Five Tips To Help You Be The Best Unsingle Mum. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Ashley Verma, founder of Bizzimumzi. Ashley is a happily married mother of one. However, she is raising her child independently as her husband is away for most of the year working in Uganda. She laughs that she is an ‘Unsingle, Single Mom’. – but behind those laughs are some genuinely tough times when life can be overwhelming. The responsibility of raising a child on your own can lead you to tears (and worse). Ashley will share some advice on being the best you can be for your child when parenting as a single (or even unsingle single) mom.
Five Tips To Help You Be The Best Unsingle Mum
My husband is away for huge chunks of time for his work in Uganda. That makes me what we call an Unsingle Single Mum. Yes, we’ve laughed about that, but I am raising our daughter on my own, and there have been times when I’ve struggled.
Having and raising a child is a magnificent mix of amazement and wonder, and while it is a glorious gift, it can also be exhausting and overwhelming with a side-order of near-crippling self-doubt. There are occasions during my limited phone calls with my husband when I find myself reluctant to share that I’m ‘not so great.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate that my husband being away from work is not as hard as being an actual single mum. Although not in the form many married mothers enjoy, I am fortunate to have a partner’s support still. But being a mum can be isolating, and not experiencing extreme moments of loneliness is rare. A mum’s struggle to comfortably breastfeed in public is still not normalised. A mum’s effort to juggle work and be 100% present for the child is not supported. A mum’s struggle to find herself again postpartum is not supported enough, and for some, not at all.
Here are a few ideas I hope are helpful to both single mums and unsingle mums.
If You Are Not Taking Care Of Yourself First, How Are You Taking Care Of Your Child?
Carve out weekly time for you. I have to remind myself of this almost every day, but when I am in a good routine of making time for myself, I notice that I am being more present for my child. If your child still naps, get a workout in. Better yet, take a nap! Take the pressure off, put your feet up, read a book, and click on Netflix (other streaming services are available). It would be best if you had this and were also allowed to want it. The dishes can wait, and so can the clothes piling on the floor. There is no award for a sparkling home. But you will feel rewarded for taking care of your mental health.
I was feeling guilty and wasn’t talking. Honestly, my other half needs to hear and know that parenting alone is hard. It’s way more challenging than anything he is doing. I will never apologise for saying that, nor should you. Speak with a best friend, a grandparent, or a therapist. It would be best if you let out your emotions. For Mums, there are so many moving parts in the day. It is constantly ‘full-on’ with a child from sun up to sun down. We need to let go of the heaviness that can build up inside. This needs to be normalised. I try my best to make this a normal conversation every week. Why should I suffer in silence?
Watch The Coffee!
I love coffee, but your sleep is beyond important, so take note of how much caffeine you consume. You may find cutting back or stopping drinking the delicious latte after 11 am will enhance your sleep and decrease the jitters/anxiousness that coffee can bring on. This also goes for that glorious glass of vino at the end of a long day. I hear you, see you, and cheers to you, but this can also lead to a foggy brain and a backlash to irritability and a sleepless night.
Routine Is Very Important
Routine gives your child a sense of security. Sit around the table for dinner, get involved in homework, make lunches with them, and create a specific routine in the evening. Even when I travel with my daughter, I try to stick to certain routines, so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed and completely off track. We also have nightly dance parties. I think this dance party is more for me, but do I ever love to jump and dance around? What a release!
Find A Trusting Class In Your Community That You Can Look Forward To Weekly
This can be arts and crafts, dance, or swimming – whatever works for you. Local coffee shops always share great community gatherings. Expand your network and find like-minded parents. If you are shy and have difficulty meeting people, here is a little tip: there is always the ‘chattiest Mum’ in the group. Sit near her; you will be in the conversation before you know it. There are also fab parenting apps that will highlight classes and events in your area. We, as single parents, need to remember it’s important to find others to lean on. There is no award for struggling through on your own, so don’t.
Bonus And Probably The Best Tip
I tell my daughter daily that I love her, like a million times. I now also look at myself in the mirror and tell myself, I love you. Does this sound silly? Perhaps, yes. However, I acknowledge I am a priority, strong, capable, and doing a darn good job being an ‘Unsingle, single Mum’. And so are you.
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley is a mum, founder of the Bizzimumzi podcast, and Define London fitness studio. She is a former Broadway performer and celebrity trainer. Through Bizzimumzi, Ashley has created a welcoming community to share the highs and lows of parenting and inspire others to feel empowered in their journey. Ashely believes the most perfect parenting picture is when you try your best. Bizzimumzi is a safe space that helps parents inspire, educate and support each other to be their best parents.