I am by NO means an expert or here to offer any advice. Being a mom is hard, being a working mom is hard, being a stay-at-home mom is hard, being a single mom is hard. When things unexpectedly happen, it can be hard to adjust. I felt like my first full year as a single mom I just needed to survive.
Here’s what I learned in my first year:
There Are Going to Be Hard Days
I have four kids under five, and I had a baby two days before the world shut down in 2020. Even before that, I was pregnant with three toddlers. That is a lot to handle in itself. When you are alone during a tantrum, it can seem like such a bigger issue when you do not have a helping hand. But somehow you manage through it. I had to accept that things were not ever going to be perfect.
It’s Okay to Cry
My kids are at a very testing age. My twins are four-and-a-half years old, my son is almost three, and my other son is almost one. There is not a day that goes by where someone is not whining or crying. In the moment of frustration, I have to take some deep breaths and know that it is okay to take a mental break for a minute. Even if it is just to go to the bathroom. For me, driving is a break. When I am on my way to pick up the twins from school, and there are no children in the car, it is my time to release any built-up emotions.
I Had to Make Time for Myself and My Mental Health
I am prone to severe anxiety, and I am an enneagram two, which means I am always wanting to help people and definitely put myself last. I had to make it a point to get a pedicure or run a few errands without feeling guilt. My mental health was definitely taking a toll between the pandemic and home adjustments, so I made a point of getting out of the house to help with that.
I Had to Plan More Than Ever Before
I started a new career working from home in 2020. I needed a plan of action of how and what I needed to do to make sure my kids were 100 percent taken care of. I never wanted them to suffer or realize any shortcomings because of the situation at home, so I had to plan ahead to make sure I could work, take care of my kids, take care of the house, and organize all other aspects of life. My calendar is jam-packed, but planning a week at a time has made it less overwhelming.
I Had to Release Control
I had to ask for a lot of help in 2020 — more than I ever before. There is no way to survive four kids without help. I needed to be able to work, so I needed a lot of help in other aspects. It takes a village, so you make sure you use your village.
Social Media Is Not Real
People are not showcasing their kids throwing a tantrum, they are not showcasing a child saying “mom” 25 times in one hour. It shows the best parts where everyone is smiling. I, too, am guilty of it, but I have to remember it’s not real. So if you feel like you are struggling, you probably are not the only one. Know you are never alone. Social media does not show you all the doctors appointments, the morning drop offs, the bill paying, the activities you get to attend, all the aspects of motherhood.
Head to Fort Worth Moms Neighbor Group Tarrant County Single Moms for resources, support, and community.