The Single Mom & Self Care

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The Single Mom & Self Care

It happened again.  NOOO!!!  It’s 2am.  I woke up on the couch at 2am, tv blaring, makeup still on, unfinished glass of wine by my side, and dragged my booty upstairs to my bed, only to move a child over, to make room for me so I can sleep 3 more hours getting kicked in the back. No more.

This is war.  We must take better care of ourselves.  The fact is, no one else is going to do it for you. It’s time for something new. Tonight I broke the cycle. I put on a hair mask, and a face mask, and soaked in a tub with lavender bath salts while listening to “I Declare” by Joel Osteen and sipped on a La Croix. Tucking myself into bed by 9:30pm. Now that is self care! But, I had to knock out this blog though while it was fresh.

Why take better care of yourself  

1. You deserve it.  You are not damaged goods.  You are not ruined.  You are the head of your household and now more then ever you have to be strong, healthy, alert, and plugged in.  Take care of you so you can take care of everyone else.

2. It’s attractive.  Actually no, it’s hot! Just being real.  Do you know the best way to attract a good man?  Not to need him.  You have your stuff together!  If  you have the goal of finding a new partner that will love you, choose you, and love your children you have to put yourself and your care first.  You become the goddess that they feel grateful to be with, not the damsel in distress that needs saving. That act only works in fairy tales, and fairy tales are not real!  No one wants to be with someone who is unhealthy, depressed, and has given up on bettering themselves.  I’m not talking about 6 pack abs and wearing a size 2.  NO!  I’m talking about being confident, comfortable in your own skin, happy, and respecting yourself.  Now that is hot!

3. It’s contagious.  Your kids are watching every move you make, and every move you don’t make.  Do you want them to think about their life with a single mom as hard and destitute and depressing? Or do you want them to remember it as fun, rewarding, and full of fantastic life lessons that made them better human beings?  YES!!!  The truth is if they see you depressed, they will become depressed too.  They shouldn’t feel bad for one minute about their life with their single mom.  They should feel proud, respectful, and grateful!  They get that from you.  If they see you caring for your body, eating well, cleaning up, and working hard to better your family then they will respect themselves too! Here’s the deal.  I’m going to be brutally honest.  Single moms get a bad rap.  We don’t deserve the reputation we have.  There is an assumption that we are all needy, sad, broke, and uneducated.  That’s a lie.  We are strong, hard working, happy, and contributing greatly to society.  It’s always just a few that cause a bad stereotype.  So let’s fight.  Let’s fight together to be brave and demand the respect we deserve.  Be all in with your kids.  If it’s not your weekend with the kids this is not your time to go party, that ship has sailed girl.  You are a mother.  You show up to the games.  You show up to the practices.  You are present. You are involved.  You are strong because you are taking great care of yourself.  Plus, you know where the good guys are?  They are not at the bars when the dad has the kids.  They are on the baseball field playing catch with their children hoping to find an amazing partner just like you!

What is Self Care?

Self Care isn’t narcissistic.  I’m not talking about buying a whole bunch of designer bags and clothes because you are single and meeting guys you have met on Tinder!  Self Care is about valuing yourself. It’s about engaging in daily activities in looking after yourself in a positive way so that you can face uncomfortable circumstances like a boss.  It’s hard. I get it.  It takes so much effort to raise children solo that you put yourself last Please stop.  Self Care is about a daily practice of caring for yourself so you can take care of others.

It’s not all your fault if you feel like you are “off your path”.  Give yourself a break.  This likely was not what you expected.  Your emotions have taken a hit. Your confidence is low. Self Care is how you get it back. It’s how you begin to slay! I am with you in this journey right now. I was abandoned, dealt with adultery, moved to start life over, and then lost my dream job.  Yeah, talk about a bad string of hits on the confidence of the past 5 years.  Here is what I’m doing daily to get back on my path.

1. Presentation: A single mom practicing self care is one that puts herself together when she leaves the house.  No more pajamas in carpool.  No last night’s makeup.  If we want my children’s respect, other parent’s respect, teacher’s respect, and someday a man’s, we use look like we deserve it.  Now, I think a cute workout outfit with a clean face and hair back in a ponytail is a perfectly acceptable way to start your day!  You don’t have to put on heels…just yet!

2. Proper Care and Feeding For weeks now my breakfast as consisted of whatever my kids didn’tsinglemom workout finish.  That’s NOT right!!!  You have to value yourself enough to put the right stuff in your body so you can keep up with the crazy single mom schedule.  Please cut out fast food, sodas, and sugars.  Begin to fill your body with food to fuel you, NOT to comfort you.  (I’m planning on more help in this area for you soon!)  A single mom practicing self care is one that eats healthy and finds a way somehow to fit in exercise.  Oh good Lord, I know how hard that is.  Even if it’s 15 minutes of walking during your lunch or some pushups and crunches girl, do something to move.  It will release happy chemicals in our brain!

