I know. You have no time for self-care. How could you? You’re a SINGLE MOM!
There’s the kids, your job, the commute, the groceries, the laundry, making meals, doctor’s appointments, etc, etc, etc. You even sacrifice sleep to get the necessary things done when there’s not enough time in the day.
But you have to plan a little self-care to keep your sanity, if not every day, then at least once a week. I’m not talking an afternoon at the spa (as if!), but just a few minutes to half an hour at a time. This bit for yourself could seriously make the difference between you running away from your life while screaming, and sticking things out.
Refreshing your soul is not selfish.
And you don’t have to spend much–or anything–to accomplish this. Here’s five ways to save your sanity.
Let Your Mind Escape
Your mind needs a break from the eternal merry go round of bills, kids, and work.
So give it one.
Read a chapter of a book, play a few rounds of a word game on your phone, or just gaze out a window and daydream.
Of course, you might have to stick some ear plugs in to enjoy any of these in peace, but give your kids fair warning and do it.
Contact a Support Person
Being a single mom means being the sole adult in your household pretty much all the time. There is usually no one else to tag team in when you are feeling exhausted, sick, or just plain out of ideas of how to handle life in a grown-up way.
Sure, you can find some answers on Google, but Alexa can’t be your counselor. (Though tempting, with health care costs…!)
Sometimes you need another human adult to talk to, either to vent to or get advice from. It could be a friend, a relative, or even a hotline. Best to keep a contact list of people or places you can call when you need to, especially some you can contact at any hour.
Remember You Are Beautiful
Single motherhood is not usually super glamorous. I don’t know, maybe some of you are prancing around in Louboutins heels and gorgeous manicures every day, but definitely not me.
In fact, even though I love having pretty nails, I realized that I’d been neglecting myself for far too long when I recently slapped a fun blue coat on my fingernails and my youngest son gasped when he saw them later.
“They turned blue!” he yelled in surprise.
Well, garsh, he’d never seen them painted! After that, I realized that I needed to spend a few minutes each week doing something just for me. Maybe not nails every time, but something to remind me that I enjoy a bit of being feminine (or being a girl, as in this clip, below).
Of course, if painted fingernails aren’t your thing, you could take a bubble bath, get a haircut, or even admire the strength of your body–how it birthed your children and takes care of them.
Mmmm…coffee. I adore coffee. But not bad coffee. I’m talking a strong espresso or a refreshing cold brew.
Okay, it doesn’t have to be coffee if you don’t like coffee (could be tea, lemon water, or even wine). The point is to indulge in some small luxury (dark chocolate, I’m heading your way next!) to keep your sanity.
And if you do drink coffee, remember to hydrate (except for you lemon water afficionados–you already win!).
Moment of Peace
Sometimes you just need a moment without anyone screaming at anyone else, asking you for something, telling on someone, or complaining. AKA, a moment of peace. But how, when you are surrounded by tiny humans?
Remember those ear plugs? Feel free to pull them out again. (Obviously not when you are driving or in a situation where you need to hear your children!) If you do have quieter children, count your blessings.
Use your moment of peace to pray, take deep breaths, or meditate. Feel your heart beat slow and calm.
Remember how far you’ve come in your journey as a single mom. Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing, even though it is difficult. If you can, hug your little munchkins, and breathe in their sweetness. Rascally sweetness!
Plan in your self-care–you are the most important piece of your kids’ lives.
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.