There are many ways to succeed (yaass!! positive thinking!!) as a single mom. But these are the three keys that I’ve found to be vital.
There is arguably very little that can’t be improved with planning. Planning saves you time, money, and stress!
You know that supremely annoying saying “Fail to plan, plan to fail”?
Well, it’s true!
I guess that’s why that sentence has lasted, smug as it is.
There’s a lot to be said for spontaneity, but not in the daily life of a single mom. The more planning, the better.
Your brain needs all the help it can get (seriously, no offense, girl!) because it’s overloaded with too much. One of the best ways to help out your gray matter is to P-L-A-N.
And there are SO many options to help you plan, both paper and digital. In future posts, I’d like to get down and dirty with different options, to give you better takes, but for now, just pick the method that’s the most efficient for you, and stick with it.
There’s no limit to what you can plan, either. Meals? Yes. Outfits? Yes. Laundry rotation? Yes, ma’am! Budget? Of course. Cleaning schedule? Holla! Kleenex origami flower rotation? I bet you could find it.
I’m a real sentimental gal. Plus, I grew up in thrifty household. Not the best combo for keeping an organized, clean living space!
BUT, I discovered this pure gold sentence: “my house is NOT a storage unit!”
Repeat it three times in a row to let it really sink in to your consciousness. Heck, close your eyes and click the heels of your ruby slippers while saying it if it helps.
Really and truly, you don’t have to keep everything.
Having fewer things makes cleaning easier, finding things easier, and gives your kids more room to play. Having fewer things frees up mental space. Having fewer things frees up emotional space.
Throw stuff away and don’t feel guilty.
Oh, okaaay. Give stuff away, recycle things, etc., and then don’t feel guilty.
This is the most important key of all. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!
You and your family are unique. You are your situation are unique. And, if we’re being honest, you are probably comparing yourself to those who have more free time, fewer children, more money, more resources, etc., etc., etc.
Do you know what you get yourself when you compare?
A head full of worry and a heart full of shame. Well, doesn’t that sound like a hit country song?
Keep your eyes on your own paper, darling.
You truly do not know what everyone else’s life is like. You are not omniscient. Thank the Lord. (Because, yuck, who wants to know all the thoughts everyone is thinking…ewww!)
Just keep plugging away at your own little path, doing your own best, improving bit by bit at your own life, comparing yourself to your own self.
To paraphrase a wise quote, sometimes attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt–what other people think of you is none of your business.
Amy is the writer behind A Lady and Four Gents. She is a self-employed single mom to four boys, including twins. Amy traded her full-time career and outrageous commute for more time with her kids. She hopes to inspire and equip other single moms to build confidence, pursue personal independence, and design the life they long for.