Being a single mom is a hard job and unfortunately, it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. You find yourself in this new role where you’re not only supposed to handle taking care of your children on your own, but you’re expected to be good at it too. From your job as the kids’ personal chauffeur to practice, school, or a friend’s house, to making sure you have groceries for everyone and all the extra tasks in between, it can become quite the role to tackle alone. So it’s not hard to imagine that you forget about yourself in the process and allow your own needs to take a back seat. You may get to the point where you start looking at yourself as just a single mom, instead of who you are as a whole.
Who are you really? Who were you before? Who are you now? These are all important questions to ask yourself. You may look at your body and notice the scar from your C-Section or the stretch marks that your kids gave you. But what your body looks like now is still beautiful. It may be hard at times, but it’s essential that you practice body positivity and remember to take care of yourself;. You can’t pour from an empty cup. You are a single mother, but that’s not the only thing you are.
Loving Your Body
Having children changes your body, there’s no doubt, but in beautiful ways that serve as reminders of what your body was capable of doing when you brought them into this earth. Using body-positive affirmations on a daily basis can really shift how you see yourself. Saying and thinking things to yourself like, “I am perfect and complete just the way I am,” will remind you that your body is already wonderful and beautiful, with imperfections and all.
If you feel you’d like to get healthier and incorporate exercise into your weekly routine, it’s important to do it in a way that makes you happy about your body. Some of us just weren’t wired to love grueling workouts and that’s okay. As a single parent, your schedule is busy and your plate is full, so it’s important to enjoy what you’re doing to get your body healthier in the little spare time you have. Nourish your body with vitamins, nutrients, and plenty of water. Activities, like hiking with your kids or doing yoga for some alone time, are great for learning to appreciate and love your body. They show you what your body is capable of without all of this negative focus on “the perfect body,” which doesn’t actually exist.
Practicing self care is never selfish. Being a single mother on-the-go all of the time can burn you out. Schedule some time each day to take care of yourself in whatever way you’d like, and from there you can work on feeling more positive about yourself. You can do this simply by reading, writing, practicing meditation, painting, and so much more. You’ll appreciate yourself more when you’re treating yourself right.
it’s important to learn to love and be confident in your body and in yourself.
Self care should also include forgiving yourself. Being a single parent is a lot of trial and error. There’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, but no one is perfect and no one knows the exact right way to be a parent. Forgive yourself by not allowing excess guilt take over your life. Remind yourself that you’re doing you’re best, and if you fail at something one day, you can work on doing it better the next. Above all, the love you have for your children shows through all of your efforts no matter what, so don’t forget to love yourself too.
Dating is hard to think about being a single mother. The questions and doubts start racing through your mind before you even consider dating as a possibility. Do you have someone to watch the kids? When do you tell this new person about your children? How will your children affect this relationship? There are so many questions that can leave your head spinning. But don’t lose sight of the great things that can come into your life if you decide to take a chance on love. If and when you’re ready to date as a single mom, it’s important to learn to love and be confident in your body and in yourself.
Be gentle with yourself and remember that self care and self love are part of being the best parent you can be
For some single mothers, there may be difficulty getting intimate with a new person due to mismatched libidos. There are a lot of underlying reasons for this, but a major reason can be psychological—such as stress or poor body image. Liberate yourself by loving yourself. You’re far more critical about your body than anybody else. Oftentimes as women, we fixate on what’s “wrong” with our bodies. When you notice yourself thinking or saying negative things about your image, immediately try to turn it into a positive. The more you train your brain to view yourself in a positive light and tell those negative thoughts to take a hike, the more you’ll learn to love your body and allow yourself to be open to intimacy.
You deserve the same love and attention that you give to your children and everyone else. Be gentle with yourself and remember that self care and self love are part of being the best parent you can be, especially if you’re handling it all on your own. Perhaps the best part of learning to love yourself and your body is that your children will learn to love themselves as well.