Single Moms’ Secrets to Juggling It All

Single Moms’ Secrets to Juggling It All

These clever single mom habits can help any mother balance her life and get it done.

By Maria Mora

How do single moms balance work and parenting without much downtime? It’s all about clever routines and good habits. We asked inspiring single moms to share how they juggle it all, and the responses were simple, yet amazingly effective. Whether you’re a single mom or not, these smart tricks can help you keep your life running smoothly.

1. Have a network. Don’t be an island. You need support on your parenting journey. “Know your allies,” says Jennifer L. from California. “I have a big single mom network, and we all have each other's backs for emergencies and date nights.”

2. Be gentle with yourself. Forgive yourself for what you perceive to be parenting failures. “I wake up each morning with as much grace for myself as I would want every other single mom to feel for herself,” says Mary M. from Texas.

3. Be consistent. It’s fine to take a fun day off, but for the most part, try to keep a consistent schedule. This is especially helpful for moms who are co-parenting. “Kids need a routine, a schedule, consistency,” says Erin M. from Kansas. And it’ll make things easier on you. For instance, you won’t deal with pushback from kids if they always expect bedtime at the same time.

4. Don’t try to do it all. Angela G. from California advises accepting offers for help and giving yourself permission not to have to do it all. “I had to learn [to] be transparent without apologizing when it comes to schools and outside organizations looking for my time or my funds,” she says.

5. Outsource what you can. If you have room in your budget, outsource some of your responsibilities -- especially the tasks that cause you the most stress. “Outsource anything you can afford to,” says Marcy M. from California. “I have someone else come in and do my laundry. My kids have no idea who folded their towels.”

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6. Do your best not to let things pile up. Try not to procrastinate when it comes to basic daily tasks. “I never ever put anything off until the next day,” says Beth F. from Indiana. This doesn’t mean taking on extra work, but it does mean making sure you don’t end up under a huge pile of dirty dishes.

7. Take time for yourself. “I think the thing that has helped me most has been to go out when I want to go out,” says Kelly C from Alabama. “This doesn't help me with laundry or keeping the kitchen clean, but it helps me feel like I'm not trapped.” Any mom can relate to that feeling.

How do you manage all of your responsibilities without losing sight of yourself?

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

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