4 Top Tips for Handling Stress as a Single Mom

4 Top Tips for Handling Stress as a Single Mom

We found the best ways to cope with the stress single moms often face.

By Maria Mora

Whether you’re a single mom or not, raising kids is stressful. Every mom has to deal with worries, fears, and frustrations. Every mom wonders what her child will be like as an adult. Every mom wonders if she’s doing a good job.

But single moms have the unique challenge of facing these and other sources of parenting stress without a partner. Here’s how to deal.

1. Redefine what you consider to be good parenting.
Your kids don’t need to go to school with a bento lunch and a handwritten note every day. They know you love them. Cut yourself a little slack. Good parenting means caring about your kids’ wellbeing, getting them where they need to be, and trying to enjoy the time you have together. Don’t overdo it. You’re not in a contest to prove that you can do everything and more despite being single.

2. Care for yourself as you would care for a friend.
If a friend of yours is hurting, what’s your first instinct? Chances are, you want to do whatever you can to help her. Now, picture the last time you were in pain. Did you put that amount of effort in? Were you as compassionate? For single moms, it’s far too easy to end up being last in line for self-care and healing. Devote a true effort to caring for yourself in whatever ways help you relieve stress. This could mean making time to read, working out, visiting a therapist, calling a friend, or simply acknowledging that you’re doing a great job every day.

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3. If you don’t have a village, make one.
Single moms don’t have the built-in support of a partner, but that doesn’t mean they have to be isolated. If you don’t have the luxury of nearby family, create your own village. Join mom groups in person or online. Connect with coworkers or with the parents of your kids’ friends. Reach out and schedule a play date or a moms’ night out. Little by little, meaningful friendships will develop. You don’t have to do this alone.


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4. Acknowledge and nurture your non-mom life.
For single moms, every waking hour of the day can feel like “mom time.” Don’t neglect the other parts of your identity. Go on dates if that’s something you enjoy. Make plans with grown-up friends. Hire a babysitter so you can go shopping without being rushed by your kids. Make time for your favorite hobbies. You might be a single mom, but you’re also a human being with a diverse and unique set of needs. Don’t lose sight of that.

What are your best stress-relieving tips?

Maria Mora is a single mom, editor, and hockey fanatic. She lives with her two sons in Florida.

Image ©iStock.com/AlexanderNovikov

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