Stretched in too many directions, single moms have got a tall order of hectic on their plate. This plate, full of life’s stresses, doesn’t actually fill you up, instead, if we’re not careful, it will leave a momma hungry — and starved. I can recall a long season of being in desperate need of some good food. Not for the usual burger, slice of pizza or carton of ice cream, although that was and still is always welcomed. I was hungry for food that would feed my soul. Not fried chicken, chicken noodle soup or greens. No. Not that kind of soul food. But the kind of food that would set deep into my being and provide me the strength and hope to persevere the tough season I was moving through.
Being a single mom can do that to you. Turn you into a crazed and starving mad woman.
Looking back on that season, I didn’t consciously realize that I was barely hanging on. I didn’t know I was running on empty. I had been doing it for so long that it had become my new normal. Life was hard, but it was doable. I was doing it.
But I was barely doing it and at times I bet you are too.
The surface of things can look good. Laundry washed, folded and put away. Dinner dishes from the night before rarely left in the sink overnight. House dusted, toilets clean, showers free of mildew and grime. Soccer sign-ups completed. Rent paid. Groceries in the fridge. Check! Check!
But my heart, my soul, my spirit?
Worst of all? I was feeding myself the wrong things in a time I needed so much.
Everyone is different. We all have our unique ways of dealing with things. Some healthy and some not so healthy ways. In this two-part series, I want to take the time to address a list of triggers, that become particularly more stressful to single moms. In the second part of this series, I’ll address healthy options that can help alleviate the stress.
For now, let’s talk about those situations in your life that create an immobilization that in turn sets you off to a level of impulsive actions that can barely be contained:
- Handling the aftermath of divorce
- Dealing with dreaded court documents, dates and outcomes
- Child support
- Money matters
- Too much to do in very little time
- Doing it all alone
- No job or little education
- Circumstances surrounding the care of special needs children
- Raising kids. Period.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that this is insanity brewing in a steep pot of life. A mean combination of circumstances creating a massive amount of dysfunction waiting to be hand delivered to the first person that crosses any single moms path. The crazy part of all this? That list of 10 triggers aren’t even covering the other issues like lacking dependable transportation, sick kids, no more sick time, bills/debt unpaid, toxic relationships and I am sure you can add ONE THOUSAND of your own burdensome items to this already exhausting list. It is no wonder the statistics are through the roof on data of single parents abusing anything they can get their hands on the fastest.
But most of all….and above all this frustration, I know that it makes your heart break.
Because there are at least a few, if not more of these, that are currently on your plate and a stark reality of what you are facing.
And that makes my heart break.
Is there a solution?
YES! There are many! And I am sure you have tried some of them yourself. Today I wanted to take the time to just sit with the idea that, being a single parent, is almost an implausible thing to do, especially when left without the proper resources to do it.
And yet, you are doing it! Amidst all those difficult tasks, against all the odds, and even with all the additional stressful triggers I mentioned in this post —YOU are taking the steps needed to make this life a good one.
That alone and all by itself requires a huge applause. A great big hug and thousands of – YOU GO GIRL!
***Homework: take the time this week to reflect on the things that really set you off. What is it that totally makes you grit your teeth and shoot through the roof? What is it that sets you back emotionally and makes you regret you didn’t handle things better when life presented itself to you?
Write them down and tuck them away because next week I want to talk about solutions. If you want me to address your momma crazed triggers 😉 and provide solutions then take a second and send me a message.