Someone asked me yesterday what advice I would give to Independent mothers and I honestly felt like I could not even cover this in an Instagram comment because there is just so much to say. I could literally write paragraphs about this because it is the reality for a lot of us. I decided to put my thoughts into a post and I hope that you will find it useful.
1.There may be difficult days, there may be days where you feel like nothing is going right and everything is going wrong, but these days happen to everyone – not just you. The thing with these days is that they do not last, sometimes they happen to challenge us, to help us to be stronger and to prompt us to think outside of the box. For example, “I did not have enough time to prepare dinner and the children are waiting, so let’s prepare dinner together.” More hands lighten the work significantly.
2. You can ask for help, you do not ever need to struggle and think that you have to do everything by yourself. This will put a large amount of pressure on yourself and may cause you to become drained later on. Nobody will judge you for asking anyone for help, remember it takes a village!
3. Friendship is important to, not just for you, but for your children. There is nothing better than having a group of friends who you can confide in, trust and spend quality time with. Nobody likes to be lonely and friends have this awesome ability of taking our mind of things and helping us to combat isolation. There are a lot of amazing friends out there who will constantly call you or check up on you to make sure that you are okay and that is what you need Mama, embrace it.
4. Please do not ever tell your children bad things about their father – as much as you may want to. The child should be allowed to make up their own mind about their father once they have reached an age of maturity after all it is their father. Growing up my mother never overshadowed my opinions of my father and I appreciated her for that because as I matured I saw what he was all about and I made the conscious decision to love him from a distance.
5.If your children’s father is not physically there and never has been it may be a helpful idea to provide a positive male figure for them. This could be an uncle, a godfather, a family friend or anyone you know who will demonstrate a positive male role in their lives, so although their father is absent they can see what a real man looks like.
6. You may have to make sacrifices from time to time and understand that although you can have everything you set your mind to, you may not be able to obtain it there and then. Set yourself goals and as you attain each thing you will feel so proud of yourself.
7. Likewise with your children, they may not be able to have everything they desire at that particular moment because you will be giving them what they need. This is not a bad thing as it will teach them to value what they do have, so that if and when they are blessed with what they desire they will treat it with the upmost care.
8. You may be judged – but even if you are that is NOT your problem. Often people speak about things they have no idea about and sometimes end up looking rather silly. Some people do not just judge Independent mothers, they judge everyone. This is again not your problem it is a deep rooted issue that they have with themselves. If someone is in a happy place they will not feel the need to look down and judge others. Pray for such people, so that God can change their hearts.
9. You are not unwanted and if your children’s father has rejected you it could be for a number of reasons which have little to do with you. I say this all the time, but I am confident that you would rather raise your children with a man who is all in and does not have one foot in whilst the other foot is outside the front door. We need consistency, we need men who want to be fathers, but if your children’s father is not willing to step up to the table, then God WILL bless you with someone who will and this individual shall do a phenomenal job in the process.
10. I saw a post the other day on Instagram and I added it to my highlights because it resonated so much with me. It was about how children do not stay little for long and so we should cherish them as they are now and give them cuddles if they ask for extra ones and so forth, this is very true and as an Independent mother we are fortunate enough to get extra cuddles and extra kisses.
11. Always speak life into your children and pray with them, pray that they will be blessings and that God shall protect them from anything that is not for them. It is so important for you as the sole parent to your child to cover them daily with prayer. Building their self esteem up with affirmations and positive thoughts will help them to know who they are and what they are capable of.
12. It is okay to not have everything all of the time, having a 1 parent budget can make things difficult at times because your money may not always be able to stretch to everything that you want it to, but if this is the case, please make sure that you are accessing everything that you need. Check out my post here for further information: https://www.theresilientmum.com/single-post/2018/01/10/What-Financial-Support-Is-Available-To-Me
13. If ever you find yourself feeling down constantly, then please do reach out to someone to have a talk about what is going on. A great place to seek initial help is from your doctor, it may just be that you need someone to talk to or you require some extra sleep, but please, please, please, do not suffer in silence. Check out this post for further information on what help is available to you: https://www.theresilientmum.com/single-post/2018/02/07/SupportOrganisations-For-Independent-Mamas
14. Even though you are an Independent mother it is essential for you to set rules and boundaries in place, so that your children are aware of what you require of them. Anyone who interacts with your children or helps out with them, should also respect your rules and boundaries whilst seeking to adhere to them.
15. Finding and establishing balance between being a mother, home and work is pivotal. You simply cannot pour from an empty cup Mama, so it is important for you to make sure that you are setting time aside each day to have some “me time.” In fact it is essential for your wellbeing. Your children will also benefit from having a relaxed Mama.
16. You are not a failure if you put your children into childcare. Lets face it if a lot of us could look after our children, work and still earn enough money to pay bills and live a good life we would, but it is just not the reality for a lot of people. There is nothing wrong with you putting your children into childcare so that you can go to work and create a life that they will one day be appreciative of. Nobody has the right to judge you for this because you are doing all of this as an Independent mother, so do what you have to do.
17. You do not have to compete with others to prove anything to anyone, just go at your own pace. Build your life, live your life, love your children and take care of what is yours. The only person you should ever be in competition with is YOURSELF! Try to work on being a better person every day.
18. Like everyone else you may make mistakes from time to time, please do not be hard on yourself for doing so. Everyone makes mistakes, but what is important is that we learn from our mistakes and use them to do things differently in the future.
19. You are not obliged to surround yourself with people who threaten your positive space. Of course we all go through things and have down days, but if someone is constantly draining you and causing you a lot of stress, then let go of them and be free.
20. Invest in your children and this does not just mean financially, but invest in them with all that you have. Make time for them, listen to them, bond with them, communicate with them and teach them. You are the individual they will spend most of their time with, so please make sure that you are making them a priority in your life.
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