As single moms, the juggling act is all so real. As one person you are expected to accomplish what was designed for two people to do. It took two people to produce a child and if you come into single parenthood, you have now become one person scrambling to make up the difference. Challenging? Yeah! To the highest power. Impossible? Absolutely not! There are millions of single mothers out there making it happen every day. Can it be tiring? Yes it can. At the end of the day can it be rewarding? You bet!
I am a mother of three amazing young men. You can say I am bias. I will take that. Each one of them required my attention. I have to say it wasn’t as if they were in a million school and extra curriculum activities. Just them being kids and everything that came with that was plenty. There was attention needed at school. Attention needed at church. Attention needed at home. Attention needed for extra curriculum activities. Attention for multiple events which would make them well rounded individuals. Attention needed for family interactions which involved them. It was all of this times three.
Plus, throw in everything else I had going on for myself. I was very active in ministry and church activities. So were they. For me, it was very important for them to have that foundation. Add a job and all its demands which comes with it and now you have a life on turbo speed. Attention, attention, attention. Juggle, Juggle, Juggle. The Juggle was different at different stages of my children’s life but it was still very much a juggle.
I haven’t even mentioned housekeeping, shopping, situations with the car, doctor visits, etc., etc., etc. Needless to say the struggle, I mean juggle is real.
My children are all grown up now. I have been there done that. I may not know everything but I know as they say, “A little Sum Sum.”
First you have to learn how to organize the struggle. Right about now you may be thinking to yourself, “This sounds crazy.” However, it is true. As a single mom the juggle is just part of the game. It comes with the territory. It’s part of the contract. You may be thinking, “I never signed a contract to be raising children alone.” It’s ok. Neither did I. Part of the contract is your commitment to your family to have a vision for them and do your best to position them to walk it out. Ok going back to the solutions.
The biggest revelation to the juggling act is structure. There has to be some type of structure in place. Having structure or a system saves you time. Having structure in the home also conveys a sense of security. It gives children a knowing of what is expected. As a parent, you will know what works best for you and yours. If you feel you need additional help, look for those around you, within your community and online for resources which will help you in that area.
The Power to Say No
Don’t keep adding ‘too dos’ to your to do list.
Don't keep adding more events to the mix. Stop it!
It is not your responsibility to be all things to all people. You are one person. Your children need you. You need you. Of course there will be some invitations you will accept and some things which need to be done for yourself as well as others. All I am saying is to choose wisely. Choose those things which will add to where you see you and your family in the future. That may be as simple as envisioning your children graduating high school with more options.
Know Your Season
There are somethings in life, as I said earlier, that just comes with the circumstance you are in. As a single mom there was a season I washed and ironed all the clothes. There was a season I cooked all the meals in the home. There was a season I did all the driving. There was a season I had to attend all the open houses at the schools. This brings me to the point of knowing what season you are in. Are you in the infant season? Are you in the toddler season? Are you in the elementary school season? Are you in the middle school season? Are you in the high school season? Are you in the college season? What season of single parenthood are you in. This will determine how you prioritize things even within your current season.
In summary, establishing structure, learning to say no and knowing your season will enable you to juggle what’s most important at the time. It will allow you to accomplish what needs to be accomplished on a day to day basis toward your long term goals.