What to Expect When You Become a Solo MumBeing a solo mum can be quite challenging. When you choose to co-parent with the child's dad, you can share parenting responsibilities. However, many women raise their child on their own. To fulfill their dream of having a baby, a new parent often has to make many arrangements in their life and to financially commit to offer their kid a decent upbringing. They also have less time for themselves and maintaining a social life can be quite difficult. However, in the end, all of the extra effort and commitments are worth it to enjoy the adventure of raising a child. With good organisation and a few useful tips, being a single mum can be completely manageable.
You will have less time for yourselfOnce you become a parent, you may get the impression that you don’t have any time left for yourself. When you are a single mother, you unfortunately don’t have a partner to help you with the day-to-day tasks. Balancing your job with family moments and social events gives you very little time for yourself and this can be stressful.However, it is important that you keep a little me-time, for instance, seeing your girlfriends, going to the gym, or doing anything else that you enjoy. These precious moments will help you feel less stressed and more confident. Babies and older children are sensitive to these emotions and seeing their mum calm and in a good mood is beneficial to their well-being.
You might need supportThat's not to say that you cannot raise a child on your own. There's no doubt that you can do it. However, you might have to allow yourself to accept a little help from time to time. Balancing work and home life, as well as finding time for yourself can be hard, especially when you are a new mum and/or you have a baby. Everyone needs some support sometimes.Ask your parents or friends to look after your child when needed. You can also accept when they offer to babysit for you. They could also help you financially. Their support will give you more time for other things, which in turn will allow you to reduce the stress that raising a child can cause. Knowing other parents, or even better, other solo mums and dads, can be a great help. They can give you many useful parenting tips. If you don’t know anyone, websites and forums dedicated to single parenthood will help you to connect with others in the same situation.
Dating is going to get a little harder – but it is still possibleFinding time and the energy to date other people is not a piece of cake when you are raising your children alone. Dating is possible, though, even if you are a solo parent. Meeting other people has many benefits: it can make you feel more attractive and improve your self-confidence, as well as reminding you that you are also a woman and not only a mother. Moreover, it is nice to get out of the house from time to time and meet someone new.
Dating websites can be a great solution for single mums who run out of time for themselves. Online, it’s easy to find other men and women who are looking for a serious relationship, or even just a fling. One other advantage is that you can search for people based on their interests or location. Additionally, some dating websites are dedicated to single parents who are looking for someone who also has children. It’s a great way to meet solo mums and dads who are experiencing the same things as you and understand the challenges of raising a child alone.
Maintaining a social life can be difficultGoing out with friends can become more of a challenge when you are a parent, especially when you’re a solo mum. Going for a drink after work or coming back home at 6 in the morning after a crazy night out in a night club don’t necessary belong in the past, but there is a good chance that you will have less time for these kind of things. Instead, you might have to accompany your children to the dentist or take them to their piano lesson.
Nonetheless, it is important to keep a social life and avoid becoming isolated when you are a single mum. Seeing other adults is essential for your mental health too. You can continue to see your old friends. You just might need to make some arrangements. Setting a date and an hour in advance will help you to see them. Also, don’t hesitate to ask someone to babysit your children so that you can go out and have some fun. Meeting other parents with the children is also a good solution to help you maintain a social life, while staying with your little family.
Being well-organised is essential when you are a single mumMaintaining your career, arranging shared custody with the father if you are co-parenting, picking up the kids from school, helping them with their homework, bringing them back and forth to their extracurricular activities, as well as taking them to all their doctors’ appointments, are just a few of the things you have to do when you become a single mum.Raising a child on your own is a real commitment that requires lots of organisation. Fixing schedules, writing down all the coming events on an agenda and not saying yes to everything can help you to manage your busy routine.
Another idea to save time and money is to plan meals in advance and shop for groceries just once a week. Draw up a simple table on a piece of paper and write down what you will have for lunch and dinner during the week. You will gain lots of time. Also, when you cook, always prepare a little extra and then store your pre-prepared food in the freezer. All your hard work will be worth it when you come home after an exhausting day and just want to relax!
Raising a child is expensiveHaving a child is a real commitment and can also be expensive. You have to spend lots to get all the things a baby needs: a pushchair, a bed, baby bottles, clothes, lots of nappies, toys, etc. Later, you will have to consider extracurricular activities, school fees and uniforms, other clothes and other shoes, food, a mobile phone, holidays etc. Being a single mum means buying everything on your own. If you chose to co-parent with the father of your child, you can split the bill for certain things (school fees or a mobile phone, for instance). However, in addition to basics such as food and hygiene products, both of you must also buy the same things twice (for instance, the child's bed).
To help you manage this significant financial commitment, you can consider asking a friend or a relative to lend you money. Throwing a baby shower can also be a useful way to get a few of the items you need. Additionally, there is a great deal of financial support that single parents can benefit from. If you are on low income, you might be able to claim for support from your local authority, such as housing benefit or council tax benefit.
Also, try to cut costs as much as you can. Ask your parents to babysit instead of calling a professional. Buy your food items in big supermarkets or in wholesale stores where the prices are lower. Look for clothes online to find a better deal or choose second-hand items. Sign up to sites like Groupon to get vouchers and coupons. There are many ways to cut expenses when you have children.