Category: Practical advice for single parents

The emotional pressures of parenting

shutterstock_693326791

We’ve all been in that pre-kid era where we’re sure we know what kind of parent we’ll be. Admit it, you’ve taken a note or two in your past when seeing a parent with his or her kid in the store and raised an eyebrow or two. I know I have. The parent I was going to be looked awesome on paper, but I never took into account the emotional impact of having children until I was hit with the reality of my own life playing out.

My late husband and I weren’t “trying” and we weren’t “not trying,” but when we were told at our six-month gender-reveal ultrasound that we were having not one, but two baby boys, that “perfect parent” image in my head slowly dissipated. Truth is I hadn’t spent much time around children up to that point, and now we were going to have two of them right off the bat. Driving home from the hospital with two newborns, I kept thinking, “I’ve never been around babies and now they just send us home with two? We’re not equipped! We’re not prepared!” But deep down, I knew my heart would never be the same. I was introduced to a whole new set of emotions and discovered emotions I never even knew were there. Bringing home those babies (now first graders!) created a major a paradigm shift in me—albeit it wasn’t all roses and sunshine. Not only did I realize (much later) that I was struggling with post-partum depression after my twins were born, I was trying to handle the terminal diagnosis of my young husband. These emotions were real, raw and honest—sometimes more honest than I would have liked them to be.  These are the emotions of parenting that we don’t usually talk about amidst the pure joy, love, elation and “happily-ever-after” when baby(ies) comes home:

  • Self-doubt: There are so many times I lay awake wondering if I’m making the right choice for my three kids—especially since my older two just went to kindergarten. The mom-on-paper me was going to homeschool and do crafts every day. The real-life-mom me is faced with having to come up with a sole income for my three children and myself. We want the best for our kids, but in this society we are inundated with so many decisions and choices and information when it comes to “the perfect parenting way,” it’s sometimes difficult to sift out what we don’t need in order to find the nuggets of truth—truth that settles our hearts and souls when it comes to our parenting. They are there, the nuggets, and when self-doubt comes swirling around, remember, write them down if you have to, the truths you’ve settled on. They’re different for everyone.
  • Mental exhaustion: Pre-kids it was easy to make a space for dreaming about how we were going to parent and the kind of kids we were going to have. Now that they’re here, 99 percent of our brain space is devoted to keeping these people that we are in charge of alive, safe, nurtured and growing. Not only do we have to multi-task for our survival and theirs, to make it through the day, but once kids are in school, juggling our schedules and their activity schedules is downright exhausting—even if all you do is sit in a car and drive around all day or fill out a monthly…weekly…daily…sometimes hourly calendar. I’ve found that giving up an activity to make time for self-care (and sleep!) has been the best way to combat this.
  • Pressure to be like our parents—or not be like them: Having children of our own undoubtedly makes us look at our parents and our childhood in a whole new light. Either we are even more grateful for the sacrifices our parents made for us, or we recoil at how we were raised and vow to never raise our children the way we were brought up, and sometimes a mixture of both. All kinds of emotions relative to our parents or ourselves, can rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune times—resentment, comparison, anger. Bottom line is that we are the parents we choose to be. We cannot change the way our parents were, but we can take our experiences of our childhood, learn from them and apply them to the way we parent.
  • Not feeling joy 100 percent of the time: So many times after my twins were born I heard, “Oh twins! How much fun!” And so many times after my third child was born and my husband died, I heard about how blessed I was that “at least” I had three kids. But if I was honest, being with two, and then three children under three years old at the time and dealing with the whirlwind of emotions that come with post-partum depression and grief of the loss of my husband was anything but fun. Full-blown tantrums, crying throughout the night (sometimes x 3) and the incredible pressure of finding things to do to keep everybody’s minds and bodies busy when all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and sleep didn’t feel like much of a blessing at all. I didn’t feel the joy everyone talked about that comes with having kids and it wasn’t a barrel of fun. These emotions were completely counterintuitive to the fierce and intense love that I had for all of my children the moment I saw them. How could I not want to be around the people that bring me so much love and that I love in return. Bottom line is these feelings have NOTHING to do with your feelings about your children, but everything to do with your circumstance or mental state. Seeking professional help, accountability and someone to talk to honestly and openly can help tremendously.
  • Guilt: This is the top of the list of negative emotions I believe trouble parents. We have self-imposed or externally imposed guilt about so many things when it comes to parenting. Guilt about having the TV on too much, guilt about what and how you’re feeding them, guilt about which school they attend and which toys or sports activities you cannot afford to buy. Guilt about working and not being home enough, guilt about not working and not contributing to the home financially…the list goes on and on. Guilt is when you’ve done something wrong and you know it. Shame, on the other hand, is disguised by guilt, and is when you yourself or your feelings are wrong. Do I feel guilty about my parenting because I really could improve on some things or do I feel shame about the way I parent because I’m just not a good parent? That negative self-talk and putting shame on yourself about doing things that are the best you can do at the time is so detrimental. Change the things that you know need to be changed and that you have control to change. For example, if you yell and are impatient with your children that’s a behavior and response that can be changed and improved on. But don’t feel unnecessary shame and guilt if you had to feed your baby a bottle instead of breastfeed or put your child into public school instead of private because of circumstances beyond your control.

