It is often said that raising a kid is more difficult than giving birth. Parenting, by all means, is hard, but it’s even harder for single mothers. To tell you the truth, single moms are possibly some of the strongest people out there.
The outbreak of this global pandemic has affected all walks of life, but single mothers have been affected the most. Already struggling to balance livelihood, a single mother’s suffering only increases with the sudden downturn in employment, widespread uncertainty, isolation, and lack of childcare services.
In times like these, it is important to stay calm and collected in order to plan ahead. To help you cope with the current scenario, we have put together some tips and ideas on how to deal with stress during life with COVID-19 as a single mother.
Possible Challenges Faced by Single Mothers
Single mother have a lot on their plates usually, but the recent pandemic has added even more. The possible challenges a single mom has to face during this time include:
- Fear of catching the virus
- Loneliness & parenting challenges
- Struggling to maintain their home and food
- Dealing with children’s fears and disappointments
- Not being able to work
Read Next | How to Handle Your Stress during the Pandemic
How to Deal with Those Challenges
Any of the pandemic challenges that we identified is enough to take a major toll. But collectively, they pack a devastating punch, and these problems may seem even worse if we let stress get the better of us.
Worry itself doesn’t do much good; rather, it undermines our focus, hampers our sleep, creates confusion, and makes us anxious and depressed. There are no simple, overnight solutions. Various forms of support may be interrelated, such as insurance policies, help techniques, structural assists, and more – and they tend to take some time.
The following ten tips are geared towards pointing struggling mothers in the right direction to stay strong, effective, and supported during an incredibly challenging time.
Start with Acceptance
Only after accepting the situation will you be able to cope with it. Once you have it in your mind that you are in no position to control everything, you will be able to move forward to improve those things that you can control. Accept that it is a difficult time, and try to learn more about it.
Take tips from experts, family, and friends about handling finances. You can also learn more about parenting. If you have a child with special needs, Autism Parenting Magazine is a good resource.
At first, taking time to read and research may seem absurd given your current challenging situation, but think of it this way: you are not the only one going through this. Accepting the situation means acknowledging that others around you are also struggling and may need your support as well.
Notice What’s Going Well
Living in close quarters can make you focus only on the adverse or annoying things, but if you are able to look at it from a different perspective, you may be able to notice some good things, too. Being pessimistic isn’t going to help during this pandemic.
Instead, focus on things that are worthy of praise in your children. Observe what your kids do and be sure to praise their good work. Once you are happy with and bolstered by the things that are going well, then you will be more ready to work on what isn’t going well.
Start planning ahead
As we previously mentioned, pessimism is not going to take you anywhere. Remember things are going to get better. And sometimes, planning is the perfect distraction you need.
Plan out your finances. Decide whether you need to cut down on your expenses. Figure out new ways to create savings.
Plan out small and fun things like what clothes you want to buy for the family, what books will be needed for the kids next semester, or where you would want to go for a small trip!
Get Down to Your Kids’ Level
Playing with your kids and spending chunks of time with them on a daily basis strengthens the parent-child bond. The kids also enjoy this, and it improves their cognitive skills.
So, get down to the floor and pay full attention to them while playing. Jumping jacks, making silly voices, and imaginative play with kids certainly helps you get distracted if you are having a tough time.
Read Next | Self-Care for Moms with Anxiety
Avoid the Temptation to Intervene If You Can
This point is particularly helpful for those single mothers who have twins or teens. Siblings fight, argue, and laugh together. It is very common if they argue sometimes.
However, it might be a bit more stressful to handle all these petty arguments during a time like this. Sometimes, letting your kids handle it themselves is appropriate, useful, and even healthy. You can always have a warm discussion afterward.
Be Generous with Affection
Physical comfort has a tremendous effect on dealing with stressful events. It may seem awkward to some parents, but hugging, extra squeezing, and hand-holding are exactly what many kids need to deal with the emotion.
It can be frustrating for children to deal with not being able to meet their friends, go to class, school, sports, and other extracurricular activities during the pandemic. But explaining the situation to them with kind words, and encouraging them to be strong so you can fight this together, will melt the big emotions that are simmering under the surface. If the kids are more relaxed, your stress levels will automatically lower as well.
Find A Few Minutes A Day for Yourself
The old cliché that mothers tend to believe about “putting your mask on first” has taken a completely different meaning now. If you can’t help yourself, you will never be able to help others, let alone your children.
So, make sure to take some time for yourself too. It can be a simple walk around the block for 5-10 minutes, a cup of coffee with earphones plugged in, or maybe just some alone time with a wonderful book. These relaxation techniques are the perfect way to deal with anxiety.
Special Considerations for Autistic Children
The level of struggle is always higher when it comes to managing children with an autism spectrum disorder. Normally, it is tough for these kids to adjust to a new situation and environment around them, and children with these types of disorders can easily get stressed out.
In times like these, you’ll need to show a bit of extra affection and attention towards your kids. Make them learn about the pandemic in the simplest manner, and make them aware of the precautions.
Reduce Your Daily Media Consumption
It’s important to know what is going on around the world. But too much media consumption is not always good. We already know the situation is as bad as it gets, and letting all that negativity feed into your already stressed out and anxious mind is not a good idea.
As such, you should limit your daily media consumption to try to reduce the stress induces.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise is a perfect way to reduce stress. Just because it’s a pandemic, it doesn’t mean you should give up on trying to keep healthy. Even if you were not into exercise that much, some light stretches and yoga every day is guaranteed to keep your stress levels at bay. You don’t need to go for a heavy workout; just do some regular exercises indoors, and you will automatically feel calmer.
It Will Get Better
Things are eventually going to get better. Maybe even go back to exactly how it was before. As a single mother, it is perfectly natural to feel overwhelmed with all that is going around you, but stressing about it won’t do any good. Try considering the above tips to remove all your stress and anxiety to move forward and look after your family.
Read Next | This Is Where Moms Can Find Work-From-Home Jobs
Stepheny is a content writer at FeedFond. A foodie at heart, she loves channeling her inner Nigella Lawson and coming up with delicious dishes. Read more of her articles at FeedFond.com.