Single Moms: Take Control and Move Forward in 2019

Success: The accomplishment of an aim or purpose. You want it. You deserve it. You can have it, whether “it” means getting a promotion at work or a slimmed-down body for the summer. The first step in getting there involves setting goals, which not only helps you navigate the road to happiness and fulfillment but also live life to the fullest.

Some of those goals are strictly up to you. You’ve got your own challenges and circumstances to deal with that other people wouldn’t understand. However, there are some that work for any single mom, no matter where they’re from or what they do. Here are a few ways to keep things in your life on track as the new year goes by.

Get Yourself Organized

Getting organized refers to your home, your workspace, and your thoughts. Yes, your thoughts can be arranged and put neatly into categories, which is particularly useful for a person with a lot of responsibilities like you, a single mother. the Order Expert has 17 ways to accomplish this task, including lists, mind maps, and even pie charts. 

Up Your Fitness Game

Exercise is good for your mental health as well as your physique. As a busy single mom, it’s not always easy to get to the gym, so you’d better make the most of your home. The garage, basement or spare room make excellent spaces for your workout, and you need little more than a jump rope, dumbbells, and a yoga mat, none of which costs a fortune.

Learn Something New

When you decide to learn something new, focus on something that would help you as a parent, a professional, or both. If you’re wondering what that could mean, Fast Company has the answer. Skills that make you better and more efficient at home and work include strategic thinking, time management, and collaboration.

Take a Step Forward Professionally

Apply the new skill you’ve learned to move up. This could mean getting a raise, earning a promotion, pursuing a side hustle, or even starting your own business. Money is not everything, but a little extra cash certainly makes parenting a bit easier.

Find New Ways to Manage Stress

Managing your stress and anxiety is crucial to achieving the rest of your goals, as living in a constant state of panic can be overwhelming and nullify the possibility of making progress on practical matters. That’s why healthy ways of relaxing, such as taking a warm bath or reading a book, should be part of your schedule. It’s one thing to set goals for yourself, but it’s another to stay focused on self-improvement throughout the year after the initial enthusiasm has worn off. 

Here are a few methods to stay motivated.

  • Remember Why

It’s important to remember why you should reach your full potential and give your kids the upbringing they deserve. This is what you need to tell yourself whenever you’re wondering why you’re pushing toward self-improvement.

  • Visualize Success

Once you’ve achieved your goals, what will you be like? Picture that in your head whenever the going gets tough and you don’t feel like exercising, studying, or planning a weekend getaway with the kids.

  • Make It Fun

This rule can easily be applied to exercise. Choose an activity that you enjoy — and there are hundreds to choose from. That way, getting up and moving your body won’t seem like a chore, and you’ll be less likely to skip your workouts.

  • Celebrate Achievements

The road to your goals will be marked with little victories along the way, each of which is a step ahead. So, reward yourself when that happens. It strengthens your positive attitude and gives you an extra reason to keep on keeping on.

  • Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, and colleagues for some support or a word of advice when you find yourself in a bind. They may know how to get unstuck so you don’t lose too much momentum — and that’s more important than your pride.

If you apply these tips and tricks to your life over the source of 2019, there will be a new you waiting when 2020 finally rolls around. Not that different, really —  just smarter, fitter, and more confident. Are you ready to make that happen? Then get started!

By Amanda Henderson

Safe Children 

Image via Pixabay

Mother's Day

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I've sit here and tried to think of what to say and write about moms.

I mean Mother’s Day is coming up soon and for one day everyone focuses their attention on the mom in their life. We get cute thank you cards, flowers, and sometimes someone even to wash the dishes.

This past week has been super emotional for myself and my girls. We are in the process of moving after the school year so their last time of doing things have been very hard. Last night my oldest dealt with her first broken heart and I did not know what to say. My initial reaction is all men suck and he isn't worth your tears. And yet as I sit there watching this young girl who is bigger than me I was reminded she's still my baby. 

What makes a good mom? Is it because some of us volunteer countless hours at school, doing crafts, making Pinterest worthy costumes, or make it to every single activity they have? Is it the mom who is late all the time because, like myself, some days you just can't get it together? Or is it because no matter how our day is going or how much we want to hide and cry and deal with our own things we push that aside for them. To remind our children of who they are. 