In our optimistic, positive, happy-shiny society, it’s hard to admit negative emotions as a parent and it’s doubly hard to address them and deal with them. I’ll never forget the line from the movie “Room,” when the mother apologizes to her son for not being a good mom and her son replies, “but you’re my mom.” We can’t choose the circumstances we find ourselves in and sometimes we can’t choose the feelings that come up with those circumstances, but we can acknowledge them, fight against them if necessary, and push through to the truth that we are to live out as parents: be the best parents we can be with what we’re given and what we know. We need to always be willing to learn more and recognize that, even though sometimes the circumstance cannot be changed, being willing to change our emotions and perspectives accordingly are the best things we can do for our children.

*Previously published in “Multiplicity Magazine”, by Nicole Hastings

Copyright 2017

So you wanna date a single mom? Consider this first.

jam-fam

After a lot of ‘hemming’ and ‘hawing’ (and three years of deleting profiles after a day or so) I finally embarked on the journey into the world of online dating where every man is a world-traveler, outdoorsman and cute dog owner, and (I’m assuming) every woman is the down-to-earth, no drama kind of girl.

As a widowed parent (OK, fine, go ahead and say ‘single mom’ if it’s easier), but also an old fashioned, hopeless-romantic, head stuck in the clouds creative, the idea of online dating was not the first on my list of ways I’d meet him—the guy who’d come after my late husband, but after prodding from friends and listening to one too many stories of “well so-and-so met so-and-so online and they are so happy!” I finally gave in. I was ready to get out there, feeling myself come back to life after three years of living my own sad, widow-version of “The Walking Dead,” when I finally noticed myself noticing other men notice me.

So, I did it.

I made profiles on several different sites, I took that selfie that I swore I’d never do, I ripped the Band-aid off and then all there was left to do was wait and see. I got a lot of interest and requests to go out when that one tiny detail of me being a full-time-no-breaks-no-weekends-away or shared custody-no circle of friends or grandparents begging to watch my three children under 7 every week for free-single mom swept in. How in the world was I supposed to actually go and meet these people? Not to mention I noticed immediately how these guys had no idea how to even attempt to date a single mom. (I get it, NOT ALL GUYS are clueless and if you met yours online, awesome! But just humor me for a bit, will you?) I figured maybe I’d put out a kind of PSA if you will, for those of you who are actually considering dating a single mom:

1.) Realize the cost of childcare: It may just be a $5 coffee or drink out of your pocket, but for the single mom you’re asking out it’s SO much more. Not only is she having to book a sitter (going rate is $15 an hour), but she needs a week’s or more notice to book said sitter. Or if she’s getting help from a friend to watch the kids, she’s walking on egg-shells not to take advantage of this generous friend and putting out multiple feelers for other people who may be option B, C and D in case nice friend “forgets she made other plans.” This date you’ve asked her out on may be costing her not only actual currency, but her time, energy and efforts to find proper care for her kids. Acknowledge this on all fronts and remember it going forward to these other tips.

2.) Time is precious, don’t waste hers: I was recently asked out to a coffee shop date. Turns out the night we were supposed to meet Colorado decided to have a spring snowstorm and it took me an hour to get to this coffee shop. I was so close to just pulling off at the several exits I saw on my way down, but I had to give myself a pep-talk, “Don’t bail, that’s so rude. Just suck it up and get it over with.” I get it, maybe that’s not the right frame of mind to have when going into a date, “just get it over with,” but just being honest here.

