Just over a week ago, I finally bit the bullet and decided to really start a blog. And not just a blog, but a place for single moms to be able to go when they needed help, reassurance, support…anything!
I also wanted a place to empower women single moms. Life is rough period, but when you bring kids into it, & having to raise them alone…man, it gets tough. I know my girls have kept me going when I thought it was impossible to do so. I think that’s a common thread among moms, period. But I want them to always know that they are the reason why I am here, why I fought through so many things in life to get here now with them.
It was scary to dive in, but I’m so glad I finally did it! I think I’ve said it before, but I’ve got big plans for this little place. I think (I hope) I will be able to share pieces of me and things about my life that will make others realize they aren’t alone. I had a great childhood, and wonderful parents which I am so grateful every day for. But since then, I’ve gone through some truly emotional, painful things. Sometimes it’s too hard to talk about, but sometimes….sometimes just getting it out helps. Me, and possibly others.
And that’s what I am hoping to do. I hope you, dear reader, will join me.
One of my favorite things about being a mom, is seeing the smiles on my girls faces when they are happy. Its even better when I did something to put those smiles there!
Mental health is SO incredibly important, and a child with a loving mama who makes sure he or she feels special each and every day can work wonders for their self esteem. Its also FUN to surprise them with little loving things here and there as well. With Valentine’s Day having passed just a few days ago, I thought I would share a list of things you can do to make your little feel extra loved whenever the mood strikes.
Write a love note and leave it on their pillow
Surprise them with their favorite candy or treat
Come up with a secret “signal” to flash at them when they are too far away to hear you say you love them *My oldest and I hold up the ASL sign for “I love you” at times like this*
Give them a little foot massage
Have a special movie night – their choice!
Do one of their chores for them
Let them choose dinner
Do Mad Libs together
Do a craft they enjoy together
Play a board game
Give them a list of the things you love about them
Hide loving notes in their drawers to find later
Start a weekly/monthly tradition together
Have a spa night – give each other facials, manicures and pedicures
Get a journal to share, and take turns trading it back and forth
Read to each other
Leave a note in their lunch bag to find at school
Say I love you first
Always be the second to let go of a hug
Tell some cheesy knock knock jokes
Have a slumber party in your bed
Pick a time you have a bit of time to spare, and do whatever it is your child wants to do
Let them pick a song or music and have a little dance party
Have a little child/mom date night – at home or out!
Bake cookies together
Surprise them with a trip to get ice cream or frozen yogurt
Sit down together to make a list of date night ideas
Go for a walk together
Come up with a scavenger hunt to do together
Make plans to watch a meteor shower together when there is one – even if it means waking your child up in the middle of the night!
Make sure to grab my *free* printable here to come up with some date night ideas with your kiddos!
Most mom knows how difficult is is to find time for themselves during the day between the kids, work, taking care of the house…and on, and on, and on. Any single mom knows how insanely difficult this task is! We don’t have the luxury of passing a screaming child off to our spouse or partner to go take a bath, or read a book. We don’t get to avoid difficult bedtime for even just one night. We are the ones responsible for it all, and it is draining. By the time we’ve worked all day — and that can mean in the house or outside of it! — cooked and served dinner, cleaned up dinner, tackled any homework needs, bathed the kiddos, wrestled them into their pajamas, brushed teeth, and tended to them the 27th time they have gotten out of bed…I’m exhausted just typing that. And that is every night, y’all! You know how it is! Woof.
Usually by the time we’ve given our all to our precious babies, there’s very little left for ourselves. And I know we’ve all heard the saying – “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” And it is so TRUE! I want to share a few little things I try to do when there is time each day…actually, scratch that. These are some little things that we need to make time for each day!
Make a cup of coffee or tea – and drink it while it is hot!
Read even just one chapter of a book before you crash for the night.
Buy a sheet mask for your face – or make your own face mask.
Wax your eyebrows.
Paint your nails.
Go to bed early.
Binge on some Netflix or Hulu.
Come up with a nightly routine before bed – and stick to it!
Work some fresh flowers into your budget.
Light a candle (in a safe — kid free! — zone, of course).
Do some guided meditation.
Read a magazine.
Take a hot bath.
Learn a new hobby.
Try some ASMR videos (headphones make them even better!)
Turn on some music (maybe pop in some ear buds) and dance.
Make a phone call to a loved one.
Turn off your phone — and do nothing.
Self care looks different for everyone. Personally, I truly enjoy alone time. If it is comforting for you to spend time alone, curled up on the couch with a nice soft blanket, remote or book in hand, go for it! If you’re the type that thrives on commotion and action and noise and for you, its a break to go out for a night on the town with your besties – do it!
Above all, we need to be kind to ourselves. If you hole up in the bathroom for a few extra minutes because you need to just sit and not be touched or talked to for a bit – that’s okay. If you give the toddler your phone to play a game or watch a video for a few minutes(or longer!) while you get something else done – that’s okay. If you need to leave the dishes in the sink overnight and deal with them tomorrow – that’s okay. If you need to have the kitchen spotless before going to bed – that’s okay. If your kids need to wear the same pair of socks two days in a row, because the laundry has piled up – that’s okay.
Self care is not selfish.
Once again for the people in the back? SELF. CARE. IS. NOT. SELFISH.
We need to take care of ourselves, in order to be the best we can for our sweet babies. And there is never any shame in that. I’d love to hear the things you do to care for yourself when time allows!
I live in the Midwest. It’s now February. It is cold. Not just cold, but COLDDDD. And it is windy, and it is snowy, and…I can’t hardly deal any longer.
But I digress.
It is cold and we are in the Midwest and I have a TODDLER. Which automatically makes any task involving my little mini 100x more difficult. I also am kind of a car seat safety freak. All of those things combined, getting out of the house and anywhere in these winter months can be draining.
Now, typically I’d try to bundle my mini up, in a jacket, carrying a blanket since the jacket has to come off before strapping her into her car seat, trying to get the jacket off while keeping the blanket around her so she wouldn’t freeze her tiny tushy off and ugghhhhhhh, so frustrating! Then one day I had an almost literal lightbulb moment.
She has a two piece jacket – an inner fleece jacket, and an outer windbreaker type jacket. They usually zip and snap together into one piece….*here’s when the lightbulb switched on*...and it finally hit me one day! Light fleece jackets are safe under car seat straps. Why not just unzip & unsnap the two pieces of jacket…put the fleece on & zip, put the windbreaker on over & zip…voila!
Now when we head out, she gets bundled up just the same, but once she’s sitting in her seat, I just unzip the big jacket, slip it off, & buckle her up!
Now, I’ve been a mom for over ten years now…& it took almost that long for me to connect the dots on this one, but I was so excited about it, I had to share! Fingers crossed your mom brain hasn’t attacked you as hard as mine has, and perhaps you came up with this already. But if not…you’re welcome!
For quite awhile, I really wanted to start some sort of “single moms” group in our town. And I still may. However – remember, introvert – I really thought that having a safe place for mamas to go online – and not just limited to my small town area – would be fun, too. Not to mention my background in writing…so its a win win!
I’m Cait. Proud single mama to two beautiful girls – H is 10, and D is 2. Those aren’t great nicknames, I’m going to have to fix that – I was thinking “Sassy” would fit – but then it applies to both of them! Anyway, we live in a pretty small town, and I am very much an introvert. I am also a transplant – grew up in a different state than the one I reside in now. Most of my closest friends are still back home. And has anyone realized how difficult it is to make friends once you’re out of school? And for a stay at home mom, it is even harder!