The Lone Mamma

by Claire Minnaar


Motherhood isn’t for sissies – I’m sure you’re fully aware of that very well known fact. Throw in the fact that you live alone with 1 or more kids and well, things aren’t much easier and it’s especially challenging when you are used to having an extra adult (aka spare hand) around!

Over the last 6 – 8 weeks, I have been exposed to living alone during the week with my kids. My husband is gone from Monday mornings at sparrow-fart (around 4:45am) until around 8pm on Friday evenings. Between those times, it’s me, Ethan (5) and Jake (2) alone with the hounds and Perry – my extremely loud cockatiel!

What used to be shared responsibilities such as grocery shopping, feeding animals, cooking, fetching and carrying from school, etc is now purely my responsibility and, well, it’s been a challenge – I won’t lie. I’m very grateful to have help during the day while I work, but come 5pm, it’s me and the mini-monsters and it’s…..interesting!

Some days are easier and just flow and I feel like I’ve got my mojo, but some days are just NOT. But, what I have found is there are a few things one can do to make things easier for YOU (the MOM!) and guess what – I’m going to share it with you today!

Top 10 Tips Surviving The Lone Mamma Ride

  1. Routine is KEY: A routine helps you and it helps your kids. While it may seem monotonous at times, it really does make a difference and reduces any potential stress. Kids know what to expect and things do tend to run more smoothly.
  2. Schedule get-togethers: Some people don’t like to socialise in the evenings as kids often go to bed at different times. However, there are some that are more than happy to venture out for some time with you, so make sure to schedule dates in the week before. This reduces any chance of being lonely or overwhelm.
  3. Buy Frozen Foods: I’ve mentioned this before in an article about saving money, but really – this is a huge factor to making things easier. Buy frozen food where you can. This reduces the amount of grocery shops you will have to do during the day (therefore saving you time) and reduces the chance of you having to pack the car with all the kids to head off to the shop for something you that may have expired or gone off in the fridge.
  4. Expect to be less productive: Whether you like it or not, you never know what is coming with your kids. They could be laughing and jumping around one minute and the next be screaming, having a tantrum, have broken a leg or having a raging fever. The unscheduled events will potentially have you feeling more tired at the end of the day or not getting to certain tasks you were hoping to.
  5. Ask for help: This is my downfall. I am not good with asking for help, but sometimes you just have to. If you’re sick or need time out, ask a friend or a family member to help. The worst they can say is “No”.
  6. Take ME time no matter how tired you are: The kids do go to bed at some point. Avoid climbing into bed and just crashing. Take a moment (even if only 5 – 10 minutes) and breath, think back about what you could have done differently that would have made things easier, think about something that makes you smile or laugh and relax. Going to bed in a negative space from having a tough time with the kids can impact the following day, so let it all out before you go to sleep. If taking some “me time” is out of the question in the evening and you have some help in the day, make some time for it.
  7. Remember to breath: If you start to freak out, lose your cool or find yourself feeling tense or stressed out, STOP! STAND STILL! And, breathe in……and breathe out…..because it will be OK.
  8. Take care of yourself: This is a tough one because you’ve been running around like a mad woman looking after kids, bathing, groceries, working and so on – but in order to keep going, you do have to look after yourself to a certain degree by making sure you get enough sleep, eat and make sure to do Point 6 and 7 above.
  9. Give the Guilt-Monster the Boot: Whether you are single by choice or due to circumstances, there may come a time where you feel slightly guilty that your kids don’t have their Dad around or that you aren’t doing enough somehow. Naturally, as mothers we feel guilt. This is one thing you do not need to add to your guilty list. We aren’t always able to control our circumstances and life can be tough. As long as your kid(s) have you and you are strong, that’s all they need. They will survive.
  10. Be loving and positive: Another tough one, I’m sure. But, you are there to look out for your kids, educate them, show them what’s right and wrong, teach them, support them and love them. By you being positive, they will respond more positively. And, be your loving self and what happens is you get just as much lurving back!

Whether you have always been a single parent or are new to being a single parent, I hope you find these tips useful.

I would love to hear from you though – do you have a tip that could help me or other Moms? Please share in the comments below.

Image Credit: Jessica Peterson / Brand X Pictures / Getty Images

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