I am sure I am not the only one who gets asked how to cope with being a single mum, so here are my top tips on how I cope with being a single mum. They helped as much today as they did nearly 10 years ago when I first became a single parent.
Accept there will be good days and bad – it’s not just you who will have good and bad days, your children will too. Be as supportive as you can on their bad days and respect the fact they may need to talk about him and the situation.
Don’t put down your ex to or in front of the children– As much as you may loathe him, think evil thoughts about him and generally dislike the chap, your children still love him. Putting your ex down to them can cause a lot of upset for them and could cause resentment and disrespect further down the line. Remember you’re the one who divorced, not them.
Don’t try to do everything and be everything – you don-t have to be the best at everything all the time. You are human not a robot so be realistic in what you can and can’t do.
Make time for yourself and have a good read – here are my top picks on single parenting for your Kindle
Get order into the house– children thrive on routine and boundaries as it assures them they are safe and looked after. I was told this when my two were very little and it’s still true to this day. The last thing you may feel like doing is saying no to something for the hundredth time but keeping to your rules and boundaries it is more important than ever.
Have friends – From your best friends to family, they can be invaluable in listening, helping and being supportive. One of the most valuable friends I had was other school mums. They knew how disorganized I was at remembering dates like when half term was, non-uniform day etc and would remind me at the school gates. They were also so valuable for my moments of complete madness. Like when I locked myself out of the house on the way to the school run with the car keys still in the house. A quick text to a mum friend and son was picked up from school on time.
Make time for you – this can be tough but even if it’s a 10-minute bath in peace it counts. Your time isn’t pegging out the washing, just emptying the dishwasher and whizzing round with the hoover while the children are at friends. Although these things need to be done, time for you is just as important. The housework will still be there after you have recharged your batteries.