have “cons” and also “pros” to their life toolkit that their peers won’t and it will benefit them, as well. Your kiddos will be strong and proud and smart.
Stop telling yourself that they will always suffer.
About the Author
Laura Lifshitz is a Freelance Writer, Content Creator, Comedienne, & Obsessive Chocoholic