Posts tagged with: single mother

The Life of A Single Mother: Busy, Busy, Busy

Do you ever have problems keeping up with everything that you have to do? Does it sometimes feel like life would be easier if you could hand over some of your responsibilities to someone else?

I missed a whole week here, and I apologize. So much has been going on. I am having difficulties keeping up with everything. I am back now, and I will be catching up with the posting that I have missed, on top of doing the posting for the coming week. You will not miss out on anything. I promise.

As I said, I have been busy:

  • I walk every day.
  • I had a variety Show to go to, where my daughter was waitressing for her Key Club.
  • I went out to eat twice with my best friend, and to the movies with her last night. We saw Taken, which I highly recommend.
  • I am organizing and deep cleaning the living room, and trying to get other things done before next week as well. I start babysitting again within the week, and will be doing so away from home during the day. I want my daughter and I to be able to get to our chores quickly each day.
  • I am also starting a freelance career, which will be taking up a lot of my time. This blog is actually part of that career.
  • I have begun some online courses in the writing field.

Business is as business does, and this single mother has been doing a lot.

Shannon

P.S. What is keeping you busy at this time?


Mother and Child Tournament Ideas on Single Mom

Last winter, my 15 year old daughter and I wanted something to do together that we could keep up until spring. We decided on a Rummy tournament. Whenever we had some down time throughout the winter months, we would play 1-3 hands of cards. I ended up winning the tournament, we had fun, and we got to spend quality time doing something together.

This year, we are re-watching The X-Files, going to the movies once in a while, and possibly re-watching all of the Corey/Corey movies. That’s Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. Yes, they are from my time, but I have raised cool daughters!

Here are some other tournament ideas for you and your children to consider:

  • Scrabble
  • A video game
  • Life
  • Monopoly
  • Canasta
  • Cribbage

Shannon


Single Mother’s and Weightloss

When our children are young, it can be difficult to stay in shape. As single mother’s, we so not have the option of letting dad take care of the children while we take care of ourselves.

Here are some ideas for losing weight or keeping weight off:

  • Family walks are an excellent way to get in a lot of the needed 10,000 steps a day. Walk to the playground. Walk to run errands. Take a walk around the neighborhood before bath time in the evenings.
  • Play Frisbee or basketball at the park.
  • Put on some music and dance around the living room with your children.
  • Find ways in which you can do easy exercises with your children.
  • Invest in family exercise programs on DVD, or see what is available at your local library.
  • Go on hikes.
  • Run through the puddles on a rainy day.
  • Play on the playground equipment with your children.
  • Run through the sprinkler with your children.
  • Go sledding as a family.

Keeping active is an important aspect of having a healthy body, for both you and your child.

Shannon

P.S. Can you think of any other activities?


Books for the Single Mother

I love to read, and will use any excuse to do so. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I would read books on single parenthood. Here, I am offering up a list of books for the single mother.

  • Single Mothers by Choice: A Guide for Single Women Who are Considering or Have Chosen Motherhood by Jane Mattes C.S.W.
  • The Single Mothers Survival Guide by Patrice Karst
  • Raising Boys without Men: How Maverick Moms are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men by Peggy F. Drexler and Linden Gross
  • Single by Choice, Mothers by Choice: How Women are Choosing Parenthood without Marriage and Creating the New American Family by Rosanna Hertz
  • On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America by Melissa Ludtke
  • Holding Her Head High: Inspiration from 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History by Janine Turner
  • Something Like Beautiful: One Single Mother’s Story by Asha Bandele
  • Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, And Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made by Mary F. Pols
  • Double Take: A Single Woman’s Journey to Motherhood by Kathryn Cole
  • Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (with Kids) in America – My Story by Michelle Kennedy

That is quite the list, and will provide you with a lot of reading time and advice on single motherhood.

Shannon

P.S. If you know of any other books on the topic of single motherhood, please list them in the comments.


Single Mothers and Depression Part 5: Some People will Still Bring You Down

I’m not sure if they are trying to or not, but there are people out there who will bring you down again and again. Even when they know that you are on medication because you have been too depressed to handle things on your own.

I keep asking myself. why are they doing this? Do they really not get that I am working very hard to not be depressed? That every day can be a struggle?

Who knows?

I have been working very hard at not letting people and situations get me down. It is not always easy, but I am able to do this more and more. Am I getting better? I hope so.

When people are consistently bringing me down, I find myself trying not to talk with them about the stressful stuff. But I don’t ignore them completely. I send them little notes and make small talk with them.

