– Achieving balance as a single parent: Know and write down (or type out) all commitments to see them realistically. Gauge what can be minimized and what are your non-negotiables. For me I had to balance between being a single parent, working full-time, commuting 2-3 hours in traffic one way, child’s extracurricular activities (guitar lessons and football), practices, education (me going back to school), starting/growing a business, church commitments and my time. When looking at all of this is looked overwhelming. Especially since this didn’t include everything. For example cleaning the house, dishes, laundry, reading, studying (outside of classroom lectures), sick days (for me and child), medical & dental appointments, family time, oh and sleep. Sometimes we want to tell our kids to just lower
-Self-care as a single parent – what do you do? : SUPER IMPORTANT, recently I went back to therapy. This is one of my non-negotiables as mental health is important to me. Even something lighter than therapy, I choose to go on solo “trips” to decompress whether that’s a road trip back home (a southern state) or a walk around the block. Fitting that into my schedule monthly keeps me sain.
-What works for a single parent’s busy schedule: CALENDAR, a must-have! With many alerts, if you need them. Having a calendar has saved my life! I put everything on it and plan out each week. Keeps me organized and the weight lifted of having to remember everything. I just need to remember to add it to my calendar.
-Celebrating everyday moments: Everyday is not a 10 or mountain top, but I choose to live light and like each day is my last. Who’s to say it might not be? I celebrate big and even more so small wins! In 2012, I lost custody of my child, was ordered to pay $1000 in child support. Since my wages were being garnished I couldn’t afford to support myself and began living out of my car. Now 7 years later, I am able to support my child and many of our desires. Going from rock bottom to just busy – I celebrate everything because things could go back to being worse when I didn’t have my child, when I got out of the military for him to move closer to him, without a job. Just a prayer, hope and determination to be the best mom!
How do you find joy amid all the stresses and challenges as a single parent? Joy comes from above for me. Honestly, I believe in God and my relationship with him helps we weather all of life’s storms.
-What are the everyday moments you celebrate and why? Moments with my son, we pray and read the bible. We have our “date night” weekly where we’ll have dinner and do something fun. When my son hugs me or just randomly tells me he loves me or looks at me and smiles. All the dress, the traffic the financial obligations, all is worth it to be here raising him, even if I’m a single parent doing it.
-Tips for saving time: Have a calendar, plan out as much as you can, check traffic and weather before you leave.
– What are the hacks you’ve found to save time?: Have a village if you can! Neighbors, church family, friends (other single moms) or family, coordinate pickups and drop-offs. Help each other out. If it’s just yourself, meet new people, build relationships, it’s hard out here by yourself.
to make life easier? – Say no when you have to. You can’t do everything all the time. The more hands-on-deck has helped me. Knowing when I’m beat and when I needed a beak has helped me accomplish things once I had a chance to recharge and rejuvenate!