I parked and found my way to the coffee shop all the while thinking “this better be darn good coffee or the most amazing man ever for all this effort.” I met my date and he was polite and bought my coffee and conversation ensued, if you want to call it conversation at all, he really just talked about himself the whole time. During his monologue, he let it be known that he only lived a block from the coffee shop we were chatting in. Red flag #1 of many in that date came up and I thought to myself, hold up, I drove an hour through a snowstorm to have coffee with this guy and he only walked a block to get here? Sorry, call me a princess or entitled or whatever, but I prefer to think of myself as a practical, considerate person who would suggest to meet halfway, or, the fact he knew I had to get a sitter, drive down near me.

Red flag #2 was when the good old “you wanna get out of here” phrase was followed up by “do you want to walk to my house to see how big my porch is” (truth, can’t make this up folks). Seriously dude? I just told you I’m paying for a sitter here and you’re asking me over to “see your porch.” Maybe he had totally well-meaning intentions and did indeed have an awesome porch, but even if he told me that there was a unicorn residing on his amazing porch, this momma wouldn’t have budged. When I explained that I have three kids (again) and I just don’t go to strangers’ homes (even though he bought me a coffee, he was still technically a stranger, remember that ladies!) and I only had a sitter until 9 p.m. He looked at me like I was talking in another language. He just didn’t get it. “Well, do you just want to walk around then?” he asked. “Yeah, sure, a walk in wet, sloppy snow would be great… to my car,” I replied.

3.) Yes, her kids are her priority (and seriously question dating her if they’re not): I’ve witnessed or heard of a lot of different dating scenarios when it comes to single moms. I’ve seen those who will leave their kids with just about anyone to go out with the first guy who gives them attention. I’ve heard stories from friends in the childcare business of the moms who won’t pick their kids up until 3 a.m. if they pick them up at all that night. The ones who will bring home a first date with kids in the house (I’m not judging…OK I kinda am, sorry). And then there’s the gun-shy moms (I’d fall into this category probably) who cancel sitters at the first sign of a sniffle or cry to those who never even consider ever going out on a date again and shut themselves in their rooms with their cats (I love cats!).

But in all seriousness, like it or not, her kids (should!) come first. I totally get that she should still be allowed to be a woman and go out and have fun, but at the end of the day she is a mom and has little people depending on her. I was on a lunch date with someone and I brought up my kids and he said something like, “Well, they’re just kids, after all, how hard can it be?” After that statement, the whole date was just sort of a wash. Kids are hard, kids are really hard when you’re a single parent, but they’re also my everything. They’re also a part of the package. You don’t have interest in her kids? Or kids in general? Don’t even bother asking her out. Seriously.

4.) Be straightforward about your intentions: Women generally don’t have time for games, but pull some round-about shenanigans with a single mom, well that’s just a whole other low. Look, she’s got to not only protect herself, but her children. People are people and they do what they’re going to do, but really, don’t look to single moms for irresponsible hook-ups or think you could maybe sweep her away and rescue her from her kids: newsflash she doesn’t need to be rescued from her kids, from the mess, but someone who is man enough to jump into the “mess” with her. If you can’t stand up to the fact that she’s surveying your every move for any signs of “dad-like” characteristics, or you wouldn’t even consider going to help her if she texts you last minute to cancel a date because her kids are all taking turns throwing up on her, then don’t ask her out. Plain and simple.

5.) Honor the “baggage:” Look, as humans, we’ve all got baggage, but single parents seem to have a couple extra bags. Understand there was someone before, either an ex- and parent of her child, or in a widow’s case, a husband and father will never be forgotten and who will always be loved, always. Not only are you entering into a relationship with the woman, but also the one who came before. If she’s honest with where she’s at, she’ll treat you separately with no comparison, but don’t expect her to erase those who have come before you. It’s a tall order, I get it, but if you can do that or at least try to find out, go for it and kudos to you.

I’m certainly no expert in the field of dating, to be honest, my attempt at dating is really just clumsily feeling my way through the awkwardness, and I really, really dislike the whole process. Dating can be so stressful and overwhelming, but if you look at it with the right perspective, it’s also a huge opportunity to learn about yourself and others. I’ve learned what to look for and what I’m OK with and what I’m definitely NOT OK with. And through the strange encounters I’ve had, I’ve learned the most valuable lesson. I’d rather be alone, than settle for a man who doesn’t honor my situation and all that comes with it just because I’m lonely.

