Sounds crazy when I think about it, but I’ve been a single mom for over 15 years, and I promise you, it’s not easy. There are times I cry thinking I have failed–myself, my children, the dream I’ve always had. I’ve learned to rely on several things in these 15 years to help me be the best mother I can be. And that’s why I have compiled 3 tools every single mom should use.
These tools are simple, but hard at the same time. I hope that makes sense. When I say that, I mean it doesn’t take a lot of work to gather these tools, but to properly use them does take effort on your part as a single mom.
It’s going to take you humbling yourself. You will have to exert some effort to reach out to foster relationships.
Afterall, if you’re like me, you’re known as independent, hard-headed, and strong willed. And some of these may be true and valid.
Some days are harder than most. But I can honestly say, all of my good days, outweigh my bad days. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need help.
Once you get a grasp onto these three, it makes being a single mother a lot more manageable most days.
Getting Help; one of the most important tools a single mom should use
This was and sometimes still is one of the hardest things for me to grasp. As a single mom, I am so independent. In fact, I was raised that way even before I thought about having children.
To be honest, it’s hard for me to humble myself to ask for help. I’ve wired and navigated this life in such a way, that I feel I have it figured out to where I can do it all.
But who am I kidding. There are times I have needed financial help. There are times I needed someone to pick up my son from basketball practice, and bring him to his sister’s game across town.
What I’m trying to tell you is,
It takes a village
Do this the best way you can. Find close friends and/or family. It took me a while to not only trust people to help with my children, but it took me a long time to realize I needed help.
As a single mom raising a young man, there are times I don’t have all of the answers. That’s why I reach into my village, and ask one of the positive male figures in our life, for advice or guidance.
As I mentioned in my post about self-care, it was taboo for me to ask for help when it comes to myself or my children. After all, my children are my responsibility and as a mother, I’m supposed to do it all.
So much is wrong with this line of thinking. It drains you for one. And second, you need help. You will need that person to help pick up one kid when you have to be two places at once.
A support system is one of the three tools every single mother needs
You don’t need the support system solely to help out with running the children from here to there, but just someone to bounce ideas off is great.
If you are close with the other parent, that is excellent and so helpful. But I know, we all don’t have that luxury.
Find that small circle of friends that will support you. The ones that will help you grow. You need friends/family that want to see you and YOUR CHILDREN succeed.
These people will assist any way they can. They will want to help you. They will step up to the plate.
Usually this circle is small, but they make you feel big and capable.
Tool #2 Take Care of Your Money
Tool number two out of 3 tools every single mom should use is probably more difficult than you think. It takes discipline, and humility.
Sometimes, as single mothers, our income is the only income flow. For whatever reason that may be. That is why it is so important to take care of our money. We should learn how to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with.
Here are a few ways we can do just that
Create and follow a budget
I can’t stress this point enough. Here is a sample of my monthly budget, that can serve as a template.
Use this as a guide. Eventually if you’d like, create one that works for you and your household.
I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s book (affiliate link) and money management courses. You will benefit greatly if you follow is steps and suggestions.
Open a savings account
And put money in it weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. I tell my children all the time, when they get money, and beg to go to the store; that the money is burning a whole in their pocket.
If that sounds like you, get out of that habit. Follow and live by that budget you created. It’s OK to save.
Don’t try to create a lifestyle you can’t afford, just to please folks you don’t like, and who don’t pay a single bill in your house.
It’s a tough pill to swallow at times. But you can manage, I promise.
My budget sometimes doesn’t allow for us to spend money on getting my nails done, but that’s OK. It will take sacrifices, but it is well worth it, when an emergency may arise.
There are times, when making your budget, or looking at your savings, the expenses just become too much. And that happens. You aren’t alone. That leads me to another way to help in taking care of your money.
Additional income sources
If you’ve followed me at any point, you know on top of being a blogger, I am a full time financial manager, but I am also a Scentsy Consultant.
When I signed up to sell Scentsy, extra money was not on my mind. But thankfully it has become just that.
I can’t stress enough how much of a blessing it has been for me and my family. When we want to go to an arcade to celebrate the end of the summer, the extra Scentsy income allows for that.
It has helped pay several of my monthly bills.
And guess what! You can become a Scentsy Consultant for just $15! That’s right, you can invest in you by simply not going out to eat one day this month.
Sign up here, and invest in your future. Get an additional income source, and use that tool.
You Are The Last But Most Important Tool Every Single Mom Should Use
The most powerful of the 3 tools every single mom should use–is YOU!
You are there for you, your family and others, another of the 3 tools every single mom should use. Don’t confuse it with being used.
Knowledge is power. Know who you are! Know who you were created to be. God created you for a purpose. That purpose is to bring glory to Him, and reconcile a lost world back to Him. How you get back to that is what you were called go do…your gift.
Growing up Baptist, I am well aware of having children out of wedlock and what that means. But at some point, we as single mothers cannot allow that to define who we are.
We can and should ask for forgiveness, rise up and become more than the conquers that we are destined to be.
You don’t have to be what society defines you as. I bought my house as a single mother at the age of 25. So don’t tell me you aren’t capable.
Remember that budget I discussed earlier? That not only helps you with your income, it helps you save, and improve your credit score if needed.
Society has labeled us as incapable, or failures. And believe it or not, I have had days where I have fallen into this trap and believed this lie.
But that’s exactly what it is…A LIE! You are more than your past. More than your circumstances. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and tap into that power.
You get up every day, get your children ready for school, go to work, and take care of your household. And then it’s repeat.
Know that there is more out there than that for you. Knowing who we are, helps us realize our power and pushes us toward our calling and who we are.
Prayer a tool and a force every single mother should use
Prayer is so powerful and it is a tool you should use. Pray often. Seek God’s guidance. Trust Him to help you make decisions
We can’t do this alone, and we aren’t made to do this alone. Pray for answers. It is a subheading of 3 tools every single mom should use, but it is by no means a substitute for anything.
It falls in line with knowing who you are. Know Who you belong to. This tool is such a useful, resourceful, vital tool that falls right in line with 3 of the tools every single mother should use.
Do not neglect this tool. It should not only be used in emergencies. Incorporate this into your every day routine. No excuses.
Dreaming and achieving are tools a single mother should use.
Dream about great things, but write those dreams down. And then create a goal with the steps you need to focus on to reach those dreams.
Faith without works is dead. But the steps into action. When we achieve a goal, it creates more power within us. It drives us, and fuels us to push for bigger and better dreams.
Mama, know who you are because of Whose you are. You are a child of the Most High God. He loves you, and He has created you for a purpose.
So let’s pledge to stop believing the lies, and use what we have; both inside of us, and outside. Let’s weaponize these tools, challenge ourselves, and achieve our dreams.
You’ve got this!