Mothers make the appointments and set the household schedules. We are the caretakers and the caregivers. We shoulder the discipline and wipe away the tears. We soothe the “ouches” and we cradle our children. We are the teacher’s helpers, the homework monitor, the nutritionists, the cook, and the housekeepers. We make sure the children are bathed, clothed and fed. We are the guardians of danger and protector of the family. We are Mothers.
There is NO greater job, nor responsibility, then to raise a child. Life is busy and too often we forget to take time just for ourselves. I know that personally after raising five of my own. How do you give yourself a break from the busy schedules and demands of family life, especially, as a single mom? You just simply need to try. You have to carve out some “Me” time, and work that into a weekly habit. My special time was sitting in my backyard on our swing. I read or I just sat there, listening to the birds and the wind in the trees. It doesn’t always have to be a “night out with the girls.” A small break from your daily routine can be “life-saver” moments. We can’t point fingers and lay blame on those who aren’t in our shoes. We need to start with ourselves and teach our children the healthy way to take care of ourselves.
You cannot say yes to everything, it isn’t fair on you or your family. You must pick and choose where your time is best spent. If helping others is needed then do that. If being at your child’s school function is a must, then do that. If planning your friends party will take too much of your time and keep you away from your family too much, then say, “No, I am sorry,” and offer to help within your means. It’s such a full time job, being a single mother. Instead of complaining, getting frustrated or angry, you must decide what is best for you and your family.
I came from a big family and I also had many friends who lived close by. There were some months that we had invites to a birthday party every week and then more celebrations for other events. First off, my budget could not afford the gifts and my only down time with my own children, like many of us parents, is that precious weekend. It took me awhile, to take a stand and choose which event we could attend. Even as a couple, some parents are busy every weekend and there is very little “family time” of their own. My time, and my family time was the priority. I had to say “No” and I always offered the truth. “I didn’t have it in my budget”, or “I was sorry, but my kids and I had plans the following weekend.”
The phone is ringing, the messages need answering, the kids need something for school, there is a late bill to pay, and don’t forget that birthday present for next week…So just take a minute here and there just for you, take a deep breath, count to five and exhale. After the kids go to bed (at a normal bedtime!) make a cup of hot cocoa, pour a glass of wine, curl up with a good book, sit on your porch, write in your journal, listen to some soothing music…and give Mom a much needed break. Tomorrow is a new day!
Article by Laurie Cesario-Overton