To be successful as a single mom you must have a strong support system. Without one this journey can be lonely and tough. I think about some of the hardest times I’ve had in my life, I ultimately got through them because I had very supportive people around me.
I remember when my youngest son was 6 months old, I decided to leave the very toxic relationship with his father and one week later I found out I was pregnant again with twins. I was completely distraught. I was leaving the father, I wasn’t working, and I already had 2 kids! Honestly, I did not want any more kids with this man. I had no clue how I would manage to take care of 2 more children when I was already struggling with the 2 I had.
I remember telling my sister I was pregnant and talking to her about how broken I was feeling. She cried with me, told me how great of a mother I already was and that she would always have my back. I then called my then friend and told her. She told me about someone she knew who had triplets and was doing great then gave me the rundown on how to make it work financially. When I finally found the nerve to tell my mother, she told me she already knew. Go figure. But she assured me that God had a plan and that he would never put more on me than I could bear. She restored my faith in the process.
As I talked to each of theses people in my life they all helped me in a different way. After some good prayer, they were the reason I was able to pick myself up and keep going. They were the reason I didn’t give up on myself and finally decided to get over it and get myself together. Listen, it is not necessary do this on your own. Cultivate a trustworthy group of people to help make your life easier. I like to my support system to have people in it that fill specific roles. Now if you don’t have all of these people in place that’s okay.
It took me a while to get here. But start with the person that is most needed for your situation at this time and then go from there. Build your relationships slowly and on an as needed basis.
Encourager – This is the person that will help keep you going. They will encourage you to push past your limitations and make it happen. This is the person who will always give you a listening ear. They will always give you sincere, positive feedback and always has an inspirational word. When you’re not feeling your best your encourager will come through with a word that will make your day.
Experience – It is vital to have someone with experience in your life. Someone who has been there and done that…successfully! This person can give you experiences, advice, and instruction on motherhood and beyond. This is the person that will save you the headache of trial and error. For example, my experience woman is an entrepreneur, wife, mother of 3. She has experience running a business, managing a household with children and a being a good spouse. When I get married I will already have insight on marriage and my chances of being more successful sooner will increase. Experience is the best teacher, so why not learn from someone that has a proven successful track record.
Accelerator – This is someone that can get you information and resources fast. Who can accelerate the process for you. They are usually really great with information gathering. This person is like your human google. They usually know a little bit about everything. They know somebody or they are a really savvy researcher. This is who you call when you’re in a bind and you don’t have time to research your issue thoroughly but you need an answer quick. The expeditor can help. Do you need directions to a new place? Maybe you need a childcare or pediatrician referral. The expeditor is the person you need to help you accelerate the process. This person can be key when things get hectic.
Emergency Contact – Listen. You CANNOT be a successful single mom without this person. OK, that’s kinda dramatic but, you need to have an emergency contact person. This is someone you can call if your car breaks down on the side of the road and you need someone to come and pick you up. This person will pick your kids up from daycare when you have to work late or keep your sick child when they can’t go to school, but you still have to go to work. This is the person that will come through for you with little or no advance notice. If you do nothing else, get an emergency contact. You don’t have to parent alone. A strong support system is essential to your success.
Equal – Now this is me! The single mom you know that understands what you are going through (smile) and supports you through the process. You absolutely MUST have another single mom on your team. Often times people don’t understand the true challenges that a single mom can face. Having an equal or someone that’s in the same situation can be a relief. This is the person you can vent to and she will actually be able to give feedback from a place of understanding.
Also, this will be your parenting ally. You can help each other along the way and both benefit from the friendship. On nights when you don’t feel like making dinner, she can bring some of what she prepared for you and the kids. You can alternate babysitting and take turns going out for adult time. There are a number of ways you can help one another. Please, get another single mom in your support system.
Enthusiast – Now this is the life the party. This is the person that will help you let go and have fun every now and then. The enthusiast will encourage you to stop stressing and live life. She is usually the one who always has something funny to say and keeps you laughing. She’s carefree and loves to have fun. You probably have to wonder if she’s serious half of the time because she’s always joking or seriously nonchalant. This is the person that will keep you sane.
Now, I understand having all of these people in place may not be realistic for some. But your support system may not always be someone you know personally. Don’t be afraid to add your favorite blogger, podcaster, tv personality or motivational speaker to your team. Live Streaming and Facebook groups have really changed the game in this respect. There are women that I have met on Instagram that are like friends to me. You can have an online encourager that may inspire you better than anyone available to you in your life at the moment. I love to listen to podcast, and watch live stream. I can always find inspiration from all the amazing people I follow.
All in all, having a strong support system can be the key to your success as a single mom. You can manage your life effectively and be more productive with the help of others who want to see you win. Don’t forget to add me to your support system. I’m a pretty awesome encourager.
Do you currently have a support system? If not, which role are you most in need of?