I am trying to nicely let people know that I can’t handle their stresses right now. I am there to support them, but only if they are ready to do something about their situation.

Simply put: I can’t help them if they won’t help themselves.

Shannon

PS: How are you handling your depression? Any tips? Please tell us in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

Single Mothers and Depression

Single Mothers and Depression Part 2: Two Weeks After Beginning Medication

Single Mothers and Depression Part 3: Happiness and Creativity

Single Mothers and Depression Part 4: Feeling Chipper Today

Single Mothers and Depression Part 6: Keeping Busy, Keeping Happy

Single Mothers and Depression Part 7: The Six Week Checkup


The Single Mother and Men

I have noticed a trend over the years. A very disturbing one. This is not just something that I have experienced myself, but something that seems to be happening to a lot of single mothers.

I have a good heart, and I tend to start out trusting people that I bring into my life. Perhaps, it has been suggested, I am just plain too trusting. Who knows? At any rate, I always start a relationship trusting that the person that I choose is honest.

I also am a person who likes to help others.

So, when I do choose to go into a relationship, I expect the man to be a good person, pure and simple. I let the man into my heart, and into my life. I am good to him, I trust him, and I expect him to do the same for me.

I know many other single mothers who live much the same as I do. We seem to want to believe that the men we choose are good.

So, why is it that men seem to like to take advantage of us? That is the question. Even when we do decide to let someone live with us, it seems that we are just a convenience. They don’t seem to want any responsibilities, just a roof over their heads. Even those who work end up jipping us out of bill and rent money in the end. They eat our food as well.

Then, when they leave, they think that they have ownership over our food cupboards and even some of our belongings. Why is this? They want to take food out of our children’s bellies so that they do not have to go hungry. They want to ‘borrow’ money for this and that.

The funny, and most disturbing, part of this is that we do not have any extra money. We, in general, cannot afford to ‘take care of’ a man. Some of us are barely making ends meet as it is.

Many of us are really confused about how a man can come into our lives, be treated well, and use us.

So, what can we do about this? I don’t know about you, but I am on sabbatical from the whole relationship thing. I decided, after my last boyfriend, that I simply needed a break. I am figuring out who I am, and what I want. I am doing things for myself, rather than for a man. And I am enjoying not having to put up with the head games that generally come along with relationships.

I am tired of it all. And, I am getting better. I have found out some very important things about what I want and why. About what I need and why. And about what I am willing to put up with, which isn’t much.

I am doing something good for myself.

Shannon

P.S. What experiences have you had with men? Let us know in the comments section.

Other Articles of Interest:

A Few Resources for the Single Mother

Single Mothers and Loneliness

Great Ways to Deal with Stress


New Year’s Day

I have a lot of responsibilities as a single mother. We all do. It would be nice to share those responsibilities with another mature adult, but I do not have that option. I go it alone.

So, I have a certain tradition that I follow for New Year’s Day. I have done this for the past few years, and though each year is different, I follow the same formula.

The key to a successful New Year’s Day is to have privacy. I started this when my daughters were old enough to leave me alone (mostly) and let me be with my thoughts. I take this day off from work every year. It is best when no one is here with me, but I can tolerate older children here who can take care of themselves.

What can I say…every single mother needs at least one day a year to herself. This is my day.

So, below I will give you my New Year’s Day formula for the single mother. I will also give you an idea of what my day may look like by telling you what I expect to be doing under each step.

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Step # 1: Morning Routine

This is very important. I refuse to set my alarm clock on New Year’s Day, though I do have to be up at 9:00 anyway because I have to take medication. The phone alarm will go off at that time. So, I cannot sleep past 9:00, but I would if I could. I have a hard time sleeping late anyway, and am usually up before 8:00 on my days off without benefit of an alarm clock.

My plan is to get up and eat breakfast while watching a movie of my choosing. I will likely talk to my mother for a few minutes, and I always make my bed.

I may go for a walk, if it is not too cold out, as I truly enjoy this activity.

I will then brush my teeth, take a long hot bath, lotion up and put my hair into a pony tail. I will lounge around in jammies all day. I will pluck my eyebrows, and trim my finger and toe nails.

*NOTE: I will do all housework the day before, making sure that the dishwasher is empty so that I do not have to put clean dishes away before putting dirty ones in the machine. I will then not have to worry about dirty dishes in the sink all day.

Step #2: Reflection

Once I am properly pampered, I will sit down with a notebook and and pen and begin by reflecting upon the previous year:

  • What went right?

  • What went wrong?

  • What will I leave the same?

