One thing all single moms have in common is feeling completely overwhelmed at some point. After years of talking to single moms who’ve defied the odds, there is a path through the overwhelm. Here are the messy but effective steps all single moms travel.
I receive a lot of emails from single moms who feel completely overwhelmed.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- I’m feeling lost and overwhelmed.
- I raise my kids without any support from their father. All I need is emotional support.
- I’m a little bit overwhelmed this week, and my emotions are running high.
- I feel like a failure every day.
- I feel alone and have nobody. I feel hopeless sometimes.
- I feel like I’m drowning. I just need a few minutes to myself to think.
- I’m stressed with my pending divorce process.
- I am emotionally drained.
- I’m a newly single mom and pretty devastated.
- I am a single mom, and I am struggling right now.
As single moms, we often feel flooded with all our responsibility and don’t know the next step forward.
Steps to Conquer Overwhelm for Single Moms
As single moms, we don’t have anyone to talk to about our day-to-day feelings.
Most moms get to come home at the end of the day and share their frustrations with their spouse. We just come home to our kids, or if our kids are at their dad’s house, then we sit in an empty house.
Our friends probably don’t want to hear about the mundane parts of our day or the huge issues we grapple with.
So we hold it all inside.
Day after day, then month after month, can sometimes turn into years of pent up emotions.
It’s no wonder single moms face depression and begin to feel like the world is out to get us.
It would be best if you got those feelings out somehow.
Even if you simply write them down.
During especially difficult times in my life, I’ve journaled my prayers in books with ineligible handwriting and then threw the journals away. I didn’t want anyone to read my inner thoughts.
I knew most likely those emotions would change, but I still needed to get them out.
Find someone to talk to
If you have someone to talk to about your day or what you’re going through who’s willing to listen, then, by all means, let it out with them.
If not, don’t be afraid to talk to a therapist. The chances of any of us going our whole lives without needing a therapist or counselor, especially with what 2020 has brought us, isn’t realistic.
Create a playlist
Create a playlist of songs that bring you joy or calm you down then listen to it.
Music can be therapeutic in itself if you take a walk and listen to your playlist or lay down and listen to your music.
Learn to be okay with your feelings. Somewhere along the way, we’ve all decided that if something makes us sad or mad, we should push the feelings away. Instead, working through those feelings, recognizing them, and being okay with them prevents you from experiencing them again later in life.
Take a mental health day
Do you need a day with no work and no kids and no agenda?
If you’re running on empty and completely overwhelmed, then continuing to go at the same speed will only bring a head-on crash in your future.
Set aside any mom-guilt you might have and leave the kids in daycare and call in sick. Take a day just for you. Stay home and spend the day taking care of you.
Take a mental vacation
Similar to meditating, but more fun, a mental vacation uses guided imagery to help you let go of stress.
Set aside 10 minutes and use an app (do a quick search for guided imagery apps) so you don’t have to do anything thinking.
Create a Pinterest board
Create a Pinterest of board of things that make you happy.
Do you enjoy dreaming of vacations you’ll probably never take? Or maybe it’s your dream home? Allow yourself time to dream.
Time spent dreaming is more productive than the time we spend mindlessly scrolling through our social media feed.
Allow yourself to dream of your new life
If you can’t see the goodness in your future and you’re stuck wondering why you’re in the situation in you’re in now and how will life ever get better, then you’re in desperate need of a mindset shift.
God has you in this place at this time for a reason. You may have made mistakes or might be a product of someone else’s poor decisions, but God doesn’t make mistakes.
You don’t see it now, but one day I promise you, you will see God’s hand in your current situation.
But anyone telling you this (even though it’s 100% true) isn’t enough to get you through today. I know this because I’ve been there.
Instead, it would help if you had a mind-shift change to get you through the next day, the next month.
Here’s how to get out of your funk:
- Find a room or desk with no clutter
- Create a perfect schedule
- Write out your bucket list – this can be things just for you and things for you and your kids
- Imagine your life as a blank slate
- Envision a new life and work down your lists above (bucket list and schedule) and begin to practice how these can happen
- How can you look at this new life you’re creating as an opportunity to try new things and create a life you love?
On the other side
Years into being a single mom, I can say the life I’ve created with my children is now the life I’ve longed to have.
What you can’t see now, inside the overwhelm, is that on the other side is where you’ll find a healthier, refined, better version of YOU.
But you must KEEP GOING. Don’t get stuck.
As a single mom, there’s little time for a pity party. Your child (or children) need you.
NO ONE else can be the mom you can be to them.
All the single moms I’ve spoken to over the years have this in common:
- Positive Mindset
- Faith in God
- And they Kept Going