Being a single mother is a hard work.
The act of balancing dishing-out motherly love with obligations that single moms often face can be a major challenge. These include:
- Working a full-time job
- Pulling second shift to cook and clean
- Schooling needs like shopping for supplies, drop-offs, pickups or even homeschooling; and
- Extracurricular activities
Most of your time is split between working, cleaning, and managing your child’s social schedule so they can become a well-adjusted, productive adult. It’s hard work!
Single moms put self-care on the back burner every day to take care of others. But fear not mommy-warriors, we’ve got you covered.
A Guide to “Me-Time” for the Single Mother
God forbid that you want to spend time with friends, get back into the dating scene or take a sick day. Whatever the case, you need some “me-time” to be yourself. Here’s how to take a little time for you when your a single mom feeling overwhelmed:
1. Practice EASY with Infants
Being a single mom of a newborn isn’t easy. But EASY is an acronym that could help single moms of babies and toddlers, everywhere.
It means Eat, Activity, Sleep, YOU-time.
This gentle method of acclimating your baby to a routine was developed by Traci Hogg, also known by nomenclature, “the Baby Whisperer”.
Using the steps laid out above, mothers feed their babies, play with them, soothe them to sleep and then go about their regularly scheduled activities while the baby sleeps.
During these sleep sessions, moms can partake in activities they enjoy or take care of other household things. But the idea is to get some quiet time for self-care and reflection.
2. Create Reasonable Boundaries
Moms are always generating boundaries to help their children safely learn and thrive. But some boundaries could be useful for Mom’s development too.
It’s perfectly acceptable to welcome your child into your bedroom should you so choose, but it’s also ok to make that a quiet place for mom to rest and refresh. A safe place to feel sadness, joy, and anger.
Other boundaries, like only “quiet time activities” for two hours before bed, could help mom get a little peace.
Setting the right rules for your home means evaluating what’s important to you and your values, but making time for mom should be a part of the analysis.
3. Enjoy Free Child Care at Your Gym
Even moms who don’t love a good workout can benefit from a gym membership.
That’s because some memberships include child-care built into the overall cost.
It doesn’t cost you an extra penny to leave your kids in the hands of a childcare worker at the local gym, even if it’s just to sit on a bench in a locker room somewhere and mindlessly stare at your phone for thirty minutes.
Everyone needs a break, and exercise is a great way to stay healthy for yourself and your family. But going to the gym can be an exercise in self-care, regardless of whether you hit the elliptical.
4. Reflect with Your Morning Coffee
Adjusting your schedule to wake up an hour earlier than your children gives you time to reflect and enjoy a silent cup of coffee while you watch the sunrise.
Those moments are few and far between, so take them where you can.
For many single mothers, waking up an hour earlier is worth not hiding in a pantry to drink a cup of coffee.
5. Give Yourself a Break
Being a mom is a lesson in learning to let things slide. Single mothers don’t always have the luxury of someone who can help them around the house.
For single moms it may seem like every waking minute not dedicated to kids or work is dedicated to cleaning up.
Giving yourself a break means accepting things how they are sometimes. And learning to be okay with the chaos so you can focus inward.
6. Create a Mom Cave
We’ve all heard of the infamous “man cave”. But why not have a mom-cave?
If you have the space for it, create a room that’s just to your liking. One room for mom only.
You can use it to keep things you really enjoy, special treats or other extras for when you’re feeling a little extra.
7. The Old “Pillow Fort” Trick
If you can’t make a space that’s just your own, make one that is just your child’s!
A pillow and blanket fort, safely ventilated and easy to get in and out of, can provide hours of entertainment for children.
Give them a storage bin of quiet time activities: books, a flashlight, iPad (yeah, we said it!), soft, fuzzy plushies whatever it is you think can be used to soothe your little adventurer.
Then while your little is playing in a place that’s just for them, you can have a peaceful moment for a little self-care.
Just don’t leave children unattended in pillow forts.
8. Soothe Night Wakers with Probiotics
With new babies and infants of any age, night waking is likely an issue. Kids wake for all kinds of reasons.
Sometimes they are hungry or need to go to the bathroom. But if your infant seems to have a witching hour when they are waking and screaming for no apparent reason, it could be a tummy issue.
Little, growing GI tracts functioning for the first time can be a bit problematic for sleeping babies. But a touch of infant probiotic, like that made by Formuland, could do the trick, allowing you to get more restful sleep.
Just make sure to ask your pediatrician before supplementing anything for your child.
9. Stock Up on Spa Essentials
Stock up on spa essentials for a spa day at home! You can use Miss A to buy cruelty-free, high-quality sheet masks, cosmetics, and accessories for as low as $1.
If cosmetics and spas aren’t your bag, but handbags are — stock up on those at your favorite department store, instead!
The message is here is don’t forget to make little purchases that allow you to relax, collect or otherwise be yourself.
10. Leverage Family and Sitters
Lastly, just go out!
You deserve a night on the town and to have a life with your friends. It’s not like your social life should just stop because you have a child.
Leverage friends and family members or use a reputable childcare professional.
Splurge on Self-Care
It’s nice to splurge on yourself a little, isn’t it?
Learning how to be a strong single mother is a challenge in and of itself. It’s a game of constantly second guessing all of your choices and everything you do.
But don’t give up on self-care just because you’re a single mother. Learn more about how to get a break, read our blog!