I seem to missing in action on this blog quite a bit lately! The timeline between blogs seems to get longer each time. But not to worry..... I haven't disappeared completely! Lately I have been contributing to other blogs such as Single Mum Vine and Australian Mums. It's been awesome to have my own writing on other pages!
But I have one specific goal that I am yet to make: To make it to Huffington Post! I have written quite a few blog pitches to them with no success. Below is one of my unsuccessful ones. I don't want it to remain unread and not used as a vehicle to inspire someone out there, so here goes!
Be Encouraged Single Parent!
To all of the single mothers out there reading this…. Much love to you today as yet again you take on the world solo. Maybe today you are celebrating a small victory…. Or curled up in bed unmotivated and in tears. Maybe you’re freshly single or been single for a long time…. Wherever you are at, you’re rocking life more than you think. From one single mother to another, may I take the time to encourage you that being a single parent isn’t a closed door, rather an open door to a brand new space filled with so much opportunity and possibility! Having walked the journey of single parenthood for the last six years, I have learned so many incredible lessons and are overwhelmed and encouraged by the changes that have happened and achievements I have made. I hope you can take the time to read this blog and feel encouraged that possibilities are endless!
Setting the scene for change: The Early Years of Single Parenthood
Nearly six years ago I walked out of a five-year relationship with my then two-year old daughter in tow. All I had was the car, our clothes, some sentimental possessions and some of my daughter’s toys. This was my chance for a fresh start after a very tumultuous five years of living with an alcoholic as well as dealing with other personal issues.
Truthfully, the first few weeks were amazing! For the first time in a long time, the house was peaceful. No yelling, no broken appliances from being thrown across the house, no doors or windows being smashed, no vomit soaked sheets or loud parties, no being yelled at and controlled. I actually slept on a bed for the first time in three months rather than a dodgy inflatable mattress on a cold hard floor in the corner of a bedroom with a small flannelette blanket and tiny couch cushion. I actually started inviting friends over for dinner and drinks without the embarrassment of a drunken male walking out half naked. I could enjoy a bottle of wine over a week or two rather than come home that night to find the whole bottle gone.
But in the mist of peace and celebration, the truth bomb hit: Peace came at a cost. I was now solely responsible for all aspects of the household. Although I was practically responsible when I was with my ex, the issue was there was no longer a second person to bounce off. No second income…. No one else in the house to cook when I had a long day…. I could go on! To top off dealing with this transition, I was suffering from anxiety and PSTD. I suffered in silence for two years, but kept soldiering on, thinking it would get easier. I took the step to start seeking help and turned to writing to help me overcome the issues I was facing.
Good things take time
It took me a lot of writing, reading, praying and counselling to overcome the issues I was facing. I still have tough days even years on. It took me two years to have the confidence to start making some major decisions, work on improving my life and work towards dreams that I thought were long gone. None of my achievements happened overnight, nor did I have the answers straight away. I can’t begin to count the amount of times I fell on my face and failed over the last few years. The first and biggest thing to deal with before you can live your parenting journey to the fullest is fixing your mindset. You are the only person who can ultimately take that step to open the door of possibility and believe that anything is possible as a single parent. As cliché as it all sounds, it’s all a matter of ‘one day at a time.’
Five Gems to get you started (keep you going)
1. Have some ‘recharge time’ to grow mentally, socially, physically and spiritually
Take some time each day to work on improving yourself. Go and talk to a friend, take some time to pray or meditate, get some exercise, read motivational books…. Anything that fills your cup. If you can’t keep your cup full, how can you be the best mother possible to your child? When you have a full cup, you develop the confidence to take life by the reins and smash it for 6!
2. Develop excellent organization/ priority skills
Take some time at least once a week to revise your routines and organize yourself for the next week. Take the time to set up effective routines within your household. This might be checking your budget, pre-cooking meals, checking mails/emails, preparing uniforms, bags…. Whatever it may be to keep your house in order. Have lunches and uniforms ready the night before so there is no rushing in the morning.
3. Set goals and smash them
Take some time to search ‘smart goals’ on the net. There are heaps of resources out there on how to set goals for success. Setting goals is a great way to not only build confidence within yourself, but also model the process of failure and success to your children.
Model the life and attitude that you want for your children. Show your children how big their world can be if they are willing to dream big and teach them through your actions how to work towards those dreams using baby steps.
5. Have the right attitude
Be willing to come into every situation with the right attitude! Be willing to keep standing when you fall flat on your face. Be willing to still love and forgive those who upset you. Be willing to show kindness and generosity towards others. Ultimately your attitude attracts your tribe.
In essence, never forget that the door is never closed. Don’t turn away from opportunity because of a circumstance you are in. Show strength, walk through that door and make that larger room look amazing!