Though single mothers are often commended for their strength and commitment, their role is incredibly difficult and complex. Balancing both family and work commitments can put these women under a lot of pressure, especially if their ex-partner is not active in their children’s lives due to death or legal issues. In order to combat these problems, this article will list a collection of effective strategies to help eliminate single mom stress from your life.
Signs You Are Dealing With Single Mom Stress
If you find yourself daydreaming at work or zoning out during your daily commute, you may be struggling with concentration issues. This can be a sign of increased stress, causing our minds to detach as we try to relax and find a sense of stability. Although it is very common to slip away during a tedious meeting, consistent problems with concentration may be due to a much more serious issue. If you feel overly concerned, be sure to get in touch with your general practitioner to discuss the likelihood of ADHD or other neurological conditions.
Feelings of Anger and Mood Swings
We all feel frustrated at times but when we feel very overwhelmed or stressed, we may lash out at loved ones unnecessarily. This can put a strain on your relationship with your children, particularly if they are very young and do not understand the stressors that everyday life can put on single parents. Mood swings can also signify a sense of imbalance, which is also linked to a collection of common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Lack of Quality Sleep
There is nothing better than finishing a long day and spending a quiet evening in bed. But, if we are under a large amount of stress, we may spend our nights tossing and turning and not actually getting any restorative rest. Sleep deprivation can cause a plethora of harmful health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. In turn, stressed single mom put themselves at risk of adverse issues that can really affect the bond they share with their children.
Headaches and Stomach Aches
Although they are usually harmless, headaches and stomach aches can be a physical manifestation of high stress. These symptoms can be caused by physical tension or elevated levels of stress hormones, giving single mothers another thing to worry about. These conditions can also be signs of poor well-being such as dehydration and poor diet choices, again, can both be influenced by increased levels of stress and anxiety.
Inability to Cope With Normal Life
If you find yourself bursting into tears at the sight of a traffic jam or flying into a fit of rage over the washing up, it may be time to take a step back and re-evaluate your life choices. Some single moms find it difficult to manage everyday stressors, whilst caring for their children. This can be because of a recent breakup or loss as well as general unhappiness. For those who relate to these issues, ensure that you reach out to loved ones for support and potentially share these concerns with like-minded people such as in a single parent support group.
Feelings of Apathy and Indifference
Previously, you may have enjoyed long walks on the beach or a humble cup of coffee in the mornings. But, if you are plagued by feelings of stress and anxiety, even life’s biggest joys can feel worthless. These feelings can seep into every aspect of our lives, even in relation to our children, making us less likely to engage in important events. If these feelings continue to get worse, we may isolate ourselves from our loved ones and stop taking part in crucial activities such as sex, exercise, and work.
7 Ways to Cope With Single Mom Stress
1. Create an Effective Legal Team
If you are in the process of a hefty divorce or are dealing with a non-compliant ex-partner, it is advised that you seek out relevant legal advice for you and your children. Begin by researching divorce lawyers in your area and potentially hire a family law attorney to ensure that you have the support you need to move on in this next stage of your life. These professionals can also help if you feel unsafe around your previous partner and do not feel comfortable about having regular interactions with them.
2. Make Time for Play
Children can also suffer in the face of parental separation and may avoid doing things they previously enjoyed. This can cause them to feel very downtrodden and on edge, which can cause a lot of turmoil in the family dynamic. Try to ease these feelings by spending more time with your children and engaging in activities that they enjoy. If your budget allows it, treat them to a few play sets to help create an amicable and soothing environment for your child to thrive in. This is especially important if your child feels responsible for the loss of a parent or the end of a relationship and gives them the chance to focus on more age-appropriate things.
3. Get a Change of Scenery
For single moms who have spent years in a toxic household, it is vital that you let go of the shackles of your past life and find a new haven of safety. A simple day trip can help ease your worries and find the joys in life once again. If you have decided to move house after your relationship has ended, be sure to recruit a moving company to help with this process. Though it can seem like a vast cost to some families, it can help to remove some of the responsibilities and stress associated with this next chapter in your life.
