How thinking like a single mom helped me be a better mom
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.
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.
I 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.
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!