The New American Hustle

“A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things... a mother's love is more than enough.”

By: Daniella Saldana, Staff Writer

I know how hard it can be to be a single, working mother. Not because I am one, but because I was raised by one. My parents divorced when I was very young, and I grew up with my mother, a rebellious older sister and an autistic younger brother. I am not sure how she did it, but my mom managed to raise the three of us, work, and keep food on the table when things got painfully tough. She wasn’t perfect, but in the end she shaped me into who I am today. She’s shown me how strong a woman can be. She’s shown me that if it feels the odds are against you, still try your hardest, and things just may work in your favor. Most importantly, she’s shown me that I could go after what I want in life and not be afraid of having to do it all on my own.

Let us salute the single mothers (grandmothers, aunts, guardians, caretakers, etc.) who manage to be bosses at work and both parents at home. Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the sweat – yet, somehow when given the right motivation, a mom can do it all.

“I didn't plan on being a single mom, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt the best way you can.” -Tichina Arnold

Here are five pieces of advice compiled from other single parents on how to maintain balance:

  1. Continue to make time for “me time.” You work all the time, so find time to unwind – whatever that looks like to you. Drink that wine! Eat that chocolate! Watch that trashy reality show! There is no reason that you shouldn’t be allowed to treat yourself every now and again.

  2. Enjoy the little things with your kids. Even though you're hustling hard to make everything work, keep in mind that there are some moments that can’t be missed. Soccer games, school plays, or simply taking the time to bond -- this is what your child will remember, and what you will cherish. Don’t neglect who you are doing all this for.

  3. Make your health a priority. Remember, you are mom AND dad, so you need to make sure you stay around as long as you can (if you can help it). Set regular appointments to see the doctor and dentist, eat as healthy as you expect your kids to do, and exercise. Better yet find some mommy and me classes, that can keep you both on your feet.

  4. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Ambitions and aspirations are great. Wanting to make things better for yourself and your family is always the goal, but make sure not to take on more than you can handle. If something happens to you, then what? Pace yourself and set realistic deadlines/goals for yourself. If it’s setting yourself up for that promotion at work or preparing yourself for a huge project, make sure you don’t get overwhelmed.

  5. Surround yourself with support. It’s always great to find people to relate to! Find other parents or caregivers to spend time with and swap advice/stories. Keeping things bottled up inside is never good. Talking to another parent who understands what you are going through can be a healthy way to exercise some self-care.

“Single moms: You are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.” -Mandy Hale

To all you supermoms out there, Happy Mother’s Day.