It may be fashionable for celebrities to choose single mothering, but most women are vaulted into the lifestyle due to unforeseen circumstances. As a result, many find themselves struggling emotionally while trying to figure out how to provide their kids with everything they need. It is common for newly single mothers to feel disoriented, especially after a recent divorce or being newly widowed. Despite the many challenges that come with single parenting, millions of women not only manage it with grace but thrive and become better versions of themselves. The key is to stick with essential principles.
1. Master the Art of Budgeting and Cost Cutting
A newly single mother must learn to handle her finances. Good money management is based on budgeting, which means accounting for every dollar and finding ways to cut costs.
Fortunately, there are dozens of websites devoted to money management. They offer tips, coupons, and sales alerts. Moms can drive down living costs by shopping when costs are at their lowest and buying at an upscale thrift store that sells gently used, good-quality items. Financial experts also recommend putting bills on autopay to avoid late fees and help maintain a good credit score.
2. Use Every Available Resource
Some single mothers are financially secure, but far more struggle to support themselves and their children. Fortunately, dozens of organizations can help, and they provide resources that make all the difference to single parents. Trying to struggle alone can result in an exhausted mother who has little time for her family. It can also mean children do not get the food, clothing, or health care they need.
Per the experts at Care.com, mothers can benefit from U.S. Government, state, and local programs designed to help single parents. For example:
· SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program). A government program that provides food-buying assistance.
· WIC. Another nutritional assistance program for women, children, and infants
· Grants. Some areas offer grants designed to improve applicants’ financial situations.
· Tax Breaks. The U.S. Government offers a Child Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credit, which has increased in 2021.
3. Stay in Control of Your Home
It can be very tempting for single mothers to become “buddies” with their children, especially after a contentious divorce. It’s natural to want to create a warm, relaxed environment. However, parents still need to stay in control to avoid chaos.
The key is to find balance and maintain order. According to Parents Magazine, newly single mothers often find that prioritizing what’s important is the first step in creating a secure, stable home. That often means not worrying about things like less-than-orderly rooms and closets.
4. Develop a Support System
Whether single mothers have the help of close friends and family or area groups, they must have support systems. Some women join other single parents, who help with everything from play dates and babysitting to sharing experiences.
5. Focus on the Bright Side
Being optimistic might not seem like it would solve a single mother’s problems, but a great attitude can often provide surprising benefits. Aside from the fact that optimists feel better and are more fun to be around, they often find the silver linings that others miss.
For example, many women discover new independence, previously undiscovered skills, and a reserve of strength. Kids and mothers frequently become closer when they go through challenges together. Many children step up and become more responsible and empathetic.
Being a single mother is not easy, but many women face challenges and thrive. Successful single moms use every available resource, learn financial management, and take control of their homes. They maintain a positive attitude, look for the benefits in their situation, and rely on a support system.