The Single Mum’s Support Network

I had dinner with a group of girlfriends this evening. All of them have children; some of them are married, some (like me) used to be single mums but remarried and some are still single mums slogging it out on their own. As usual, we set the world to rights over a glass or two of wine and as usual we ended up by discussing our pride and joy – our offspring. Women are so fantastically good at airing their thoughts and opinions, sharing humour, advice and sympathy in equal measures. Looking round the table and listening to them talking and laughing I was struck by how restorative it is to be in their company. However preoccupied or busy we all are and whatever dramas we may be experiencing individually, we can draw strength from the camaraderie and the knowledge that somebody in the group will have a solution or at the very least a kind word to offer.

Here is an extract from my book in which one of the single mums I interviewed talks about the importance of a support network…

Kayleigh: I was just so busy with being a mom and there were a lot of things that I struggled with, whether it was finances or time or my son. For me personally it’s always been difficult to reach out for help when I feel like I need it, rather than wait until I’m absolutely desperate. I think it’s really nice as a parent to have help, whether it’s a support group or talking to a friend, whatever’s needed-just a sounding board for you. Because when you’re a single mom you go home and you don’t have anybody to vent about your day to. When you get home you’re just there by yourself dealing with everything. So I would have found that really helpful. When I was able to talk things through, get it out of my system and not let it boil inside it was a release, and it calmed me down and helped me carry on and deal with what I needed to deal with. So reach out and communicate with someone before it becomes an emergency. When you have that negative energy and stress, when you’re under duress you don’t make the decisions or deal with things in the way that you should. So, waiting until that point when you can feel that things are starting to get stressful, feeling your body tense up, knowing that you need to let it out, that’s the time to act. Whether it’s talking to someone or going for a walk or a run, or getting some exercise, take some time to recognise that and do what you need to do to get back on track, in order to be the best mom you can be and be happy, too, with yourself. Don’t feel guilty about that because it’s not selfish to look after yourself so that you can take care of others effectively.

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2 Comments

  1. Even though I am not a single mum, I have found every one of Vivi’s posts to be relevant and uplifting to my life as a woman. I love this post about reaching out for support, and encouraging it as as a habit, and not relying on it as a rare emergency band aid. Well done!

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