Girl Talk


A Single Mother’s Survival Guide

Remember that a single mom is just like any other mom and that our number one priority is still our kids. Any parent does whatever it takes for their kids and a single mother is no different.

Paula Miranda

Parenting doesn’t come easy, even for a married couple. But it can be twice as hard for a single parent. Whether my choice or circumstances, single parents should not feel less of a person or feel like it’s a death sentence when facing the struggles of the parenting life.  Whether you’re a new mom scared trying to figure out how to navigate the new waters or a seasoned mom still struggling, I’m sharing some tips on how I managed raising three boys as a single mom.

Build your village

It truly takes a village. Stop feeling like asking for help is a sign of giving up or defeat. We were never expected to bare the burden of being a parent solo. In fact we should be able to depend on family and close friends to assist when necessary.

  • Physical support: That friend, family member or maybe even the hired help that you can count on to give you a break from your duties. Whether it’s a few hours or a couple of days. It’s important to have that time for you. You can’t continue to give of yourself and not take care of yourself. People respond when families are in need. This is especially apparent in a crisis, but also true for less urgent needs. Although we may be reluctant to ask for fear of burdening others, we sometimes forget that it feels good to be able to give support.
  • The listening ear: This is your go to person for a vent session. Maybe it’s a friend, maybe it’s a counselor. Determine what your needs are and who will best suffice. I’ve enlisted both. Sometimes I just need a good gossip session with my girls and other times I need some real coping skills.

Join mom groups

Search social media, local churches, etc. I have found some of the most amazing mental support and judgement free mom help in social media mom groups. You would be surprised the amount of women that have the same seemingly silly question(s) that you have or share the same ah ha moments as a mom. Many churches host mom groups to offer playdates and mom support groups as well. If you can’t find one, create one. There are so many other mom’s in your situation that may feel alone too and together you can help each other. I come from a big family on my dads side and there are about five of us that have kids around the same age. We caught on quick and started hosting sleepovers to give each other a break. Maybe you don’t have family nearby, get those trustworthy girlfriends and make a schedule. Even if it’s only every other month. The kids will enjoy the extra company just as much as you enjoy the alone time.

Make time

Pick a day or even just a moment to prioritize YOU! What’s the one thing that you enjoy? Favorite snack, favorite tv show, maybe a bubble bath without the kids banging on the door. Or maybe you just need five minutes of quiet. This was me, there were even days when I felt like I couldn’t take a shower because I was so overwhelmed. Then it clicked, I had to make time for myself. If the baby won’t go to sleep, take the bouncer in the bathroom with you, leave the door cracked so it doesn’t get too hot and hop in the shower! Give yourself 15 minutes before the kids wake up to enjoy that calm and your coffee. If you have your village in place don’t be afraid to call and schedule yourself a mom night out. Even if it’s just someone coming to sit with the kids while you get to lock away in the room and pretend they’re not even there.


I don’t dirty this house alone, I won’t clean it alone. I started giving my kids chores, even Ethan. He started emptying his bathroom trash at 4. The oldest two take turns washing the dishes and emptying the dishwasher, folding their towels and wash clothes and taking out the trash. Seems like a lot? Not at all, think about all that you have to do on a daily from taking them to school, practice, going to work and still being mom. It’s a small ask when you give and do so much. Plus you’re teaching them responsibilities. And just in case you’re wondering, no I don’t pay my kids, not saying you’re wrong if you do but you have to do what works for you and your budget. They earn money for completing chores that I don’t assign, like vacuuming the floors, blowing the porch off, etc. Those are going above and beyond and deserve a little extra.

Give yourself grace

I would constantly stress myself out feeling like I had to do it all because I did not want my kids to feel like they were missing out on anything because it was just us and them. I was OVER compensating and trust me the kids don’t even notice after it’s all said and done. You cannot do it all and no one expects you to do it all. Do what you can at the moment and save the rest for later. Don’t guilt trip yourself because you forgot snack day at school or you didn’t fix dinner two days in a row. If your kids are anything like mine they love cereal and Zaxby’s, Lol! 

Take a deep breath. You’ve got this! Married or single the parenting role is not a walk in the park. But just the same you can take the hand you’re dealt and make it the best game ever.



Keeping up with a busy schedule

“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.”

Dale Carnegie

If you’re anything like me you probably find yourself constantly overbooked. Just this week I had two appointments scheduled on a Monday in two different cities an hour apart. I’m not quite sure how that happened but we definitely missed one of them. 

With three kids playing sports, working full-time and trying to maintain my personal life, I had to find a way to keep track of everyone’s schedule and ensure that I NEVER double booked myself again.

Here’s how I did it and you can do it too!

Get a planner!

There’s no way around it. You’ll never remember everyone’s game schedule, meeting times, parent teacher conference, etc if you don’t store the information somewhere! 

There are tons of options and styles on the market and while I haven’t tried many, I’m a big fan of Happy Planner:

  1.  They have a planner theme for every walk of life: budget, fitness, spiritual, and just plain ‘ol cute planners. I opted for the budget planner, that way I can have everything in one place, (I’ll share my budget tips in a later blog).
  2. They come in three different sizes to fit your personal needs: mini, classic, and big. With four schedules, I went with the classic size because it’s small enough to fit in my work bag, yet big enough for me to include everyone’s activities on the calendar.
  3. They’re disc bound. Meaning I can easily remove and add pages.
  4. I have the option of a vertical or horizontal layout.

Color Code!

Okay, so we got the planner,  now how do you remember who has what going on with just one glance? Grab a pack of your favorite highlighter, or colored pens, and assign each family member a color. 

My absolute favorite pens are Bic Flair pens.

  • They come in a TON of colors!
  • They write so easily on planner pages. I never have to worry about them bleeding through the pages, blending with the other colors, or smearing if I accidentally rub my hand across it.

I assigned my kid’s colors based on their favorite color. This works for me because none of my kids have the same favorite color. If yours do, perhaps you can assign their colors based on their birth stone color. The first few times of me planning like this I had to create a key in the front of my planner with what color belonged to what family member. Now it’s second nature. I can just glance at my calendar and automatically know who has something scheduled for the day without fumbling through schedules and appointment cards. 

Set Time Aside!

Using a planner should not be stressful. Isn’t the whole point to rid some of your stress? Set a designated time aside where you actually fill in your calendar. Yes you heard me correctly, you need time to plan in your planner! If we don’t make things like planner time a priority, it won’t get done.

Have Fun!

We’ve all seen all the cute scrapbook like planners and that’s nice and all if that’s your style. Get some stickers, washi tape, Sharpies and get crafty. This is for you, so make it your own. I’m more of a functional and practical person so I don’t do much in mine except plan but I did invest in some cute Happy Planner sticker books just to add a little razzle dazzle.

Regardless of what collection or style you choose to invest in, they all provide so many ways to make the above tips happen. The planner is the first step. So decide on that first. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Enjoy the process. And have a well planned schedule.