Parenting as such is not easy. It becomes all the more challenging when you, as a single mom, are single-handedly trying to pull it off. The days and nights pass off in a daze as you struggle to take care of the baby, while also running the house, and possibly managing a job as well. But busy days and nights are just one side of it. Most single moms are also constantly anxious about their financial situation. They are also full of worry and self-doubts as they do not have a partner to make all the child-related decisions. In other words, the “normal” stress any parent feels becomes overwhelming for a single mom.
8 Ways to Cope Up With Loneliness When You Are a Single Mom
Every single mom will have a unique experience when it comes to parenthood. Some are single moms by choice, some have lost a partner recently to death, and some are going through a divorce. And depending on the reason for being a single mom, the emotions and feelings one goes through also differ. But one feeling that most single moms talk about is the overwhelming loneliness! If you are a single mom and feel lonely, please read the following 8 ways that will help you cope with the loneliness.
- You are not alone: Do not think that you are alone in this experience. Do not feel guilty that your child is somehow disadvantaged among his/her peers. Do not feel you are not normal. All these negative thoughts will only make you feel worse. Instead, understand that you are not alone. There are scores of single moms out there who are wonderful parents and who have raised very happy and successful children. Be confident of your abilities. And what is more. You are literally not alone! You have a wonderful child and both of you make a great team
- Plan ahead but take each day as it comes: We do understand the journey is difficult. You might have help from your parents and friends, but at the end of the day, you are solely responsible and accountable for both your and your child’s life. It can get very stressful. It can be very confusing. One way you can cope with this is to take each day as it comes. Every day you will face new challenges, and every day you will learn how to overcome them. But at the same time, it is also important to ensure that you build a secure future for both of you, financially. Make sure you have a plan in place – that will give you lot of comfort. So in short, have the big picture clearly in your mind. But do not worry too much about the future and take each day as it comes. Here are some awesome tips to gain control on your life
- Get together with friends: Most single moms do one mistake – they de-prioritize themselves and keep all the anxiety and lonely feelings they have in the back burner. Here is our tip – do not put yourself at the bottom of your list. Unless you are happy, you cannot make your baby happy. So do not feel guilty to carve out a bit of “me time” and spend it with your friends
- Keep yourself busy: Remember the proverb an idle mind is a devil’s workshop? Keeping yourself busy is a great way to distract yourself and cope with the loneliness. Are you already working? If not, this is a good time to think about having a steady income. If you are working, do you have few hours every week to study something new? Or, is there an old habit you want to get back into? Ok, it doesn’t have to be so complicated also. Once your child sleeps, if you are feeling sad and lonely, just switch on the TV and watch a good show. Or read a book. Point is not to sit idly and overthink and over-analyze
- Be positive: People will continue to judge and give you 100 reasons why you should not remain a single mom. That is their problem. With all the negativity thrown at you by all and sundry, and with hectic schedule you have, it is really difficult to stop and smell the roses, we know that. Think of what you are doing. Think of how you are providing a safe home for your child to grow. Think of how beautiful your child is. There are plenty to be proud of. Everyday find 1-2 things, even if small, to be happy about. Focus on them and not all the scary uncertain things
- Channel all energy towards kids…and yourself: “Now live for your children” is an advice a single mom often hears. In India, it is almost assumed that with no partner, you practically have no life. Most of us women are conditioned to think this way too. So we put all our energy in raising our kids well. Nothing wrong with that. A lot of time does go in to parenting. There are many things you could engage your child in – like sports or dance classes or music. But do not forget to focus on yourself too. When the child is in school or an extracurricular class, find a few activities you like and engage yourself in them
- Build a support network: As we said before, there are many women who are in similar boats. With social media, it is very easy to reach out to similar single moms, in your locality and anywhere around the globe. A lot of tips and best practices get exchanged in Facebook groups and so on that will help you cope. Share, help, get help, motivate and get motivated
- Grow: Do not let your loneliness drag you for long. You have to grow as an individual. Become better at things you do already. Learn how to do new things. Invest in yourself. You are not a “gone case”. A minute spent on brooding about the past is a minute lost in your present