After a breakup, mom’s world changes. A mother’s sanity might be challenged by different living situations, difficult financial circumstances, and so much more. No matter what we are going through, no matter what it takes, mom has to be strong—children need and deserve an excellent mother.
Post-breakup, part of the healing process is to rediscover our core self. Somehow, someway, there is a decent chance we’ve lost a piece of who we are along the way. The aftermath of a break up can be repurposed to harness our potential and rediscover the best path for ourselves. During the relationship, did we stop exercising, reading, or attending church? Especially after a breakup, it is crucial to reinvest in ourselves—self-care is essential. Mom cannot serve from an empty well.
When times get tough, some women turn to drugs or alcohol. While these vices may numb the pain in the moment, their solace is temporary—a mirage that our problems have vanished. In the morning, our problems are very much still there; irresponsible behaviors may have even caused additional self-inflicted anguish.
There are healthy ways to manage stress. Exercise releases endorphins that help us feel good about ourselves. Working out makes us feel better—a natural defense mechanism for negative feelings. Spend time with the right friends and family. Sports, work, and hobbies can keep us healthy as we heal.
If we allow our work to dominate our lives, we handcuff ourselves from being the best mother we can be. If we work for someone, we may find ourselves at the mercy of our boss’ scheduling demands to accommodate our journey as a single mother. By becoming irreplaceable in our profession, we can earn some flexibility over our availability. If we work for ourselves, remember to prioritize putting first things first. Whether we rely on the leniency of supervisors, the track record of past proven performance, or the freedom inherent in owning a successful business, single mothers should manage an appropriate balance between professional and maternal duties to be the nurturing mother that the children need and deserve.
It takes a village to raise a family. By surrounding ourselves with honest, good-hearted, and reliable people, we can make the single parenting journey a lot easier than by going about it alone. Emergencies happen; being able to phone a friend can be such a blessing—a little help can go a long way.
Goals, Habits, & Expectations
Whether short-term or long-term, build achievable goals into the schedule to continuously improve our prospects. Taking care of ourselves better equips us to take care of our children.
If we value fitness, health, knowledge, and faith, highlight their importance not only with words but with actions. Get regular exercise, have a balanced diet, read daily, and pray before meals and when tucking children in at night. A mother’s goals and values may differ from their father’s. When the children are with mom, remember to seize each moment—instill good habits and help them learn to avoid bad ones.
Be transparent with rules and consequences. Provide the structure and expectations that children need, deserve, and actually want; healthy standards intrinsically make them feel safe.
The Other Parent
Dad’s capabilities can fill mom with emotions ranging from appreciation and gratitude to horror and dread. For good, bad, or indifferent, their father is irreplaceable. If dad is great, both mom and the children are extremely fortunate. If he is a crackpot, it is healthiest for the children’s development that they realize this all on their own; don’t criticize him. Children are very smart. They can read between the lines; don’t even criticize the male gender.
Unless dad hates us more than he loves his children, a quality co-parenting relationship should be feasible. Civility and respect both go a long way. Demonstrate calmness, even if things start going awry. It is so healthy for children when mom holds herself consistently accountable for showing respect to dad—especially when the kids are within earshot.
Be on-time, honest, and don’t cause any undue stress.
Old & New Traditions
Before mom separated from their dad, the family may have cherished certain traditions. Single moms may feel compelled to continue practicing some or all of these. With a clean slate and a fresh outlook, moms can also be creative and lead the family with new and exciting traditions to celebrate together.
No one is perfect. When in the wrong, admit it sincerely, quickly, and emphatically. The bigger the transgression, the more heartfelt should be the apology. Every parent makes mistakes; strive to learn from them. Endeavor to not make the same mistake more than once. If we are truly doing our best, it’s cool to show ourselves grace as we learn from mistakes and work towards being the best mother we can be.
Master Active Listening
When mom embraces the active listening process, children feel more comfortable sharing experiences, hopes, and fears—and are more likely to ask for advice. When we truly listen, the dynamic of the relationship between mother and child is strengthened exponentially. Children who know that mom is listening will have confidence in being heard, appreciated, and understood.
Single mothers must remember that any new flame will be a major change in everyone’s world. If children meet a new “friend” every other month, this can be very confusing.
Introducing a New Partner
If we are confident that a new partner will be a positive role model and have staying power, consider introducing them to our children. When the time comes, aspire for a seamless transition as our new partner joins us and our children as an integral part of our cohesive family unit. Communicate with our new partner that the children are our top priority, while also reassuring the children that they will always come first.
By paying attention to our children, accommodating their needs, and designing healthy, predictable routines, our broken family can first heal, and then, thrive. With a positive attitude and unyielding commitment, so many loving, steadfast, nurturing momma bears raise great kids—without having to put their own lives on hold.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” —Isaiah 40:31 NLT
Full of practical advice and inspiration from Emma’s life, as well as other successful single moms, this is a must-have resource for any single mom.
Offers advice for readers suffering from disappointment and disillusionment, counseling them to see disappointments as opportunities to encounter God, and advising them of better ways to process unmet expectations.
Praised by parents and professionals around the world, these down-to-earth, respectful approaches makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.