  • What will I change?

  • What did I not get to? And, should I work on that this year?

I will make note of everything in my notebook.

I spend quite a bit of time on this, really thinking through the questions and considering my answers carefully.

Step #3: Resolutions

Again, I will record things into my notebook.

As I get myself a snack or lunch, depending upon the time, I will think about what my resolutions for the coming year will be. I will take into consideration what I have already written in my notebook, and also think about my goals for the coming years.

After eating, I will again sit down with my notebooks and pen:

  • Do I need to carry over any resolutions from last year? Things that I am still working on? Things that I did not get to?

  • What are my new goals for the new year? What do I need to add to my new list? What do I want to work on? What do I want to accomplish? For myself? For my children? For my home? What about my friends and other family members? Career? Financial?

  • What goals do I have that I want to accomplish within three years? Five? Ten? What are my goals for retirement?

  • How can I obtain all of my goals? What steps will need to be taken to acquire what I want and to accomplish what I need to do?

  • What things about my life and my household do I want to change? Financially? Environmentally? Educationally? Career-wise?

It takes a long time, usually at least a couple of hours for me to do this step. It takes a lot of contemplation. A lot of concentration.

Step #4: Plans for this Year

Okay, now I work on what needs to be planned for the coming year:

  • Recording birthdays, anniversaries, approximate graduation and wedding dates as well as approximate due dates for those who are expecting.

  • Putting reminders on each calendar month about what needs to be done when, and what needs to be paid when. This makes it easier for me to schedule early reminders.

  • Making up new chore charts, and scheduling seasonal chores.

  • Making sure that I know what seeds and other gardening stuff that I will need to order or pick up, and when to do this.

  • Creating a daily/weekly/monthly schedule for myself.

  • Being sure that Zowie is up to date on all of her homeschool projects, and making a list of what she may need to finish things.

  • Writing on the calendar all expected dates that Zowie will be away for school and Upward Bound functions, to visit friends, and to have friends visit.

  • Writing on the calendar any big plans that I have for the year, like going to Salem, Massachusetts with friends next summer.

  • Writing up my wants and needs lists. I have separate pages in my notebook for me, Zowie (she writes her own lists), school, each room, outside/shed, books, etc. Whatever we think is important. This is a very important step to my yearly planning, as it helps me to create my yard and clearance sale shopping lists.

  • Making a master to-do list, and then smaller daily and weekly lists.

  • Creating a budget.

  • Etc., etc.

Once this is all done, I will eat dinner and then go to bed to read – if there is time before I have to go to sleep.

That is what my day looks like. Each of you will likely have your own ideas for what you could be doing on your day off. Please share your New Year’s goals in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

Shannon

P.S. How do you spend your New Year’s Day? Let us know in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

Goals for the New Year

Mental and Emotional Health: Goal Number One

Weight Loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

Writing (or any number of other activities that could lead to possible income): Goal Number Three

Simplify and Declutter: Goal Number Four

Greening: Goal Number Five

Gardening: Goal Number Six

Spiritual: Goal Number Seven

Rethinking the Holidays: Goal Number Eight

Helping Others: Goal Number Nine

 

 

 

 


Planned Thanksgiving Leftovers: A Great Idea for the Single Mom

Planned leftovers can be very helpful to the single mother. The first way in which planning these leftovers is helpful is that they can save you money. You can take your time buying all of the components of your meal, so that you hit all of the sales. Store brands are often great deals as well. If you buy extra, and cook it all up, you can easily and quickly prepare meals for the rest of the week. You can even make your own TV dinners this way.

Planned leftovers are easy for families to prepare together, so even younger children can help.  In turn, this gives you more time to spend with your children. You can all do something that you enjoy, instead of wasting time in the kitchen.

Another benefit of planned leftovers is that they are easy for your teenagers to prepare. They can have dinner prepared for when you get home from work, saving you time and, sometimes, the expense of take-out. Teenagers can be a huge benefit to their families.

Planned leftovers should be put together as much as possible when cleaning up after your Thanksgiving meal. You already have to clean up anyway. Anything that will keep in the refrigerator for a few days can be wrapped as complete meals and stored there. Everything else can be frozen as meals and taken out the day before needed, preferable in the morning for good thawing time.

Happy November!!!

Shannon

P.S. I will soon post some leftover recipes for your enjoyment. If you have any recipes or tips that you would like to share, feel free to post them in the comments section. They will be helpful to others. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

More Thanksgiving Leftover Meals

Thanksgiving Crafts for Teens