You, single mama, know all too well how intensely overwhelming it can be to raise children on your own and shoulder all of the responsibilities of everything else. There are many days that I become overwhelmed with remembering to pay the bills on time, worrying about if there will even be enough money for bills, remembering all the appointments and everyone’s schedule, fitting in work, and not to mention the emotional rollercoaster of raising kids alone.
We all know we function better as moms when we aren’t constantly running around putting out fires. We know we are more likely to become frustrated with the smallest things, get angry with our kids, or yell, (and sometimes all three).
Are you doomed to a constant state of overwhelm or burnout?? What can be done?
Trust me I completely get it. I lived in that stressed, burnt out state for way too long. I realized if I didn’t do something different, that nothing would change. And my kids would suffer for it because they would have a mom who was frequently in a bad mood or constantly getting frustrated with the smallest things!
It doesn’t have to be that way! You can reclaim your state of happiness and calmness.
I’ve put together some tips for you to help you conquer the overwhelm of single motherhood!
Make time to exercise
You might be thinking, girl bye! I have a million other things on my plate. I don’t have time to go to the bathroom by myself without my kids busting through the door! How can I find time to exercise?!
Lemme tell you, I get it. For the longest time, I would exercise in really short bursts, (like 10 minute youtube exercise videos), or I would take a walk with my kids and consider that a workout. And those are valid ways of exercising and if that is what you have time for then check out this post that has suggestions for quicker ways to workout!
But over time I found that those quick exercises weren’t enough for me anymore. I needed to do something for myself. I needed to massively relieve stress. So I started doing hour long online exercise programs. If you can find more time, I highly suggest you fit in longer exercises because it centers you, boosts your mood and energy, and helps you relieve stress!
Have a brainstorming session and then do a brain dump
At the beginning of each month I want you to think about all of the things you know you have to do or things that have to get done for that month. As you think of them, write them down in a list. These will be things like doctor/dentist appointments, school activities, other activities for your kids, car repairs, house repairs, birthday parties, etc.
Try not to go past a month though because you don’t want to think too far ahead and get stressed out thinking of things that are further down the line. I think that also hinders your ability to prioritize things in order of importance if you are thinking of things that need to be done this month and things that need to be done 3 months or even 6 months from now. (Note, I’m not saying to not plan your life out past one month, that would be insane! But try not to get too caught up brainstorming things that are way in the future).
Once you have them written down I want you to put them in order of importance and if you can, schedule them out on your calendar. Seeing everything that needs to be done for the month written out can help relieve that feeling of anxiety and overwhelm. Because you aren’t just completing tasks as you think of them, or procrastinating tasks you don’t want to do, or possibly even forgetting important events.
If you are a list person, you can cross off things as you get them done which will be fulfilling because you can see you are accomplishing tasks.
I used to always have a running list in my head of everything in life! But I started to forget important stuff because there was always some new fire that needed to be put out.
I started doing the brainstorm and brain dump and it was a game changer for me. It helped me get way more organized and way less overwhelmed! I wasn’t forgetting things or procrastinating things that had to be done anymore so I felt more in control of my life and schedule.
Take breaks from your kids
It is ok to take breaks from your kids! As a single mom you may feel you are doing a disservice to your kids if you aren’t lavishing them with attention. I know I felt this way. I felt so much guilt because I had life’s laundry list that I had to do everyday and I felt bad that they didn’t have anyone else but me.
But putting that pressure on yourself, to always play with your kids, or always be with them can have a negative effect. You may find yourself becoming frustrated with every little thing because your stress levels are built up. And when your stress levels build up, you can become easily angered. This is because your stress or anxiety is becoming overwhelming and you are less able to cope with those feelings.
I know I was not the mom I wanted to be when I wasn’t taking breaks from my kids. I would yell over the smallest things and become angry at things my kids would do that were developmentally appropriate.
Here’s the thing, you’re not meant to be “on” 24/7. You need time to relax as well. So if you find yourself becoming frustrated or angry, take a mommy time-out. Tell your kids you are taking time for yourself to calm down. Leave your kids in a safe area, then go somewhere you can be away from your kids for as long as it takes for you to calm down again.
You also should really make an effort to go out without your kids. Go out with a friend, grab coffee by yourself, go to the library and read. Do something that will allow you to unwind and you’ll see it will do wonders for relieving stress.
If you don’t have family or friends who can watch your kids, try asking one of your mom friends and offer to return the favor.
You know that part of being a single mom means being stressed, overwhelmed, and sometimes burnt out. But you don’t have to live in a constant state of feeling that way. These actionable tips can help you have a clearer mind, and regain control of your household and your emotions today!
How do you conquer the overwhelm and stress of being a single mom? Leave a comment and let me know I’d love to hear!