Being a single mother is no easy task. Studies show that the average working mom puts in nearly 100 hours a week between the home and the office. To put that in perspective, that’s over 14 hours a day of non-stop hustle and grind.
We know that you’re strong enough to handle the chaos, but that doesn’t make the stress any less overwhelming. In this guide, we will go over some effective stress management solutions for working moms to help you get through the day.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Other Moms
Your social media feed is probably full of seemingly perfect moms living their seemingly perfect lives. That is because most parents only present the best versions of themselves online. In all reality, those parents are struggling just as much as you, and many of them use social media to get validation from total strangers.
You cannot get caught up in false portrayals. Stop comparing yourself to other moms because no one is going through the exact same experience as you. You’re doing the best you can based on your lifestyle, your income, your child’s behavior and more. That’s something to be celebrated.
Tackle One Task At A Time
One of the biggest sources of stress for single moms is the amount of tasks they need to accomplish. The laundry is piled up, the kids are begging for snacks, the sink is filled with dishes, and you feel the weight of every single item surrounding you. Instead of focusing on all those tasks at once, tackle one at a time. If you come home from work and only have time to do the dishes, that’s OK. Remember: you eat a meal one bite at a time.
Aim For Progress, Not Perfection
There is no such thing as a “perfect mom.” Strive for progress instead of perfection. If your entire house is a mess, get one room clean each day. As you move through the week, the house will feel cleaner and cleaner. Yes, there will still be clutter somewhere in the house, but you will have at least a few spaces that are stress- and clutter-free.
Set Specific, Achievable Goals
If you’ve been stuck in the pursuit of perfection, you’ve probably set some extreme goals for yourself. There is nothing wrong with having aspirations, but you don’t want your dreams to diminish your accomplishments. Set specific goals for yourself that you can realistically achieve. Rather than saying “I’m going to clean the whole house today,” say “I’m going to fold laundry and meal prep for the week.” Meal prepping will free up time for other tasks later in the week, and it will give you easy-access food when you’re exhausted from the day. Win/win!
Keep Discipline Tactics Consistent
As a working mom, you have to be the caregiver and disciplinarian at the same time. If you are inconsistent with your discipline tactics, your children will constantly push your buttons. They knew they got away with something before, so they will try everything to get away with it again. That’s going to wear down on you. Create consequences for each action, and don’t stray from the plan – even if it’s difficult at first.
Establish A Daily Routine, Including Ample Sleep
Routines reduce stress. Your brain and body get used to patterns during the day, so you can start functioning on autopilot. Working mothers don’t always have predictable schedules, but you can aim to do similar tasks at similar times. Plan meals, cleanup, bathing, family time, bedtime winddown and sleep around the same timeframe each day, all while accommodating your work and school schedule. These predictable routines should allow you to get more sleep each night, which will give you more energy for the following day.
Take Some Personal Time – You Deserve It!
Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you have to live every second for your children. You need to take care of yourself so you’re better equipped to take care of them. Enjoy moments of personal time whenever you can, like during your lunch break or after your children go to bed. Use a babysitter to watch your children once a week so you can spend time doing something you love. This is the perfect way to refresh your mind and revitalize your spirit.
Know That You Don’t Have To Do This Alone
Everyone needs a support system, even a single mom trying to do it all. You don’t have to take on the world alone. Friends and family members can help ease your stress, and you should never feel weak for leaning on them.
In addition to your existing support system, you can take advantage of the individual counseling programs we offer at Urban Balance Counseling. Our counseling centers in Hinsdale, IL and surrounding areas providing a relaxing, safe environment for single mothers to talk about their lives. We offer stress management solutions, as well as depression counseling, anxiety counseling, family counseling, relationship counseling, and much more. Contact one of our therapists offices to learn more about counseling services for single moms.