There Is No Self Care as a Single Mother
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
Approximately 30% of single mothers reported symptoms of depression or anxiety compared with just 14% of partnered mothers (Pond, 2018). This brings no surprise that the impact of COVID has increased stress levels tremendously. If you once juggled the roles of a working employee and parent, you will now incorporate your new responsibility as a teacher if you have school aged children. Congratulations! As always, you continue to show the world how HEROIC you are. But let us be honest, it does not always feel good carrying a heavy load or knowing that if you are too tired to help the children with their homework or clean up your home, grades will drop and clutter will take over your space. You embody the quote “she wanted a hero, so that’s what she became”. I see you sis!
As mothers we normally practice the belief that everything we love should come first in our lives. However, if you do not place yourself at the top of your priority list how effective is your prioritizing really? If you do not take care of yourself you are likely to become frustrated, irritated, unmotivated, and simply bitter. Although the amount of responsibilities are sure to result in a few of the listed emotional responses, reality is you can begin to practice self-care today. How you say? I see you are interested and this is great, so keep reading….
How Can a Single Mother Practice Self-Care?
# 1. Create a Support System
I am a big believer that “it takes a village to raise children”. This means support is needed, you do not have to feel obligated to be with your children 24/7. Dr. Jane Scott and Stephanie Land states “how empowering to give your child the confidence to know that she can have a good time without you” (para. 3). If you have trusted family members or friends that you have observed to have great rapport with your children, ask for their support. Support can include assistance with dropping off or picking up the children, going to your home and entertaining them while you are having alone time, or babysitting overnight once a month.
# 2. Schedule Alone Time
This is important because mothering includes repeating yourself continuously. “Why didn’t you clean your room like I asked” or “I asked you to take your shoes to the room”. Sounds familiar right, the action of repeating yourself can become mentally exhausting not including the additional responsibilities of mothering. Dedicate at least 1 hour of alone time to quiet your brain and/or participate in a hobby.
# 3. Once You Commit, Don’t Quit
Your self-care strategy should be non-negotiable! Recognize that if you allow it, there will be several other tasks that appear more important than what you have planned for yourself. Don’t fall for it! You are dedicated in all other areas in your life, it is time you show the same commitment for yourself.
Pond, E. (2019, January 28). High risk for anxiety, depression, and STRESS observed among single mothers. Retrieved March 03, 2021, from https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/home/topics/mood-disorders/depressive-disorder/high-risk-for-anxiety-depression-and-stress-observed-among-single-mothers/#:~:text=Approximately%2030%25%20of%20single%20mothers,%25%2C%20respectively%3B%20P%20%3C.
Scott, J., & Land, S. (2019, February 03). Why taking time for yourself is important for you and your kids - and how to do it guilt-free. Retrieved March 03, 2021, from https://www.readbrightly.com/why-taking-time-for-yourself-is-important-for-you-and-your-kids-and-how-to-do-it-guilt-free/