Originally Posted by youremyheartkid
Hi mamas! I am a single mother to one, a 21 month old daughter who is my entire world. :) Her father is not in any way involved, has never paid child support. We lived with him for the first 5 months but he's an abusive person who I'm pretty sure has narcissistic personality disorder and doesn't care to be involved, not yet anyway, I fear for the day he decides he wants to.
I suggest you set up custody now with sole legal and physical custody with "reasonable visitation" or whatever you feel comfortable with ALSO look into your state requirement to terminate his rights based on abandonment.
Anyways, pretty much on our own here, I also work part time and go to school part time. Which is about all I can handle right now.
I wondered how you other mama's manage your time, especially the ones who work and/or do school? I try to schedule school so I get it all done in three days, and take only one class per day. I work the grave shift so I don't miss daytime with her. Even with part time (and I know a lot of you do full time of one or the other or both) I still feel like I am on the go all throughout the day. The housework is never done, the dishes get left behind. I only cook maybe two days of the week and the rest of the time it's quick easy things because I don't feel like I have the energy to cook every day. I get these bursts of severe guilt that I am not doing enough for my daughter, enough one-on-one time. Especially since there are times when I HAVE to take time for myself, even if that means letting her watch a movie.
School and work plus solo parenting is alot to take on, be proud of yourself for what you are doing and not what you could have/ should have / would have been doing!
I too am in school full time, I stream lined my classes to be online only or 2 power days a week! Work wise I had choose a smart career that met my needs as a solo mama. Now I work a flexible, part-time job that has doubled my income from teaching, working only when I want to work (which for me means AROUND my daughter's schedule) and doing something that allows the "me time" I need but often felt guilty for needing!
btw - Anyone can message me for details on what I do if you desire but I don't want to violate MDC policies and since I post so much about my solo parent journey I don't want to link my MDC user name to my business just in case my dd's dad reappears someday!
I feel as single moms, especially as solo mom's we need job security and flexibility that allows our family to come 1st. It may not be what I do but I think the key is to work smarter not harder.
The guilt, though... the guilt! Is this a normal single mom thing? Or just a mom thing?
All mom experience guilt! It is natural. Try your best to live in the moment with your child as much as possible because the time flies by and your child will grow so quickly. The rest will work itself out.
Anyways, what do your days look like? I'm really curious how other single moms do things. I don't know ANY single mothers IRL, and the only thing I have to compare myself to are other moms who (seem to) have it all with a husband and their own house and they are SAHM's so they can just focus on their kids. My sister is a SAHM and I cant help but compare our two situations and feel envy/guilt all at the same time. Especially when we show up to family functions and her daughter is always in her perfectly matching adorable outfits with perfect hair, and we show up all frazzled and my daughter has food on her face/in her hair and her clothes don't match since we were in such a rush getting ready to even get there... just one example. Haha.
We all parent differently regardless of if we are married or single. It is just natural that we are different. I am a solo mama and 99% of the time my daughter is the child with the perfectly matching outfit with a head of perfect curls when we arrive someplace (now after dd plays is an entirely different picture especially with in the hair dept.) I have been solo parenting from very early on and some key items that I can offer:
Set an early and consistent bedtime for your child and stick with it as much as possible! When I do this I am able to do my school work at night and not feel like I am always multi-tasking when dd is awake and running around. Also dd is more pleasant to be around requiring less discipline since she is well rested. Anytime life gets too tense for us it is almost always linked to me easing up on the early and consistent bedtime.
Get into a good daily (and possibly weekly) rhythm. By AP standards our family (of two) live pretty structured but I found it really keeps me sane and knowing what to expect makes things easier on dd. When I have a moment I will try to post our schedule below.
Take time for training and allow your dd some independence. In other words teach your child to do it herself! In the sort term pouring her milk and buckling her shoe is quicker but once you "take time for training" and realize how much you are empowering your child it will free you to focus on the parenting items that truly need your attention. Jane Nelson's Positive Discipline Series and all Montessori books are big on this. I like the Montessori books Teach Me To Do It Myself and Raising an Amazing Child the Montessori Way. Montessori books are a great guide on what items to teach your child to do independently, how to teach them and at what age.
I think it takes a very strong person to be a single mom, and I'm so glad to have this board for some sort of support group, since I live in Utah where it is mostly mormons (no disrespect to them at all) but people are more judgemental here when it comes to divorce/single mothering/etc.
We are so glad you are here! I am not on here that often anymore but check in as often as time allows. Also ALL the mamas on this board are helpful and I know you will get the support you need.
Anyways, thanks for being here. She just woke up from her nap so I look forward to any responses!