in Parenting

How thinking like a single mom helped me be a better mom 

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single-mom-mindset

For the most part of my life, I have been surrounded by single moms. My own mother brought us up alone, for the most part. My older sister shares the same setup. In our immediate family, I would say I was lucky that my partner and I shared the same roof, at one point. It had its perks (for the clingy me), but it also had its trade offs.

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Currently, we do not have a helper so there are more things to be done. I hoped (and expected) that this would be divided equally between the partner and I, but that didn’t happen. Add that to an active toddler and a full-time work, and you meet me at my worst state: tired, disappointed, and cranky. I’d get mad when my son creates a mess, and I’d get mad at my partner for not helping out.

IMG_2383I lost time for my son because of all these things, and this bummed me. I failed to be the hands-on mom that I’ve always wanted to become. One day, I just stared at my sleeping son and realized how much he’s grown and how much quality time I lost just because of all the work. I partly blamed my partner for not helping. But then, I realized that I had to blame myself too. My mother and sister were able to do it without a partner. Why can’t I?

That is when I told myself that I should start thinking like a single mother. I wanted to be the best mom to my son, and I had to act now. He’s now learning a lot of things and the last thing I want him to learn is that his mom is a monster.

I started off by listing down what needs to be done. After tabling down everything, I sorted it out on which ones I need to do by myself and which ones I can outsource. We currently ask the help of my mother to take care of my son on weekdays because we are both employed. I had to adjust the timing of some tasks because of this.

Food duties remain to be with me. I batch cook during weekends so my son has food when he’s with my mom. I also try to balance the food in terms of nutritional value and budget, so I couldn’t resort to buying all the time.

-As much as I wanted to do the laundry, this takes a lot of time and energy so I opted for the laundry shop. This saved me at least three hours on a weekend, the only time wherein I could rest and fully catch up with my son. Sometimes, we leave the whites since doing it by hand is cleaner, but I don’t do it weekly anymore.

Cleaning was deprioritized, and was done by anyone either when the son is sleeping or when somebody else is playing with him.

-The rest of the chores that involves direct contact with my son, I prioritize as mine when I’m at home.

I have shifted to the single mother mindset weeks ago, and I have been seeing great results. I became more positive since things are getting done. I don’t get annoyed with the partner anymore, since there are no expectations. And I’ve also had more quality time with my son. I’ve always wanted to be a hands-on parent, so I’m very particular when this becomes compromised.

Santi

Thinking like a single mother helped me be a better mother. I no longer become disappointed when my expectations are not met (e.g. when the partner does not help out) because there are no more expectations. I also got more results, since I was able to prioritize things. Just like my mom, my sister, and all the other single mothers that I know, it helped me become a stronger and a more independent woman.

I have read before that children raised by single parents tend to be more successful. I’m not sure of the basis for this claim, but maybe it’s because single parents exert more effort in everything. They rely on no one, so putting an extra effort becomes second nature. This becomes the household standard, so their children do the same. At least, this is for my household. And someday, I hope my son becomes as successful too.

Do you know anyone who is a single parent? Share their distinctive stories in the comments. I’d love to read about them. 🙂

Note: This post was inspired by how to tell stories. I’d love to receive feedback, so let me know in the comments too. 


Enjoy life. Cheers!

~Nina

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37 Comments

  1. Maerose JS

    I sincerely admire you for developing a more positive mindset not just for your son but also for yourself. It is a milestone to finally accept life’s current circumstances and learn how to face them without being disheartened. I appreciate getting a glimpse of how a single mom feels like. I just feel sad at the same time because it’s not fully working out with your “partner”. 😛 But yeah, things happen for a reason. And I also agree that unmet expectations are what ruins or shatters a relationship. Been learning how to deal with unmet expectations. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    01 . May . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      The expectations really ruined a lot of things, but I’m happy to share that things are better for the both of us. Changing my mindset was what made sense during that time, but now I’m really hoping we can be more active in working together 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  2. Melisa Sanchez

    I appreciate all your thoughts and perspective here sis, me, I consider myself as a single mom also because my husband is working abroad and alone taking care our kid without yaya and companion. But I thank God always because despite of this situation He’s always been there for us. Through this I learned a lot of things for myself and I am more better me.

