Once upon a time, I was a single mother. Time runs especially short when you’re going it alone, so I definitely relate to this guest post from Laneic Lavalle. Self-care gets pushed aside in parenthood regularly, so as a single mama self-care can seem like a far-fetched fantasy. Read on to make that fantasy a more reachable reality…
Being a single mom isn’t for the faint of heart. With the number of single-parent households steadily rising, it’s important to start realizing that for many of us, we’re doing it all. This makes self-care that much more important.
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If you’re the sole caretaker of the household, it’s that much more important to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself.
When you’re not stressed, enjoying your daily life, and taking time to rest and recharge, you’re able to give that extra energy back to parenting and most likely with less yelling and more smiles.
By when you’re parenting solo, how do you prioritize self-care, especially if you don’t necessarily have someone else who you can hand the children off to every now and then?
Here are 5 ways a single mom can get in some much needed (and deserved) self-care.
1. Schedule it in.
Often times a single moms time is limited, and if it’s not in the calendar, then it doesn’t get done.
Make your “me-time” nonnegotiable just as you would any other appointment for your kids.
This could be making sure your kids are in bed by 8 pm so you can relax afterward, stopping by your favorite coffee shop every wed, or booking your favorite dance class on Saturdays your kids are with their dad.
2. Accept help.
Just because you’re a single parent doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept help when it’s offered. If you’re not able to rely on dad or family for help, you can build your community in different ways.
Do a “babysitting swap” with parents from your child’s school and take turns watching each other’s children, utilize childcare drop-offs from community centers and events such as the YMCA, a gym you frequent, or a mom-friendly co-working space, or hire a mommy’s helper.
3. Rethink your idea of self-care.
We often picture self-care as long, lavish baths surrounded by candles and jazz music but self-care is truly whatever helps you feel happier, rested and balanced.
While you might not have time for luxurious spa days, you most likely can find time to journal, stretch in the morning, eat healthier, try out new hobbies, etc.
4. Don’t be afraid to outsource.
Part of self-care is making sure you’re no overwhelmed.
By outsourcing, not only do you reduce your workload, but you give yourself more time to do the things you enjoy.
Nowadays, hiring a helping hand isn’t only limited to the super wealthy.
Now grocery delivery, house cleaning, cooking and everyday tasks can be “ordered” from a smartphone.
If budget is a concern, a lot of these are “on demand” services meaning you don’t need to subscribe or commit to any specific time frame.
As a single parent, often our workload is doubled so don’t feel bad about sharing some of that load with people who are willing to take it.
5. Don’t be afraid to include your children.
Self-care doesn’t always mean time away from your kids.
Coming up with a self-care practice where your kids are including means not having to worry about child care and also giving your kids a great example to follow.
You can have a wind-down hour every evening before bed where you read a favorite book while the kids color or read, do mommy and me exercise classes so the whole family stays in shape, or spend the evening creating affirmation cards together.
While it’s almost second nature for single mothers to put themselves second, it’s extremely beneficial for mothers AND their children to prioritize caring for themselves.
Self-care shouldn’t be an afterthought, but rather equally important as all the other aspects of your life.
Laneic Lavalle is a freelance writer and single mom blogger at Makeit218.com. Laneic is dedicated to helping single mothers take control of their lives and stop living on autopilot by reconnecting with themselves, building wealth and pursuing their goals fearlessly. When she’s not writing for hanging out with her son, she enjoys nerding out to anime and dancing.
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