*Previously posted on www.herviewfromhome.com, by Nicole Hastings

Copyright 2017

The other end of giving: How going to a food bank changed this widowed mom’s perspective

shutterstock_356880428

I’ve got a bachelor’s degree. I’m smart and innovative. I’m frugal and budget for everything. And yet, there I was, waiting in line at the food bank to get food for myself and my three children. There was a lump in my throat that just wouldn’t go away from the time I finally gave in and realized I needed to go to the weekly food bank at a local church. Food banks were for poor people. I wasn’t a poor person…at least I didn’t want to admit it. I mean my children and I weren’t living in a shelter, we weren’t on the streets, and at least (the only thing to our name) we had a minivan, so we weren’t poor, right?

My 34-year-old husband died, leaving me with a newborn and toddler twins. He could never qualify for life insurance because of his cancer diagnosis in his early 20s, and he was sole proprietor of his very small window-cleaning business, which yielded very little in social security benefits for my children after his death. We moved in with my parents who are both still working full-time and could really only give us a place to stay. They weren’t financially able to afford supporting all of our basic day-to-day needs beyond a roof over our heads. Everything I had was given to us from the generosity of others—churches, strangers, fundraisers. All that was given with love was accepted with humility and brought us through the first two years after my husband’s death. But the heaviness of life events just kept happening: unplanned plane tickets for my twins and their Godparents who had to care for them while my baby was in PICU for almost two months; multiple illnesses and hospital stays for myself; and the extreme cost of childcare to just survive day to day ate up quickly what was given so generously. To be honest, I underestimated the impact of grief. I assumed all I had to do was “get through the first year” and after that, everything would be better. I would just get a job—I was smart and talented, I could do that. I’d get a house and I’d be super-mom. The one-year anniversary of my husband’s death came and went and I realized I was still reeling from the trauma of his slow and painful death, from losing him, from struggling with undiagnosed PTSD while raising three kids alone. Nothing got “better” after that first year. I could barely do laundry, let alone get a job. Even if I wanted to get a job, I couldn’t because the cost of childcare for three children under 5 is astronomical. My parents rode the storm with me and were just as tired. They were not able to be the “built-in-babysitters-whenever-I-want-them” as many people have assumed and so even a part-time job wasn’t an option for me. I tried, briefly, to work at a local coffee shop for one day a week, which proved unsuccessful in both my ability to handle anything else and my mom energy needed to take care of very very active children. Everywhere I looked for an out, a big door shut in my face and my stubbornness brought me to not share with others, my situation. We were scraping by, but kids keep getting hungry and eating all the food…imagine that! Sitting down and looking at the budget I knew I needed help. I didn’t feel poor, in fact, I felt rich beyond belief.  I was incredibly grateful for the home my parents had provided for my children and me, and the money that still trickled in from generous givers, but the stark reality was that the government wasn’t going to help me in this situation. Social security was (and still is) withholding a quarter of my benefits because of a mistake in their paper trail, and we were not on the good end of that mistake. I finally waved my white flag and put down my pride.

In line at the food bank I remembered all the times I’d cleaned out my pantry when I had a “normal” life. I dusted off expired cans of vegetables and fruits and threw unwanted boxes of pasta and crackers in bags to donate to food banks. My husband worked hard for what we had and I could go to the store every week to stock up on everything we needed (and then some, judging by all the food that was given to the food bank and not eaten by us). But as I entered the room with shelves lining the walls with bread, yogurts and some produce, juice and boxes and cans, I was on the receiving end. I still felt like I didn’t belong there and I felt shame as I took as little as I could to fill my bags, thinking, “this isn’t me. I’m smart, I should be able to be making money to provide for my family. I shouldn’t be here…” I didn’t want to look at everyone else who was there, filling their bags, while I only grabbed a few things. I quietly left and on the drive home I cried, feeling like a failure. I thought I’d seen so many moms do it all; work, school, and still be the supermom that volunteers and helps with school crafts. Why couldn’t I be that mom? Here I was, accepting pity food…


Emptying my one bag of food when I got home, I was hit with a new perspective and an incredible sense of gratitude; I was providing for my children because I put my pride aside and did what needed to be done. By accepting what others had given I was blessing the givers just as much as they were blessing me. They didn’t know my family when they were emptying out their pantry, just like I didn’t know who was benefiting from the food I’d given so many times in the past. But being on the other end of giving made me realize that’s what life’s all about. In the good times, we share our blessings with others. In the not-so-good times, we are given the blessings of others—as long as we are open to accepting it.

