Nadine is a health coach and writer who helps her clients achieve phenomenal and sustainable results by combining nutrition, fitness and fun! She believes primarily in living a happy life, and that the backbone of any lifestyle is that it must be sustainable and enjoyable.
Parenting with a spouse can already get overwhelming. When you’re a single parent, you’re taking on the role of two or more people, which can lead to stress and worry.
Single parenting is just hard! There’s no other way to describe it. That doesn’t mean raising the babes on your own isn’t possible, and it absolutely does not mean you can’t find joy. Learning to be a happy, single mom can also be a struggle, especially with the wrong mindset.
Always remember that you deserve to be happy. While you’ll have to make sacrifices as a parent, that doesn’t mean you have to shelf all of your needs until your children leave the nest.
In this article, we’ll help you find joy, happiness, and fulfillment as a single mama.
Accepting That You’re a Single Parent
Whether you became widowed or divorced, granted sole custody or partial custody, or have understanding friends or judgy family members, it can be hard to accept that you’re a single parent.
Society has a lot of hang-ups about single parenthood, but no matter what they are or their reason for judging you, they’re wrong. Being a single parent isn’t a moral failing, and no one who doesn’t know you has the right to tell you who you should be, or what you should do with your life. Heck, even the people who know you may be way off base with their judgments of you.
To find happiness, you need to find acceptance. Accepting that you’re a single parent, regardless of why you’re one, can go a long way in improving your mental health.
And there are a lot of positives to single parenthood, including:
- The freedom to decide what’s best for your children.
- The ability to offer your children your undivided attention.
- The position of being a great role model for your children.
- The ability to teach your children responsibility and independence.
- The opportunity to provide positive parenting beyond gender roles.
In an ideal situation, a loving partner would be in the picture. But when they aren’t, that doesn’t mean you and your children can’t find happiness together in this wild world.
How to Stay Happy as a Single Mother
There are many struggles faced by single moms, including financial challenges, fatigue, and emotional challenges. But these tips will help you stay happy despite all of that.
Set Your Priorities Straight
Getting your priorities straight can help you understand what really matters to you. If your happiness is a high priority, then you’ll probably be more likely to seek out what makes you and your children smile. Do your best to hold on to everything important to you and your children.
Don’t Get Swayed By Others Opinions
There are some ride-or-die friends or genuinely concerned family members that you might want to listen to, but don’t be swayed by toxic people or strangers. Even if their opinion sounds correct, you should always ask for proof or, failing that, do your own research before changing.
There are right and wrongs in parenting. We’d be lying if we told you otherwise, but most things aren’t set in stone. Staying true to yourself means relying on your maternal instincts and not blindly following the suggestions of others. Remember to research other people’s opinions!
Get Out of the House
It’s okay to hire a trusted babysitter or pay a friend or family member to watch your kids while you enjoy a night out. You need to get out for your mental health and well-being, and letting loose doesn’t mean you don’t love your children. Staying cooped up isn’t the way to go.
Set Personal Goals
Setting personal goals can keep you motivated. Whether you want to go on a vacation or cook at home more often, staying ambitious can increase happiness. While it’s important to focus on your child, it also isn’t good to revolve your entire life around them. You’re your own person.
Develop self-care habits to keep you sane during your busiest moments. You could adopt a skincare routine or find a few minutes to read or nap. Or, better yet, start up one of your hobbies again! If you have the time, you could even explore new activities to enjoy.
Ask for Help
Never be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from a loved one or a professional. There are many government programs that offer free classes or stipends to new single mothers. And if you don’t have a good friend in your life, take the time to find one via online apps or offline meetings.
Being a single mother is complex, but your mood can help bring things into perspective. The happier you are, the easier it will be to handle whatever life throws at you and your child.
This doesn’t mean that you have to keep a happy face when things get tough. It’s healthy to speak to your friends, family, or a professional when smiling isn’t easy. If those options aren’t accessible, you can always try journaling! Anything to get negative feelings out of your head!
When all else fails, do your best to be kind to yourself. The world is already filled with nay-sayers and mean people. Don’t spend your energy beating yourself up for what they say.