    30 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      Hi Melisa. God’s intervention is really a powerful one. He is the great force that helped heal me through all the hardships I’ve been through 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  3. Sonnie

    First and foremost, single moms who raised a family singlehandedly should be applauded. And since we are Filipinos, we know how to eat fish– eat the meat and throw the bones. In your case, you adopted a mindset that helped you stay positive, but I assume, you do not want to head that direction as well, to be single.

    In the long term, planning and acting as if you don;t need a companion may backfire bec. the mutual dependency that makes a marriage stick is diminished, it may build a wall instead of being honest and communicating our frustrations and expectations w/ each other. IMO, this is the only way for a couple to both grow and mature. If this is not resolved, over time, the space between couples will grow bigger until there is no more need for each other.

    Anyway, this is just my opinion, but I felt that I need to speak my mind.

    This post of mine about relationship may be of value.

    25 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      Hi Sonnie. Thank you for sharing this. The mindset was helpful for me in coping up in that specific situation, but you’re right, this shouldn’t be long-term. Having a breather made me think more about things, and I’m happy to say that things are better for me and hubby. I hope this continues 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  4. Madz

    I think removing expectations entirely is a great idea so you won’t get disappointed.A wise woman I know also told me that in life, you need to keep your expectations low to be happy! Chanced upon this great post! Great meeting you yesterday!:)

    23 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      The expectations really ruin a lot. Haha! Nice meeting you too! Hoping to connect more in future events <3

      02 . May . 2016
  5. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    It’s nice that kinds of mindset is working for you. It lessens the expectations.

    18 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      It does. Though I know that it won’t work long-term, it helped me take a breather from the noise of life. Now, I’m more positive towards everything 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  6. Lady Anne Louise Barrun

    That is really inspiring. I have never thought of acting like a single parent maybe because I always assume that me and my partner will act as team to raise our child but mothers should know how not to depend on their partners.

    14 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      I also assumed that way, but having a child made both of us really tired. The mindset change gave me a breather, so I tend to be more positive towards him. I think he felt it too since we’re better now 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  7. May Ann Anorico

    We have a Family Business owned by my Father. I totally agree on everything in this post ^_^ I was frustrated back then when I got pregnant unexpectedly coz I have a lot of plans, especially ung father ko my expectations saken. I was getting mad to my husband kasi he can’t do what I was expecting him to do.. Minsan hndi ko na alam kung dala ng Postpartum Depression ^_^ Siguro 2-3 years bago ko na-realize na magbago ng mindset. No expectations and be more positive ^_^

    13 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      True! Having a breather helped me be more positive. Mas bati na kami ni hubby ngaun. hihi.

      02 . May . 2016
  8. momsterteacher

    It also makes you appreciate your husband even more! 🙂 Makes you view the glass as half-full and not half-empty 🙂

    13 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      Yes. Having a breather made me appreciate my hubby more. And now that my moods are better, I noticed that our relationship is better. Less negative 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  9. den

    I sometimes have this mentality to, I try to do everything on my own and be as hands on as I can, trade off is I get tired at times but at least E is there to comfort and guide me 🙂

    13 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      I got super tired and cranky too. My mistake was not talking to the hubby about it. Good thing right now, we’re more open about these things. It changed things significantly.

      02 . May . 2016
  10. Mommy Anna

    I am a working mom also but I always make it sure that I have time for my son, as much as possible now work at home and every weekend is I devote my time for him. I want him to feel my presence as a mom and not just a provider. You are right we must really manage our time

    13 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      Yes, nothing recharges us like quality time with our children, right? I also make sure to have undisturbed time with him. No phones or any gadgets. Just him, me, and hubby 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  11. Joy

    I may have a different perspective but I respect yours. ? God bless you and your family. ?