The other few times I went to the food bank, I filled our bags with gratitude, not greed, because I knew someone gave willingly to help families like mine. Accepting help gave me the confidence and eased one less stress to develop a game plan to start digging myself out of the mess I was left with.

I don’t have to go to the food bank anymore, but I know it’s there if we need it, and the mess is slowly being revealed as an opportunity to constantly change my perspective, even though I can’t always change our circumstance. I will never forget being on the receiving end at the food bank and I can’t wait to start giving again to the local food banks—but this time not dusty cans from the back of the pantry, but to set aside some new food every grocery trip to give to others.

In the Holiday season where giving is the star of the show, know that if you’re on the other end of giving, there’s no shame as receiving can be just as impacting.

Read more Holiday posts from Just A Mom:

A little bundle of Hope

The presence of your gift

Save

Save

Tips for single parents with young, sick kids

shutterstock_250485085

(may contain affiliate links*)

I’ve spent more than two weeks nursing sick kids who came down with the flu. While running back and forth providing water, Kleenex, Ibuprofen etc. there were many times I wondered, “Why can’t they just all get sick all at once and get it over with?” And then, of course, like usual, they all started feeling better and then I got sick–like even-my-hair-and-fingernails-hurt sick. I’m so fortunate to be able to live with my parents, so I usually have at least another set of hands on the weekends and evenings when sickness strikes… but not this time, it got to them too. Three sick adults and three sick kids is not an ideal situation, but such is life. I had a lot of time to think over the week I was sick and the main thing I thought of was all the single parents who don’t have a back-up and are truly on their own when sickness strikes—and even couples who both get sick at the same time—so I thought I’d come up with a list of things that have helped me during this wave of illness that every single mom, and parents in general, should have during the cold and flu season. Since I’m on a very tight budget, as are most single parents, I adhere to these tips pretty stringently. One of the biggest things any single parent must do is plan ahead and be prepared, at least that’s what I’ve learned for myself. And if you’re not a single mom or you’re past the little kid stage, pay it forward and maybe spring for one of these things to send to some single moms you know. I know they’ll love you for it. So, here ya go!

1.) Grocery delivery:

When I asked the question, “How to get to the store when I can only stand long enough to pour some Cheerios in a bowl and then slide them across the floor with my feet and now, Cheerios…are all gone?” I was immediately and eternally grateful for the age we live in. The age of grocery delivery. Thank God I don’t have to pack up the kids in a wagon and trek miles to the nearest town for a loaf of bread and a block of ice. There are plenty of options out there for grocery delivery, but I like Wal-Mart Grocery delivery the best in a pinch because they usually offer windows of time that day or at least the next day. They do home-delivery for a delivery fee or curbside pick-up for free. And you can order diapers, tissues, ibuprofen, and other non-perishable necessities for illnesses. The only thing I’m not super jazzed about with Walmart, is their produce, but I get over that quick when I’ve got a fever so high I’m hallucinating while watching Curious George. Other great options if you’re stocking up and have time to wait for shipping my favorite healthy option is ThriveMarket: they offer competitive, low-prices and free shipping on orders above $49. Plus, I love their ThriveGives Program which donates memberships fees and products to families in need. Just because I’m a single mom, doesn’t mean I need to sacrifice healthy products for my family.
JustAMom tip: Stock up on chicken broth/bone broth! Life saver when illness strikes my fam.

2.) Essential oils and diffusers: Especially for upper respiratory illnesses these are a must for supporting your body’s natural defenses. There are tons of options out there for oils, sometimes the only thing you can afford is the stuff at the natural grocery store, but it’s for sure worth it to get higher quality oils from Young Living, DoTerra, or ThriveMarket. Again, with the diffusers, I saved and saved until I had enough for each room. Diffusing peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oil when coughs and colds hit really helps especially at night. I use GreenAir SpaVapor+ Instant Wellness 150ml Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy for the kids’ rooms because they like the changing colors. Plus peppermint essential oil is great for supporting the body with fever reduction.

