The life of a single mother can be very stressful. According to research, many mothers claim that their biggest stress is the lack of support given to them.
Add the word “single” to the mix, and it becomes a recipe for an overload of stress. If you are a single mother, you need to learn how to cope with parenting stress or else you could experience burnout.
The last thing you want is to feel you cannot take care of your own child because you are trying to juggle work, life, and being a mother all at once.
Keep on reading to learn how to cope with parenting stress as a single mother, so you can save your health, and improve your relationship with your children.
Reach Out For Help
There is an abundance of help available to you as a single mother. You just need to learn where to look and who to ask.
Child support is easier for you to receive than you may think. Most people believe that child support is only rendered for the parents who are co-parenting, however, this is not the case!
In order to see if you are eligible for child support, you have to file for it. Only after that point, will they look into your situation and see if you qualify for some government assistance.
There are many community groups that support single mothers, such as community centers, after school care and even the nice older couple up the street.
All you have to do is start asking around at school and look for notices on the community website, and you will find an answer.
There is no better free child care than offering up your child for regular sleepovers at their friend’s house! Call up some of the parents of your child’s friends and let them know about your struggles, you will be surprised with how much they will support you.
Have a Daily Self Care Routine
Do you remember the last time you were on a flight, and during the safety explanation, the flight attendant told you to put on your own oxygen first?
The same scenario goes for life in general: you cannot take care of someone else without taking care of yourself first. Plan a routine that you can stick to every day that will help you to bring your focus back to yourself and what you need.
Some examples for a daily self-care routine could look like:
- Sit in silence, meditating for 10 minutes in the morning or at night.
- Have a bubble bath at the end of the day.
- Read a self-improvement book that helps with stress reduction.
- Journal your thoughts, emotions, and gratitude list.
- Invest in something that can help reduce tension; massaging chairs are a great start.
- Do an evening yoga routine in your room.
- Go to the gym, or attend a fun exercise class of any kind.
Try and stick to a self-care routine that is healthy and avoid relying on vices such as alcohol, food, or sex.
Have a Support System
What about the support for yourself?
One of the worst things you could do for stress is to bottle it up inside and not release it. There are many free or affordable therapy sessions available in your area, such as counseling, coaching, or community outreach. You can even look online; websites such as Betterhelp.com have affordable counseling by phone, video chat or online messaging.
It is okay to be transparent with your child and let them know when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. However, try not to speak to your children too much about being stressed as a single parent, this may place tremendous guilt upon them as your child.
You Do Not Have to Do It All
One of the biggest struggles most mothers have is allowing others to help them. Remember that you may be a hero to your child, but you are not a superhero that is resilient against stress.
You are not expected to do everything for everyone, and it is okay to reach out for help if you need it. If you decide to ignore the stress, it will manifest as something else within your body and could show up as illness.
Talk to Your Child
Once you have acknowledged the fact that you do not have to do everything, this is a good opportunity to teach your children about independent skills once they reach the right age.
Talk to your child and set up a chore list that involves washing dishes, cleaning around the house, helping with preparing their lunches, setting the table, and any other task that they are capable of doing.
This not only will help you reduce your workload, but it will also empower your children to realize what they are capable of doing on their own. This will increase their confidence, self-worth, and skill-development.
Enjoy the Good Times
Sometimes when we are stressed out, we tend to forget to be in the moment and remember the beauty that surrounds us. Taking the time to play with your child is a great recipe for reducing tension in your life.
There is nothing like the joy and love of your child that will help you to overcome feelings of stress and sadness.
Learn More About How to Cope With Parenting Stress as a Single Parent
Life can be easily overwhelming as a single parent. Remember that you always have help, you just have to learn how to ask for it.
By following these tips, you will know how to cope with parenting stress much better, and notice your relationship with your child will become much easier.
If you found this article helpful, check out more like this under the parenting section of our blog.