    12 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      Thanks, Joy. I’m still young so I’m learning the process, but I’m happy that hubby and I are slowly working through things 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  12. Single Moms Tend to Be More Successful - Amazing Life Daily

    […] A while ago, I came across one of the most amazing posts I have read. Lifestyle blogger Nina Sogue of THE BALANCING ACT who posted HOW THINKING LIKE A SINGLE MOM HELPED ME BE A BETTER MOM. […]

    12 . Apr . 2016
  13. jendialouise

    New subbie here! I look forward to more inspiring post of being a mom 🙂

    12 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      Thanks, Jen! Hope my posts can help 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  14. Evelyn Marfa

    We really need to set the right priorities and mindset.. that will determine the action that we need to take. God bless you Nina and family.

    12 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      Yes. I found about that the hard way. Good thing, the hubby and I are slowly working through this. 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  15. Meikah Ybañez-Delid (@Meikah)

    You have an interesting perspective. 🙂 But yeah, we moms really need to manage our time well as we wear many hats!

    11 . Apr . 2016
    • Nina Sogue

      Yeah. We have to make sure though that we don’t love ourselves in the process of wearing too many hats 🙂

      02 . May . 2016
  16. chuckandtaraofficial

    This made me cry, Nina. Thank you :’)

    My story as a single mom has a completely different angle though. The conflict is not really with having to spend enough quality time with my son because I noticed that even if I am away for a long time, he still looks for me. I guess it’s because in the first year, I was consistently present. Nasanay siya sa akin, so sa akin siya pumupunta. The problem, I think, that most single moms have to worry about is finding the right job – which is one that has enough flexibility with schedules and one that would make a hefty amount of pay. Kasi unlike married parents, wala kaming maaasahan to fulfill that role. So, it’s actually a constant emotional struggle because we always feel we didn’t make enough. Anyway, that’s just me. Baka naman iba for other single moms.

    Actually, I just really want to thank you. This shows single moms in a good light. And, the negative stigma surrounding this kind of situation is something I want to change.

    So, thank you. Can I share it? ☺

    11 . Apr . 2016
    • ninasogue

      I think you’re not the only one. It’s hard enough to earn enough when there are 2 people working. Lalo pa pag magisa. I’ve always admired single parents because I saw my mom’s and my suster’s struggles first hand. They are strong. And so are you.

      Also, feel free to share. And I’m happy that I’ve touched your heart. 🙂

      11 . Apr . 2016
  17. msbolin

    I like the way you think, perhaps i somehow think and act the same. Though my husband gives and does his share (money, time etc), I tend to do everything as I was raised to do so. My mother took care of my needs singlehandedly when I was dependent on her pa. This made me stronger and not dependent on my husband. This also lessens hurt feelings as I didnt expect much.

    11 . Apr . 2016
    • ninasogue

      My husband helps too, but he’s more tired with work, so I tend to do more tasks on the weekends. I really want to take care of him too, but it’s super tiring to do all chores and watch a toddler at the same time.

      11 . Apr . 2016
  18. sarah tirona

    thats a great way of dealing with things 🙂

    11 . Apr . 2016
    • ninasogue

      Thanks Sarah. It had its results 🙂

      11 . Apr . 2016
  19. ROBERT LEE

    Alam mo ba, ang mindset mo, is incredible. Ikaw pa lang ang una kong narinig na merong single mom mentality while married. Yes, that kind of mentality helps you manage your expectations kasi wala kang inaasahan and for as long as you feel it is working for you, then so be it! Kudos!

    11 . Apr . 2016
    • ninasogue

      Thanks, Robert. I was thinking of a way to cope without compromising anything. I want to have a good relationship with my husband and my son, and the easiest thing to do for me is to remove the expectations since it involves only me 🙂

      11 . Apr . 2016

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