So often, as a single mom, I was convinced I was standing in the middle of a large lake of quicksand. Regardless of the direction I stepped, it didn’t matter. It was as if I were just hanging out in this spot, sinking in the middle of the mess. Getting ahead of the grind felt like an unobtainable task. Like sitting in a classroom waiting to take a test I never studied for over and over again. Then…..Replay. Replay. Replay.
Does what I am saying sound familiar to you? Do you know that overwhelming emotion that sits in the pit of your stomach and drives you to a nervous wreck?
Because I love you and want to see you rise above your own storms, I sat down and wrote out what tools I gathered in those many lakes of quicksand. What I walked away with and how I could help you. So here are eight of my BEST strategies to help you rise above the single mom grind. Hand delivered to your heart in hopes you won’t struggle as long as I did!
- Build a Valuable Village: Don’t settle for a simple village either. By simple, I mean small minded. Go big. What do you need? What does rising above the grind mean to you? If you are in college connect with your professors or professionals in your field. If you are working your way off welfare connect with women that have been on the system, beat it and are self-starters. Connect with and build relationships with women and moms that have already beat the tiresome game and willing to invest in you. You deserve it!
- Become an Expert at Problem Solving: As I’m sure you have already experienced, there is always something getting in the way of moving forward as a single mom. I remember plenty of times it seemed like I would take one giant leap forward to fall three steps backward. Creating at times, an uncertainty of going in the right direction in life. That door is closed, but another will open kinda thing. But in this struggle, there is a wisdom that begins to be cultivated in time, as you persevere through obstacles, thus becoming an expert at knowing the right time to push through a problem and when it’s time to walk away.
- Focus on the Good: Some days this is not so hard to do, then in just seconds life takes a twist, spiraling your good moment into a massive collapse of good vibes. If you are in a season of struggling with this, I challenge you to write out a list of the GOOD in your life. Put in your rearview mirror, and read it daily. When you enter into a downward spiral gain control of those thoughts and begin to remind yourself of that list of awesomeness in your life. There is plenty. I promise!
- Join A Single Moms Group: This direct support will not only provide an emotional outlet but give you a peace of mind and security for those in-a-pinch, stressful moments…or seasons. Sometimes our problems last longer than a day and long term support is crucial. Don’t just join any group. If you are going to take the time to invest in a group take your time and invest in one that will meet your specific needs and connect with women that will encourage you and help you climb above the grind.
- Create a Budget with the Purpose of Getting Out of Debt: Being intentional with my finances and working towards being debt free was one of the last things I took control of as a single mom. There are several options to do this. If you need extra help check out my resource page for further information about this or feel free to contact me directly.
- Gain Control of Your Emotions: So, this is an area I totally sucked at. It’s not easy to give advice where you’ve suffered big time. My biggest emotional struggles have been anger and mom guilt. I can for sure say not seeking the help I needed to manage my emotions properly was a huge disservice to my parenting as a single mom. Toxic emotions rob us of getting ahead and growing up.
- Carve Out the Time and Prioritize: Make room for the important things in your life. If you will benefit from just one of these items I have listed make the time to do it. And yes, there is time. Cut other things out. Put the kids to work cleaning the house. Use a timer to manage your time. Drop perfect. The unimportant things have to be let go of in order to create the time you need to do the important.
- Don’t get in your way: This is inevitable. Because we just do. We can’t fix what we aren’t aware of. That is the self-evolving process of growth. Often times when we are overwhelmed and can’t do one more single freakin thing, we can’t hear good advice. I promise you, you have what it takes to go beyond the stress of your season. It’s there. You might have to work at digging deep to find it or the discipline to use it but it is there waiting to be discovered.
As I typed this list I knew full well it wouldn’t immediately create a beautiful masterpiece in your life once I pressed publish. Some seasons I had to walk out alone. I had to lean into my own heart and seek better understanding. I needed to ask myself those tough questions like, “What is it I need?” “Where am I heading?” “What do I need to let go of?” and “What am I so desperately holding on to.”
If you have already done this soul searching and find yourself with more questions than answers, please feel free to email me. I would love to hear your story. Listen to your dreams, frustrations, and struggles in order to help you create a plan that will put steps in place to move you forward.
OK. It’s your turn. I want to hear from you. Comment below and let me know what you would add to this list. If you could pick any three and work on them which would you pick?