3.) The best booger-sucker ever:
When my daughter was born she was surrounded by her brothers who had stayed home up until the time she was born when they needed to be in daycare while my husband was in home-hospice and I was playing nurse trying to keep both him and her alive, as well as myself. Everyone knows once kids go to school, they bring home everything! It’s absolutely true and unfortunately my baby came down with RSV when she was three months old landing her in the pediatric intensive care unit for more than a month. Since then she has always struggled when she gets colds and coughs. The little blue bulb wasn’t cutting it and every time she got a cold I’d have to bring her into urgent care and have them suck out her boogers with their high-tech booger sucker. Finally, a nurse, whom I’m forever indebted to, told me about the FridaBaby Nasal Aspirator with 20 Extra Hygiene Filters. The Frida Baby nasal aspirator was the best thing I’d spent my money on when colds hit. I give them to every one I know who’s having a baby now. It seems seriously gross to suck out your kid’s boogers, but believe me seeing the filter coupled with the desperation to give your baby relief, ESPECIALLY if you’re by yourself and can’t leave other kids sleeping alone to take the baby into the urgent care in the wee hours of the night, you get over the gross-ness real fast.

Prevention:

As a parent, it’s a built-in necessity to be one step-ahead of our kids; as a widowed or single parent it seems like we have to be three steps ahead or it all falls apart. Prevention is a HUGE priority of mine when it comes to illness in my family. If I can try my best to keep us all healthy then it can head-off illness–or at least minimize its effects when it does hit. Here are some things I use at home to be one, two or three steps ahead of illness:

1.) Air purifiers:

I scrimped and scraped for air purifiers for my kid’s rooms and the main room in our house. This was a priority for me because I live with my parents and my dad chooses to smoke in the garage. The smoke seeps into the house and I’m hyper-aware of secondhand smoke because my husband died of lung cancer at a young age and practically, well, my kids all have part of his genes too. While I can’t change my dad, I can at least try to minimize the effects of second-hand smoke (one of them being a lowered immune system and more prone to respiratory issues) by using air purifiers. We use Holmes large room air purifier.
For the large room and Holmes Small room air purifier for my room and the kids’ rooms. I saved and included these things into my budget and got on at a time as they can be pricey. On Amazon.com, you can easily replace the Holmes Filters which last us a pretty long time.

2.) Quality multivitamin and minerals:

It’s tempting to just grab the cheapest vitamins on the shelf, but for a single-parent who’s watching every penny, know that most vitamins in the market today are mainly made up of synthetic vitamins and minerals your body can’t use anyway, so in reality you’re flushing your hard-earned money down the toilet—literally. Again, I prioritize and carefully budget for quality vitamins for myself and my kids because it’s worth it and I can tell a huge difference. This multi-vitamin/mineral is the best I’ve used by far and while it’s pretty pricey, I do divvy it up between three kids and every other day. The flu we all just got over was the first real illness in almost a year, which is huge considering we were sick pretty much every month the first couple years after my husband’s death (stress obviously) and after the kids started school. I order from PureFormulas.com because it’s free shipping (enter this referral code and start saving today: RWXQPL).

3.) Sleep quality:

Sleep is a huge deal in my household. I will do almost anything in my power to maintain our sleep. I stick to a sleep schedule that works for all of us and I don’t enroll my kids (not that I could afford it anyway!) in tons of after-school activities that keep us out late. And remember stress= lowered immune system and that means stress on our kiddos too.

5.) Limit sugar intake and stress during the holidays:

The cold weather is notorious as a culprit for all the cold and flu viruses because we’re all stuck inside breathing each others’ germy air. The winter also includes the holidays which equals a large consumption of sugary treats, higher stress levels and lack of sleep. All of these things are contributors to lowering your immune system. I get it, your kids are in school and then BAM! Here comes winter break and you need to scramble to find childcare and it certainly doesn’t help when they or you become ill. Being a single-parent and figuring out unplanned for childcare and how to pay for it is a huge nightmare and stress. Try your best to lower your stress by not volunteering for every holiday event at school and declining some party invitations if your plate is just too full. Give yourself and the kids the gift of quality family time together at home instead—I get it, socializing with other adults is huge for single-parents, but just budget your time around sleep and stress reduction. It’s worth it, I promise.
There are tons of other things that can help, but in order to save you precious reading time that’s it for now!

Are you a single-mom or dad? Have a life-saving tip in the midst of illness? Share it with us below! Help each other help each other.


PureFormulas.com-Pure Healthy Goodness, Highest-Grade Natural Supplements! Fast, Free Shipping!

*Why does JustAMom use affiliate links? Well because I don’t think useful information should be kept a secret! I stand by the things I promote and use them myself, and, simply put I’m just a mom getting creative on how to make a sole income for a family of 4! Thank you! Xoxo, Nicole