4. Take Care of Your Health
Whether it’s taking a HIIT class at the local gym or getting yourself a new pair of reading glasses, you need to keep on top of your health in order to be a functioning parent. Many single moms struggle to put themselves first, especially if they are the sole provider of their children. But, it should be noted that children can only thrive when they are under the guidance of a healthy and loving parent. Therefore, taking your health seriously can actually be the best thing you ever do for your child’s growth. This process can be quite time-consuming so make sure to schedule regular doctors visit and keep an eye on any developing symptoms.
5. Protect Your Mental Health
Although parenting on your own terms can be incredibly freeing, it can also make us feel undervalued and uncertain. These feelings can sometimes get too much and lead us to suffer from an array of mental health issues. If you are looking to get diagnosed with these disorders, make an appointment with a registered psychiatrist so that you can gain access to a plethora of useful resources. Medication is not for everyone so if you are looking for a more nuanced route, it can be a good idea to work alongside a local life coach. These experts can help you analyze the weak points in your life and offer you a step-by-step guide on how to resolve these issues.
6. Support Your Child’s Education
If you feel as if you have become too concerned with your own misery and are keen to place focus on the things that actually matter, it can help to pay more attention to your children’s education. If your child is enrolled in an early learning childcare center or a traditional daycare facility, ask the staff if you could help create some learning materials in your spare time. This will give you something positive to focus on and could help you to form stronger bonds with people who are also a key part of your child’s life. In addition, this could really support the children who are grieving the loss of a parent and are eager to reconnect with their mom as they process these difficult feelings.
7. Get Your Finances in Order
Some single moms are the sole earners in their household, which can put a lot of pressure on their finances, especially if they also have high childcare costs. If you are feeling swarmed by bills and debts, set some time to create a realistic budget and figure out a way that you could cut some costs. Child support attorneys are a useful asset for moms who are struggling to gain adequate funds from their child’s other parent. Thus, these experts can help your family gain the money it deserves and ensure that the pressure is not placed just on you and your income.
Benefits of Reducing Stress as a Single Mom
We all deserve to feel good about ourselves, and when we are constantly put under pressure, these feelings of acceptance are often robbed from us. Yet, when we put our stress into perspective and work to solve the glaring issues in our lives, we begin to notice our abilities and feel more certain about what we can achieve on a daily basis. Over time, you may feel more confident to try new things and explore different things alongside your children.
Less Comparison With Others
Single parents will often compare themselves to their peers, wondering if they are doing the right thing or if they will ever match up to the perfect parent on the playground. In reality, these comparisons are based on our own insecurities and are not realistic expectations for normal single moms. Once we recognize that everyone has flaws and feels the pressures of modern life, we can begin to be kinder to ourselves and build a better sense of self. This is also a great learning experience for children who may also feel inadequate against their peers.
Build Stronger Friendships
It is vital that single moms find a support group that reflects their needs and wants as it can help them feel more accepted and safe in the local community. Less stress can help you remain level-headed in all of your important relationships, ensuring that you can nurture the friendships that mean the most to you. A boost in confidence can also encourage you to set up regular social dates, giving you the prime opportunity to put yourself out there and try new things.
Now that mom is no longer flying off the handle at any minor inconvenience, the kids are more likely to feel a sense of calm as well. By modeling healthy mental habits such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, or prayer, children are able to implement these useful tools for themselves. As a result, the whole family now has got the skills needed to unwind and manage difficult emotions, setting a firm foundation for progress in the future. These strategies can also help children cope with the trauma of parental separation, giving them a suitable place to process these feelings without feeling guilty or embarrassed.
Less Reliant on Negative Coping Skills
Though we all enjoy a glass of wine after a busy day at work or delve into an extra cheesy pizza after a trip to the supermarket, these small habits can be seen as inappropriate reactions to stress. When our bodies begin to relax and ease themselves, we feel less reliant on these habits and can make better choices. As such, we can start to enjoy healthy substances such as a protein shake or a salad and notice an improvement in our overall lives.
Single moms are under a lot of pressure, but that does not distract from their vital role within society and their own children’s lives. The tips discussed in this article can help you to feel more like yourself again, offering you and your children a wealth of success and prosperity in the future. No matter how difficult things feel now, improvement is always possible! Progress may be slow, but with conscious effort and perseverance, you can reduce your stress and find a happier routine for yourself and your family.