The share of single mothers in the American workforce has increased by four percent since 2015. However, they still face challenges with holding down a job and raising children by themselves. Here are some tips for working single mothers as they juggle multiple demands.
Find Social Support
Working mothers who raise their kids alone might feel they’re alone in the world. This feeling often comes from the need to be self-reliant. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t and shouldn’t get tangible and emotional support from others. Moms also should look for other single working mothers for emotional support, mentorship, and sharing responsibilities.
Practice Self-Care and Kindness
Single working mothers are perhaps the hardest working people. It’s essential for them to balance their efforts with self-care and to forgive and be kind themselves. Sometimes, a self-pat on the back will suffice; at other times, leaving the kids with a relative to get a massage is in order. Exercise is critical to release stress, increase endorphins, and modeling healthy lifestyles.
There is no single organizational system that works for everyone. Still, it’s crucial to find or create one that helps manage finances, child care, work tasks, deadlines, co-parenting, school activities, and other everyday demands. It’s easier to stay organized when following a consistent yet adaptable routine. Weekly menu planning, organizing shopping with either pickups or delivery, and preparing lunches and dinners ahead of time reduces stress in the evenings.
Adapt as Needed
Organization is important, but some plans cease to serve their purpose. Work schedule changes or kids getting sick might require adjustments to the daily routine, even if it’s just temporary. It’s wise to foresee potential emergencies and have back-up plans. Keeping a list of people to call—employer, co-worker, neighbor, or child care provider—can save time and reduce stress.
Small wins can help a single working mother stay motivated. It’s essential to take inventory of things that go well. Moms should not overlook such accomplishments as finding a better daycare facility, cooking five nutritious meals in a row, or landing a new sales account.
Being a single working mother is a tough job. The keys to making this job easier include staying organized, asking for help, seeking support, being kind to oneself, and being flexible. Most importantly, in light of the failures and sacrifices, achievements, and overcoming challenges matter much more.