3. Proper Time Management Please say “no”.  Just last week I was guilted into going on a field trip.  I didn’t have time.  I had to cancel a conference call and work all night before so I could be free to go because the teacher begged for extra help. Wouldn’t you know too many parents showed up?  ugh!  A single mom practicing self care sets boundaries.  This isn’t the season for you to be constantly volunteering for everything.  You can’t do it all.  Capes don’t actually give you the ability to fly! Explain your lifestyle the teachers, I’m sure they will understand.  Instead, carve out time for you.  You get up 20 minutes before the kids to center, have coffee, pray, and get yourself together.You carve out time after the kids go to bed or are at their activities to take a bath, wash your face, put on a hair mask, and take care of you.  You must schedule time to rest so you can function and not burn yourself out.  You must schedule time to have fun.  This is what makes you a happy well rounded thriving single mom!

5 Ways to Practice Self Care:  

Self Care Tip 1:   Take a bath.  Don’t argue! Hey I always have said I don’t like to sit in my own dirt, but I did it tonight and it was glorious!  Use some bubble bath, lay, soak, listen to something that encourages and relaxes you, and turn off your phone. Making this a regular practice at the end of your day protects you from falling asleep on the couch, watching things that don’t encourage you, and let’s face it staying up and swiping on some dating app and talking to strangers.  Choose self care instead!

Self Care Tip 2:  Make the gym a priority. If you scheduled a meeting with the CEO of your company, would you cancel?  No way!  You are the CEO of your life and your family.  You MUST put you first and take care of you.  My dear friend and moderator of our private Facebook group, “Single Mom Life”, Charlotte says,

My gym time is as sacred as coffee time. ;) Keeping my appointments with my Crossfit classes is something I do for me…and it not only makes me strong physically, it makes me strong mentally. It’s a place where I can shed all of my labels (mom, employee, single) and just work on me.

Self Care Tip 3: Schedule time to have FUN with friends. Isolating is damaging.  Don’t be embarrassed to call friends ask what they are doing!  Even the married ones.  Please don’t stay at home alone when you don’t have the kids.  I’ve done it. I’ve wallowed.  I’ve waited for friends to invite me.  They aren’t being rude, they are just as busy as you are and worried about their own problems.  You initiate.  You plan.  Let’s face it, some of those married moms need to get out and have a little fun too!  Check out Groupon or Living Social for ideas and deals on fun activities.

Kimberly WrightMember of Single Mom Life, Kimberly, says, “Spending time with friends is a must and doing things with other single mom’s and kids helps to know you are not alone in life.”
Holly McNicholas

Holy adds,”As much as I hate giving my kids over to my ex every other weekend, I’m starting to enjoy my time. Meals alone or with friends, no kids in my bed, nobody to argue with, time for me to recharge my batteries. When I have the kids I try to exercise daily, quiet time in the Word, and a long, hot shower for time alone and regroup my thoughts.”

Self Care Tip 4:  Go to Bed by 10pm.  I got this one from an amazing Christian speaker and author, Angela Thomas, who spent some time as a single mom made this rule.  You must be rested.  Nothing good for you happens after 10pm. Sleep is what will restore you. It is your super power to surviving the single mom life!
Amy Pfund Whitmore
 Amy shared on our Single Mom Life Facebook Group, “No matter how much laundry there is or dirty dishes I know I need to be in bed by 10. All that can wait until the morning. I am no good to anyone if I’m not well rested.”

Self Care Tip 5: Connect with God. This is the MOST important tip of all. If you find yourself limited by your circumstances, debilitated by fear, or simply stuck in life. Prayer is your way out. You were not meant to be alone.  There is hope.  Instead of jumping into another relationship and leaning on that man for emotional support, lean on Jesus.  Check out this promise to YOU, the single mom, from God:

 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God… with deep compassion I will bring you back.” (Isaiah 54:1-6) 

How do you connect? You can download for FREE the 30 Days of Powerful Prayer for Today’s Single Mom e-book. Just fill out your name and email and it will arrive in your inbox!  It will give you the daily fuel you need to move from surviving this time in your life, to thriving.  It’s a prayer for you and space for you to journal your thoughts.  It’s SHORT.  If you can spend 10 minutes a day connecting with God, that’s the best Self Care around.  Allow him to care for you.  I love you!

Let’s face it Single Motherhood is HARD!! I’m here to be your cheerleader and help you smile every day, become the most effective single mom you can be and lead your family well  How?  Get filled up with encouragement!  There are FIVE ways you and I can connect with each other.

1. Start your day with encouragement designed for YOUR Single Mom Life when you Subscribe to my FREE daily inspirational email and receive the FREE the 30 Days of Powerful Prayer for Today’s Single Mom e-book.
2. Save time by listening to “Single Mom Life”  podcast while you are on the go! Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes
3. No time to read?  I here ya!  I also put it all on video for you! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!
4. Join the Single Mom Life Facebook Community where we can encourage each other!
5. Make it Personal!  I am now offering one-on-one coaching to a limited number to help you love your Single Mom Life.  You will get access to me through Skype calls on a weekly basis!  Apply for the NEW program here. 

All I ask in exchange is that you please SHARE!  Don’t keep this place to yourself. Share the blogs on your Facebook page, tell your friends about the podcasts, and invite a single mom you know to check out www.singlemomlife.com.  Much love!  AC

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