How To Move Forward As A Solo Mum & Reclaim Your PowerJun 06, 2022
Definition: A Solo Mum
A magical woman who cares for children without the daily support of another; whether it be by choice or not, or your partner works away or has a disability or maybe your partner is just fucking useless or too busy with whatever to help out. Officially by me.
Does this sound like someone you know? Then this one’s for you!
Recently I received an email from a reader who is also a solo mum.
She asked, “How do you cope with being a single mum and continue to move forward on the path of reclaiming your power after trauma?” She mentioned how inspired, empowered and motivated she felt after reading, I Want To Go Home, feeling like she had somehow turned a corner.
But then a huge change came into her life.
A beautiful baby girl!
Whilst she was over the moon discovering her newfound purpose in motherhood, she was not only adapting to life caring for a tiny little person, but she was also learning how to cope with doing most of the work on her own.
So why am I sharing this with you? Because I think this conversation could help some other awesome mums out there, who are feeling the same pinch, punch and pain in life. Doubting their progress, and self-worth and scared about the future.
So here goes…
I chose to become a solo mum when Sofia was 9 weeks old. It has always been important to me that my daughter be raised in a happy, healthy, loving home and I didn’t feel like the relationship I was in was supporting that vision.
So the choice was an easy one and it came with two words, “Get out!”
Line drawn. Boundaries asserted. The case closed and the sun began to shine after that.
I wish I could say it was that easy.
No one ever tells you how much work having a baby is especially when they start crawling and eating solids and I’m told even harder when they start walking. So much f##king cleaning, soaking, washing and attention to keep them safe, fed, hygienic and happy. You’ve got to be more organised than you’ve ever been before. It’s neverending.
Now let’s put this into context here. You’re not only trying to cope with hormonal changes on top of your possible PTSD symptoms that kick into gear because now you’re only trying to manage your own triggers around safety and trust but it’s your primary job to protect your young.
Along with all the other pressures like wanting to be a ‘perfect mum’, family advice or other’s opinions, co-parenting, maintaining friendships, looking after sick friends or relatives, returning to work, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, side projects, exercise, eating healthy, getting outside, daycare bugs, walking the dog, feeding the pets, moving house, having fun, looking after sick kids or yourself when you’re sick. Not to mention “Mum guilt.”
It gets fucking hard.
And it takes its toll on you. I swear I’ve aged more in 12 months than I have in the last ten!
But what I’ve learned this year is this:
Find the right support and ask for help. Whether it be from friends or family or a mum’s group, a counsellor or therapist, or a crisis hotline! Find your people whether they’re online, over the telephone or in person. You need them now more than ever.
Look after yourself: Mamas need their energy and self-care is key. Do you for your boo/s.
Good enough is enough. Fuck the cleaning. If you need some time out on the couch. Do it. Guilt-free.
Cut out the negative. Whether it’s people around you or in your head do what you can to distance yourself from them. Mantras have worked well for me. You can find some good mother mantras on Spotify or one I’m finding helpful right now is, “I forgive you, I forgive me and I’m letting this go.”
Practice acceptance. I think the hardest thing as a solo mum is realising that the ideal we had hoped for our family is not the reality. And we are deeply grieving that. It’s not the ‘happy ever after’ we were sold in fairy tales as kids. It’s messy but we need to accept that life is messy sometimes. That’s reality. There are some great meditations out there on Youtube or Spotify to help with this.
Build more of what you want into your life. Take stock of what is good. Take note of what you’re doing well. And what you enjoy doing as a mother with your kids. And do more of that!
Take it slow. Time heals all things. It sounds cliche but it does. Space, time and self-enquiry will help you understand more about yourself and who you are becoming as a woman and as a mother. Chose the life you have and own it in all forms.
Celebrate Your Wins. It’s sometimes often hard to acknowledge just how much you have achieved but you are learning so much every day. You’ve had to learn how to use (and keep clean) and probably keep up with buying and selling a million new baby things. You’ve had to learn your baby’s personality, what they need from you and how to give it. You’ve had to learn how to do all the things you’ve always taken for granted as being an easy day to day life skills but now you have to do it with a baby in your arms, in a sling, carrier or pram. You’ve had to learn how to still be you with all your responsibilities and special interests and still show up as a mum every day. You’re fucking amazing. So celebrate those wins!
And most importantly, keep moving forward. It’s impossible to stay stuck, we’re always evolving no matter how isolated, lost, lonely, confused, emotional, or overwhelmed we might feel at times. We are always learning, growing and healing with every new experience. So keep yourself open to better things. Because you deserve it, you are worthy and you have important things to do.
The strength it takes to be a solo mum is beyond measure and I have so much respect for women taking this journey on their own.
So today, I celebrate all the good you’re doing in your life and the choices you are making for your family and future. You are a fucking superhero whether you know it or not and your kids will thank you someday.
Keep going beautiful! You’re doing great!
Would you like my free guide Reclaiming Power?
Your guide comes with healing hacks, evidence-based strategies to help reconnect with what’s important to you, cope with triggers, support resources and positive affirmations.
Click the button 'Yes, please!' and scroll down to find the 'Get the guide' button. Simply enter your details and it will be emailed you as a download.
Stay connected with monthly inspirational ideas on reclaiming power after sexual assault and receive updates about my new online course!
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.