Sometimes I wonder if I am a Series of Unfortunate Events
So I am a single mom of a four year old boy, two Dalmatians and one standard-issue farm cat. This can be a very busy world for me, sometimes dare I say it, chaotic. Though I wouldn't trade it for anything, it can be straight up hard. There are days that I truly wonder, am I just a Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket? (P.S. Great book series if you haven't read it yet).
Somedays my son wakes me in the middle of the night screaming and crying wondering where I am. Sometimes he refuses breakfast. Sometimes the dog pees on the floor. Sometimes it is a delightful little pile of cat vomit. Sometimes I burn the bacon and forget to put on a bra. I just never know what I'm going to get each morning. But everyday my goal is to: get out of bed and put on pants. I figure if I do those two things the day can only get better from there and I know I have already succeeded at my goal list for the day. Somedays I cry my way to work because I am so overwhelmed I can't even breathe. It is unreal. And yet somedays everything goes wrong and I am able to continue walking in my field of daisies with optimism and joy. Life isn't perfect no matter who you are. Life is a journey filled with ups and downs. Triumphs and failures. Remembering to keep it in perspective and having a friend you can unleash your complaints too without judgement makes the days continue happily.
It can always be worse. I have to remember that sometimes when it is all too easy to fall in the hole of despair that life is still good. My son and I are still alive and healthy, we have a home and food. We are happy and silly and love each other. It isn't to say that what is happening that day doesn't suck, or that life isn't hard and frustrating and overwhelming, but know that eventually whatever it is will pass.
2 Support System
Make sure you have 3-5 amazing friends that love and support you and are in a similar place in life. It is hard for a single friend to support a single mom. Not to say they can't but sometimes you need someone who truly understands where you are at. Share your fears and anxiety and anger with them. Don't keep it in, let it out and let them love you. If someone offers to give you a hand, let them help. It is hard as a single mama, being so used to being the one and only doer, so when someone wants to help you, say thank you.
3 Love Your Self
Know what Single Mama, you are more than just that and your babies see it. They see what you go through to keep a roof over their head, and food on the table. They see how much you love them. How you bend over backward just to let them know that you're there. Love yourself. They love you. So give yourself a hug, you earned it. So take a relaxing bath and a good book.
4 Take a Breath and Take the Time
Even if you're running late and your day sucks and you only remembered to put mascara on one eye and you look like a clown. Take a breath try to laugh at the insanity of being a make-up pirate for the day and hug your baby, give them a kiss and reassure them they are the most wonderful part of your life. Those are the things they remember. Fill them with those memories.
5 Tangible Goals
Be realistic. You're single-mama-ing it. You're doing it all and then some. You're more tired than any creature that has ever walked the earth. There is a point where I have to accept what I can and can't do. I'm not perfect and I shall never be perfect. So I can't expect to be the perfect cake baker, soccer mom, in home chef, costume sewer, party planner, etc. I am what I can be. There are things I find pride in making and there are things I know just make more sense buying. I used to get up every day and have a check list of twenty things that needed to be done that day and I expected I would do them. Well lets face it, life happens, and sometimes those things don't happen. So now jokingly I say my only goal for the day is to: get out of bed and put on pants. Silly really, but it truly helps having a tangible goal. So that I wasn't putting unnecessary stress on myself. Get done what you can, tomorrow is another day and that pesky thing on your to-do-list will still be there.
So grab a good book and take a relaxing bath every now and then. You earned it!