I can't lie. There are days I let my kids eat carbs and sugar and veg out unmonitored in front of a TV. And you know what? That's ok. Because there are days when they are feeling unworthy, unloved, and need that extra push that I remind them I am there. 

My oldest graduated 8th grade, lost her dog, went to her 8th grade dance, and got dumped this week. Her dad never texted, called, or showed up to any of her things. And the best compliment I got was from her this week. She told me it was ok because she knew no matter what I would be there. 

We judge ourselves so harshly on how other moms do things that we forget God gave us the kids he did because they needed a mom like us. So, I did what I would always do. I let her cry. Then I said suck it up buttercup. You are better than them. They don't deserve you. And I finally got a smile. 

Being a mom isn't some words strung together for a definition. We need all types of moms. However, we must learn that we are doing the best we can as well. So, if you didn't get those cupcakes made it is ok to go buy them. Chances are that smiling little face will beam just as brightly just knowing you are there. 

Christina Snider

The Thankfulness List

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A couple of years ago, I took the November Thanksgiving Challenge…at least that’s what I called it! Basically, you were supposed to post something on Facebook that you were thankful for daily during November. I decided to do this because at the time, I didn’t think I had much to be thankful for. And, I’m going to be honest here! It was hard to do. Everyday I would dread coming up with something to be grateful for. I mean how many times can you be thankful for your kids and your church?

It was a tough time in my life. I was still reeling from my divorce and my two teenagers were still dealing with anger and disappointment. I went from being a housewife to a full-time working mom, going to college. And, I had joint custody, which meant we rotated holidays. Every-other-Thanksgiving, I didn’t have my kids.

               Even years – Dad

               Odd years – Mom

It just wasn’t the same for me, or for my family, without the boys to cook for and play games with.

But, I knew I had to find some thankfulness somewhere! I could feel myself becoming hard. You know that feeling, don’t you?

“Don’t you dare cry, Gwen! Don’t you do it! Don’t let him see that this bothers you. Act like it’s no big deal. Shrug your shoulders.”

But, all that did was take its toll on my heart. My emotions were a part of me. Emotions are God-given and I was burying them, deep down.

I knew something needed to give. So, I decided to be thankful every day for 30 days. But, soon, the general things that makes everyone’s list, came to an end. And I still had a couple of weeks to go. Literally one night, I fell on my needs. “Father, help me! Help me find things to be grateful for. I don’t just want things to post on Facebook. I want to stop myself from becoming hardened by the tough things. I need help!”

And, just like a true daddy, He came through. Each day, I started seeing things in a different light.

That big house I had to clean made room for my kids and their friends to hang out in.

I always had the ingredients to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for the boys.

We had warm clothes for the winter.

I had a paid off car.

I had a good job, that allowed me to take care of my kids and go to school.

I was even grateful my kids had their dad in their life – because some kids don’t.

Basically, I’ll the things I took for granted were the things I became the most grateful for! All that laundry, meant we had clothes. All that cooking meant we had food. All the tired nights meant we were living life all day.

But, the thing I became most grateful about was how my Daddy God came through. All I had to do was ask!

I’m not sure if you’re supposed to have a favorite book in the Bible, but mine is Ephesians.

“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:5, NLT)

I read that verse and I realize that even if our natural family disintegrates, we have a Father who decided we were good enough to send His Son to die for us, just so we could spend eternity with Him! He loves us so much!

As single moms, the dynamics of our holidays may differ. And, I guarantee for every mom that struggles having to share holidays, there are moms who wish they had a day off to sleep. But, no matter what Thanksgiving Day looks like in our homes, we have a Father who is our family. Who loves us and cares for us. Who takes pleasure in us. Who knows exactly what is going on and is there to just hold us and surround us with his Love!

So, get out a piece of paper momma’s. Start writing down things you’re grateful for. And, when you run out of things, ask your Father for a different perspective; a different set of eyes. You’ll never know what you’ll see, or how it could change your entire outlook on life!

Live life on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose!

Gwendolyn Irene